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Dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE, is a choline molecule that has been used since the 1970s to improve memory and concentrations. Recently, supplement companies have made the claim that DMAE is also beneficial as an anti aging product that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and gets rid of age spots on the skin.
While DMAE has been used for a number of years with much success, there have only been very limited studies conducted DMAE. There are no long term studies and the longest study available was just 6 weeks long.
However, in each of these 6 week studies, DMAE was shown to enhance memory and aid in concentration in the classroom. In addition, students retained more of the information that they heard and scored better on tests than they had in the past. Studies were conducted on both college students and on elementary age students. In elementary aged children, those taking DMAE also showed a significant reduction in aggression.
DMAE is also a metabolite. What this means is that it is metabolized in the body and aids in the production of energy. Because of this, you will find some forms of DMAE supplements marketed as a weight loss product. There are no studies or clinical trials to support this as a benefit, although increased energy is certainly a byproduct of taking DMAE.
DMAE is produced naturally in the body, however, studies do show that the amount produced by the body is only enough to maintain current memory and concentration function. What this means is that if you want to enhance function, you will have to take supplements or eat foods that boost DMAE levels.
Unfortunately, the only foods that boost DMAE levels are oily fish. Oily fish are fish that are comprised of 30% oil or more. If you have a fish allergy or aren’t a fan of fish, then you will have to take a supplement. Here are some fish that fall in the oily fish category.
Although DMAE has only had limited studies conducted on it, most of the medical community agrees that DMAE benefits memory and concentration. However, there are other benefits discovered by short term studies.
One of the marketed benefits of DMAE is that is increases life span. It is important to note that although studies have been conducted regarding this claim, no human studies have been conducted and none are currently in the works. In addition, rats saw an increased life span in studies while birds so no increase in their life span.
Another more current claim is that DMAE can reduce the signs of aging. There isn’t a single clinical study to back this claim; however, people who purchase DMAE as a topical cream noticed a decrease in age spots or their age spots disappeared completely. This remains anecdotal evidence only.
In addition, DMAE in cream form tightens the skin, making it appear more youthful. Like many of the products that do this, the effects are temporary and requires a twice a day application to maintain the results.
Because DMAE blocks acetylcholine receptors, it is believed that it aids in dopamine production. Again, this isn’t clinically proven; however, people diagnosed with schizophrenia should avoid taking DMAE just in case.
DMAE is an antioxidant. This antioxidant specializes in attacking pollutants in your body caused by environmental factors, such as second hand (or first hand) smoke, exhaust fumes, etc.
Because it is an antioxidant, DMAE can also boost the immune system. By attacking pollutants, it can aid in the prevention in allergies and other illnesses. DMAE isn’t meant for fighting the common cold; this antioxidant has a very specific function. If you want great antioxidant benefits, then you should get several types antioxidants into your body for the most benefits.
A 6 week study in students with ADD/ADHD, showed an improvement in concentration and attention span. In addition, this study also showed a reduction in aggression in these students.
Using DMAE may increase your ability to communicate because you will have a better grasp of what is going on around you because your concentration levels are higher. In addition, people taking DMAE often find that they are more creative than when they aren’t taking a supplement.
As mentioned earlier, DMAE produces energy. A human study with 100 people showed a noted increase in energy levels, in addition to the memory benefits. In addition, a majority of these individuals were motivated to do more and were able to accomplish more of their goals.
In addition, those that participated in DMAE studies reported that the sleep that they got was deeper and more refreshing than before. They also found that if they got less sleep that they were not as affected by that lack of sleep as they were prior to taking DMAE supplements.
Lastly, a study done on children with Downs Syndrome showed a marked improvement in mental function. This included an enhanced ability to communicate and an enhanced learning ability. The information regarding this study did not indicate the severity of the Downs Syndrome in the children participating in the study.
The side effects reported for DMAE reduced when the dosing was reduced. As such, when you take DMAE supplements, you should start with the lowest possible dose. The recommended dose is 125mg to 300mg a day. Anything under 100mg provided no benefit to humans in studies.
The side effects of DMAE include:
If these side effects don’t go away with a reduction to the lowest possible dose of DMAE, then you should discontinue use of the supplement and attempt to eat oily fish at least twice a week.
There are no interaction warnings for DMAE; however, if you are taking any medication, you should not take DMAE until you consult with your physician.
If you have schizophrenia, bipolar type 1 or type 2, manic depression, or epilepsy, then you should never take a DMAE product. In addition, you should exclude oily fish from your diet. Increasing DMAE levels make each of these conditions worse!
While DMAE has been studied in children, it has not been studied in infants or in pregnant women. If you are pregnant or nursing, then you should consult with your physician before taking DMAE or any other supplement.
DMAE is available in tablet, capsule, liquid, powder and cream form. The price range varies between $5 and $140. The more expensive forms are typically the creams and some of those creams are actually combined with 24kt gold, among other ingredients.
In powder form, DMAE is most commonly marketed as an energy drink while the other forms (other than cream) are marketed as memory enhancers. Most are combined with other vitamins and minerals to provide you with additional benefits.
While there aren’t any truly outrageous claims being made about DMAE, it is important to remember that the trials conducted are limited. In addition, there are no long term results to determine the benefits or issues related to use for longer than 6 weeks.
Make sure that you purchase your DMAE from a trusted source and read all of the ingredients before you make your purchase to ensure that you know exactly what you are putting in your body! You can use the supplement finder to browse the available sources of DMAE now!