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Clayton's Health Facts: DMAE.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.

1. What are they and where do they come from?

DMAE - Dimethylaminoethanol - is an antioxidant and a precursor of the neurotransmitter Acetycholine (ACh). Acetycholine is responsible for feelings of well-being and relaxation.

It plays an important role in the onset of a dreaming state. DMAE is available in supplement form. It can be consumed orally, or used as a cream topically.

2. What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?

Although the science has not yet reached a conclusive, supportable, position on the exact function(s) of DMAE, anecdotal evidence suggests that DMAE supplementation is very beneficial. For example, anecdotal evidence indicates that DMAE may be appropriate for cosmetic purposes, due to its ability to reduce facial sag. DMAE may be helpful in improving memory and learning ability.

DMAE supplementation has been known to increase energy levels, as well as alleviate the symptoms typically following the consumption of large quantities of alcohol. Supplementing with DMAE can also offset the symptoms associated with long-term use of antipsychotic drugs.1 It may also have positive benefits for dreaming and mood stabilization.2,3

3. Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?

There are no known symptoms of deficiency. Everyone can benefit from supplementing with DMAE. Populations that may benefit most from the supplementation of DMAE include: The Elderly, Athletes, persons on antipsychotic medication, children suffering from down syndrome and attention deficit disorder (ADD), and individuals who wish to use DMAE for its cosmetic applications.

Elderly persons are at an increased risk of developing depression. The onset of depression in elderly populations can be caused by a number of factors. DMAE can help alleviate or prevent symptoms of depression because of its ability to stabilize emotions and increase energy.

Increased energy levels are something that athletes require. High-intensity physical activity is very demanding. By supplementing with DMAE, athletes may notice shorter recovery times and improved athletic performance. DMAE also plays a role in muscle contractions (by being a precursor to ACh).4

Person suffering from psychiatric conditions, children with attention deficit disorder and persons with down syndrome, may find that, due to its ability to stabilize moods and improve behavior, DMAE is a worthwhile substance to add to their treatment programs.

DMAE, as mentioned, also has a cosmetic application. While it is not a "facelift in a bottle", DMAE can serve to tighten the skin when applied topically. This may reduce signs of aging. Individuals with a PABA (Para-Amino-benzoic-acid) allergy should avoid supplementing with DMAE because DMAE is a chemical relative of PABA.

4. How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?

DMAE is non-toxic and is safe for human use. However, it is recommended that label directions always be followed. Overdosing with DMEA can result in insomnia, headaches and muscle tension. Persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease, depression, or other psychiatric conditions should consult a physician prior to supplementing with DMAE.

5. Where can I get it?

There are different brand names that manufacture supplemental DMAE.

Written by writer, Clayton South.


1. Kazamatsuri H, Chien C, Cole JO. Therapeutic approaches to tardive dyskinesia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1972;27:491-9.
2. Sergio W. Use of DMAE (2-dimethylaminoethanol) in the induction of lucid dreams. Med Hypotheses 1988;26:255-7.
3. Dimpfel W, Wedekind W, Keplinger I.Efficacy of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) containing vitamin-mineral drug combination on EEG patterns in the presence of different emotional states.Eur J Med Res. 2003 May 30;8(5):183-91.
4. Myers, D.G. (2001). Psychology: sixth edition. New York, NY: Worth Publishers. P. 52