How many of the alleged benefits of dimethylaminoethanol are for real and how much of the hype is pure marketing gimmick from supplement companies, is something that needs to be investigated. Let us have a better look!
Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE, Deanol) is a an endogenous chemical produced in the human brain. By a combination of increasing acetylcholine (Ach) secretion and suppressing its destruction, DMAE increases levels of Ach in the brain. Researchers believe that this DMAE-induced enhanced Ach levels result in improved memory, learning and attention. Additionally, it has been shown to:
Rich, natural sources of DMAE are fishes like Anchovies, Salmon, Sardines, Squid.
Industrial applications of DMAE includes its use as a flocculent agent in water treatment plants, for surface coating and as a corrosion-inhibiting agent (NYU Langone Medical Center, 2013).
The minimum effective doses of DMAE for improving exercise performance or causing weight loss have not been defined; you will have to go with whatever doses the manufacturers recommend on the tub!
Although, most clinical trials have reported the safety of DMAE (NYU Langone Medical Center, 2013), mild adverse effects may yet occur; these are (Sergio, 1988; Haug & Holzgraefe, 1991; Fisman, Mersky, & Helmes, 1981):
Caution should be observed by those with a history of convulsive disorders. Also, since therapeutic as well as safety index for DMAE has not been defined (NYU Langone Medical Center, 2013), it is contraindicated in children, during pregnancy or lactation and in those with hepatic (liver) or renal (kidney) disease (NYU Langone Medical Center, 2013; CalorieLab, 2013).
Controversy surrounds the ability of DMAE to increase Ach levels and therefore its alleged benefits. Some researchers suggest that DMAE may in fact not any influence on Ach levels in brain (Zahniser, Chou, & Hanin, 1977).
Therapeutic applications of DMAE are centred around its ability to cause improved attention and memory. Some conditions in which DMAE treatment may be of benefit are:
Although DMAE finds use in these conditions, the evidence in support is contradictory; with some studies reporting positive association while others suggesting that DMAE may be only as effective as placebo (Zahniser et al., 1977; Knobel, 1974; Fisman et al., 1981; Ferris, Sathananthan, Gershon, & Clark, 1977; Alphs & Davis, 1982; Caraceni, Girotti, Celano, Parati, & Balboni, 1978; Tarsy & Bralower, 1977; Re’, 1974).
Similarly, since doubt has been cast over DMAE’s ability to enhance Ach levels in brain, its ability to increase energy levels and cause reduction in body weight have also come under the scanner.
Also, although touted to cause ‘enhance performance, use of DMAE in competitive athletes is also ridden with risk. DMAE belongs to the nootropic class of drugs – drugs that enhance cognitive functions. These allegedly act by improving cerebral blood circulation and hence may be of benefit in improving exercise performance (Docherty, 2008).
Although DMAE itself isn’t on the ‘banned list’, Meclofenoxate (centrophenoxine) – a combination of DMAE and paracholorphenoxyacetate (Sweetman, 2007) – has been banned for in-competition use by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Docherty, 2008) on account of its specific stimulant and performance enhancing properties (WADA, 2013).
Meclofenoxate apparently increases plasma choline (Wood & Peloquin, 1982) and Ach levels (Georgiev, Petkov, & Kirilov, 1979). Additionally, it also stimulates acetylcholinesterase enzyme (Sharma & Singh, 1995); destruction of Ach is suppressed thereby increasing the time duration of Ach action.
Considering that controversy exists regarding the ability of DMAE to cause elevation in Ach levels and indeed its weight-reducing abilities, it cannot be recommended for use as a weight-loss supplement. Additionally, DMAE (as Meclofenoxate) finds itself on the ‘banned list’ of substances. Hence, although quite safe, there seems to be very little justification (due to lack of effectiveness) for its use.
Going by current evidence, we recommend against the use of dimethylaminoethanol as a weight-reducing agent.
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.