What is DMAE?
DMAE, also known as dimethylaminoethanol or Deanol, is a compound that is naturally produced in small amounts in the brain. It is structurally similar to choline and is involved in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which plays a crucial role in cognitive function and muscle control.
DMAE has gained attention as a dietary supplement due to its potential cognitive-enhancing effects. It is believed to enhance mental alertness, focus, and memory, as well as promote overall brain health. Additionally, DMAE is sometimes used topically in skincare products for its potential anti-aging and skin-firming properties. Naturally, it is found in salmon, sardines and anchovies.
Nootropic Benefits OF DMAE
Improving Memory in Mice
A study conducted in France in 2009 investigated the effects of DMAE pyroglutamate on mice with memory deficits induced by scopolamine. The mice were subjected to a maze test, and the administration of DMAE significantly improved their performance in spatial memory. The mice receiving DMAE were able to navigate the maze more effectively and showed improved reaction times compared to those not receiving DMAE[1,2].
DMAE exhibits neuroprotective properties by acting as an antioxidant. It can protect against certain forms of oxidation by integrating itself into cell structures. Additionally, DMAE supports various metabolic processes in the body through methyl donation . These mechanisms suggest that DMAE could potentially contribute to the prevention or mitigation of age-related neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's.
In a 12-week double-blinded, placebo-controlled study conducted in Germany, 60 individuals who reported difficulties in concentration and mental efficiency were given DMAE. Electroencephalography (EEG) readings indicated a beneficial effect of DMAE on the subjects, suggesting improved concentration and mental performance .
Other Health Benefits
DMAE has also been utilized for its ability to promote skin healing. When used topically in the form of a cream, DMAE has been shown to enhance the overall quality of aging skin. Its application aids in diminishing the visibility of wrinkles, loose skin on the neck, dark circles under the eyes, and nasolabial folds. Additionally, it is effective in firming up the skin.
How does It Work For The Brain?
DMAE has the potential to provide antioxidant protection and support the production of choline, which is essential for various aspects of health, including healthy nerves and brain cells, heart health, and fat metabolism
As a precursor to choline, DMAE has been suggested to potentially increase levels of acetylcholine (ACh), a neurotransmitter critical for cognition and memory. However, the relationship between DMAE, choline, and ACh is complex and not yet fully understood. While DMAE can raise blood levels of choline, it also competes with choline for the same brain transporter, which may limit its ability to boost acetylcholine in the brain .
Studies conducted on rats have shown no significant difference in brain levels of ACh following DMAE administration. However, drugs containing DMAE in combination with other compounds may have the potential to stimulate ACh production and enhance cognition, suggesting the involvement of additional factors in maximizing DMAE's effects on the brain .
The recommended daily dosage of DMAE, a popular nootropic, is typically between 100 to 250 milligrams.
Potential Side Effects
DMAE is generally considered safe for both oral and topical use when used in appropriate amounts by healthy individuals.
However, it is important to note that oral consumption of DMAE may potentially lead to notable side effects on mental health in susceptible individuals. Some case reports have indicated that higher doses of DMAE could result in insomnia, muscle cramps, and twitches.
How to Take DMAE
- The timing of taking DMAE as a nootropic supplement does not significantly affect its benefits. Whether you choose to take it in the morning or at night, the effects remain consistent.
- To maximize the absorption of DMAE, it is recommended to take the supplement with a meal that includes healthy fats. This facilitates better absorption by the body.
- DMAE may exhibit cumulative effects, meaning consistent use over several weeks may be necessary to notice its cognitive-enhancing benefits.
- DMAE can be combined with other nootropic supplements for synergistic effects. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before stacking DMAE with other supplements or medications.
Many individuals have reported positive experiences with DMAE as a nootropic supplement. Users have described improvements in memory, focus, and mental clarity, as well as reduced anxiety and stress. For example, one user stated:
“I never write reviews but OMG!!! I didn't realize how broken my brain had become until this. I have been taking this for 4 days now and I feel so normal again. The first 2 days I would describe it as it felt like it was literally fixing my brain. It was a little scary but day 3 was back to my young sharp self. I lowered my dose to half of a pill on day 3 and it has been amazing. I was able to function and actually get things done. I swear I was looking into seeing if I had ADHD suddenly because I literally couldn't get anything done anymore. I have tried to do many different vitamins just trying to be able to function again and be normal again. This gave me my life back”!!!
While there is already a significant body of research supporting the cognitive-enhancing benefits of, DMAE there is still much to be learned about this plant and its potential uses. Future research may explore the effects of DMAE on other aspects of health and wellness, as well as potential long-term effects and optimal dosages.
DMAE serves as a promising nootropic supplement with potential cognitive-enhancing benefits. When taken as directed, DMAE can support memory, focus, mental clarity, and overall cognitive function. Its ability to potentially reduce anxiety and stress adds to its appeal.
However, it is important to note that individual experiences may vary, and consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended before incorporating DMAE or combining it with other supplements or medications.
- Blin O, Audebert C, Pitel S, et al. Effects of dimethylaminoethanol pyroglutamate (DMAE p-Glu) against memory deficits induced by scopolamine: evidence from preclinical and clinical studies. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009;207(2):201-212. doi:10.1007/s00213-009-1648-7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19756528
- Levin ED, Rose JE, Abood L. Effects of nicotinic dimethylamino ethyl esters on working memory performance of rats in the radial-arm maze. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1995;51(2-3):369-373. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7667355
- Malanga G., Aguiar M.B., Martinez H.D., Puntarulo S. “New insights on dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) features as a free radical scavenger.”Drug Metabolism Letters. 2012 Mar;6(1):54-9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22300295
- Dimpfel W, Hofmann HC, Prohaska A, Schober F, Schellenberg R. Source density analysis of functional topographical EEG: monitoring of cognitive drug action. Eur J Med Res. 1996;1(6):283-290. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9367941
- Grossman R. The role of dimethylaminoethanol in cosmetic dermatology. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005;6(1):39-47. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15675889
- Malanga G, Aguiar MB, Martinez HD, Puntarulo S. New insights on dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) features as a free radical scavenger. Drug Metab Lett. 2012 Mar;6(1):54-9. doi 10.2174/187231212800229282. PMID: 22300295.
- Millington WR, McCall AL, Wurtman RJ. Deanol acetamidobenzoate inhibits the blood-brain barrier transport of choline. Ann Neurol. 1978 Oct;4(4):302-6. doi: 10.1002/ana.410040403. PMID: 727735.
- Blin O, Audebert C, Pitel S, Kaladjian A, Casse-Perrot C, Zaim M, Micallef J, Tisne-Versailles J, Sokoloff P, Chopin P, Marien M. Effects of dimethylaminoethanol pyroglutamate (DMAE p-Glu) against memory deficits induced by scopolamine: evidence from preclinical and clinical studies. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009 Dec;207(2):201-12. doi 10.1007/s00213-009-1648-7. Epub 2009 Sep 16. PMID: 19756528.