DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol, Deanol, Deaner) – is an amine that is naturally produced in small amounts in our brain.
High levels of DMAE are also found in seafood such as anchovies and sardines. DMAE is thought to work by increasing the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is critical in helping nerve cells transmit signals. Acetylcholine helps regulate many functions controlled by the brain, including REM sleep, muscle contractions, and pain responses. DMAE is currently available as a dietary supplement in tablets, capsules, powders, liquids, and for topical use in creams and gels.
Common Benefits of DMAE
DMAE Supplement Has a Neuroprotective Effect
Lipofuscin is a substance that accumulates in brain cells during life, which can be, simplified, defined as cellular waste. In fact, this waste product is a pigment that causes brown spots on the skin.
Lipofuscin is hidden in the cells of all body tissues, including the neurons of the nerve nodes and brain, eyes, kidneys, liver, heart, adrenal glands. It is not uncommon for DMAE users to claim that the supplement results in improved vision. This effect of vision may be the ability of DMAE to help remove waste products such as lipofuscin from those cellular structures found in the organs of vision. The mechanism for removing lipofuscin has been demonstrated in laboratory animal studies.
The researchers used the injection of Centrophenoxine, which in the human body breaks down to DMAE, increasing its content in 17-month-old female mice. The animals were injected every day for 3 months.
Scientists investigated changes in the pigment layers of the retina in mice. As a result, a significant decrease in the content of lipofuscin pigment was found in the treated animals. 
DMAE Supplements Improve Alertness and Mood
Some users report that DMAE improves alertness, focus, mood, and energy while alleviating symptoms of depression. German research may explain where this sense of well-being comes from when taking DMAE. This double blind, placebo-controlled study involved 80 people (equally men and women). During the study, the analysis of the electrical reaction of their brain was carried out during the demonstration of five video clips lasting 7 minutes, followed by a pause of 3 minutes for each of them. This procedure was repeated after 6 and 12 weeks of regular DMAE or placebo intake.
Subjects who took DMAE for 3 months developed significantly less theta and alpha brain waves. Decreases in theta and alpha brain waves are associated with increased alertness and attention.
DMAE patients were more active and more positive about their condition. Scientists have concluded that DMAE can induce a state of better health. 
It Has Anti-Aging Effects
As we get older, the biochemical processes in our brain and the intensity of energy exchange undergo changes: decreased focus, working memory, and executive function. Cholinergic receptors degenerate.
The use of the DMAE supplement counteracts this by increasing choline and stimulating cholinergic receptors, which can lead to an increase in acetylcholine. Elevated acetylcholine levels affect learning and memory, aids memory coding, and enhances concentration.
With age, the accumulation of lipofuscin and free radicals in the neurons of the brain increases. Free radicals can damage DNA, disrupt cellular metabolism, and induce the formation of oxygen species that kill brain cells.
Separate studies have shown that DMAE has the ability to effectively scavenge free radicals. 
DMAE has been found to reduce the rate of amyloid-beta formation in the brain, which is implicated in diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 
Too much amyloid-beta is associated with age-related decline and memory loss. In a long-standing experiment, 14 senile outpatients were given a drug containing DMAE for 4 weeks, the dosage of which was gradually increased to 600 mg/day.
10 patients had overall improvement, and in 4, nothing has changed. The overall Sandoz Clinical Assessment-Geriatric (SCAG) score was reduced by the third week, primarily as a result of decreased depression, irritability, and anxiety, and increased motivation-initiative. 
DMAE cream is also used in skincare products to help reduce age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and even sagging skin. 
Many age-related changes can be triggered by a decrease in DMAE levels due to aging and are related to factors conducive to depression and the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.
DMAE for ADHD Treatment
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children strongly interferes with educational activities and causes various behavioral and communication problems.
One double blind, placebo-controlled study compared the effects of DMAE supplementation with methylphenidate (Ritalin, a drug prescribed for ADHD) in the treatment of this disorder. This study included children (74 people) diagnosed with learning disabilities and hyperactivity.
The subjects received 40 mg of Ritalin, DMAE (at a dosage of 500 mg), or a placebo every day for 3 months. Psychometric tests for behavior, reaction time, and other parameters were performed before and after treatment. Both drugs appeared to be effective in several tests.
The medical team concluded that the use of this supplement significantly improved performance in children diagnosed with learning and behavioral disabilities. 
Another study, which involved 108 children (25 girls and 83 boys), led to similar conclusions regarding the use of DMAE in the treatment of ADHD.
In these experiments, DMAE was found to improve the behavior of children (2/3 of boys and 3/4 of girls were positive). Improved concentration, decreased irritability and hyperactivity, improved academic performance, and in some cases, even increased IQ. 
That is, DMAE may be a natural alternative to medications for ADHD.
Dosage and Safety
The recommended dosage of DMAE is 100-600 mg per day, and it is better to start the intake at a minimum value and increase it gradually. DMAE nootropic supplements are usually marketed in the form of bitartrate. The DMAE bitartrate is only 37% of the DMAE, and the remaining approximately 67% is tartaric acid.
It is best to take your dose in the morning before or during breakfast. It is also recommended that you use DMAE several times a week rather than daily.
The supplement is generally considered non-toxic and safe for intermittent or short term use. If the recommended dose is not exceeded, then there should be no side effects. If the dosage is increased, insomnia, muscle tension, and headaches are possible.
The supplement is not recommended during pregnancy, epilepsy, and bipolar disorder.
- Dylewski D.P., Nandy S., Nandy K. “Effects of Centrophenoxine on lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium of old mice.- Neurobiology of Aging. 1983 Spring;4(1):89-95
- 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.” European Journal of Medical Research. 2003 May 30;8(5):183-91.
- 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.
- Nagy I., Nagy K. “On the role of cross-linking of cellular proteins in aging.- Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. 1980 Sep-Oct;14(1-2):245-51
- Grossman R. “The role of dimethylaminoethanol in cosmetic dermatology.- American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2005;6(1):39-47.
- Lewis J.A, Young R. “Deanol, and methylphenidate in minimal brain dysfunction.- Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 1975 May;17(5):534-40.
- PFEIFFER C.C., JENNEY E.H., GALLAGHER W., SMITH R.P., BEVAN W. Jr., KILLAM K.F., KILLAM E.K., BLACKMORE W. “Stimulant effect of 2-dimethylaminoethanol; possible precursor of brain acetylcholine.- Science. 1957 Sep 27;126(3274):610-1
- Senile dementia: treatment with deanol. S H Ferris, G Sathananthan, S Gershon, C Clark. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1977 Jun;25(6):241-4.
- Healthline – DMAE: Should You Take It?
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