DMAE is a naturally occurring chemical compound related to choline.
It is found in fish. Salmon sardines and anchovies are particularly rich in DMAE.
The compound is processed by the liver into choline. It is reported to have nootropic effects.
Research on this chemical has found both positive and negative potential results.
Small amounts of it are also naturally produced in the human brain. This plays some vital functions such as protecting and strengthening cell membranes. The weakening of cell membranes can lead to premature aging.
Its supplements come in form of tablet, liquid, cream and capsule. The supplements may not work for everybody. They are also not intended as a cure to any problem but they are safe and may be helpful.
Short-term studies show an increase in vigilance and alertness, with a positive influence on mood.
It is said to counter depression and even increase intelligence.
Some evidence suggests it may have benefits against the impulsive and disruptive behaviours caused by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
It may also have a role in treating memory lapses and Alzheimer's disease as well as some movement disorders.
It steps up production of brain chemicals such as acetylcholine that is essential for short-term memory, concentration, and learning capacity.
It is for this reason that it helps in the treatment of ADHD and other disorders affecting the brain and central nervous system.
People taking DMAE often report sleeping better and having more energy while awake.
It also promotes healthy skin by preventing the manufacture of arachidonic acid, a substance that leads to the formation of wrinkles.
There is no evidence that human beings can suffer from a deficiency of DMAE.
In summary, the following are its reported benefits:
DMAE Side Effects
Reported side effects include drowsiness and increased confusion in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It can over-stimulate the nervous system and cause headaches, tense muscles, or insomnia. However, these side effects are uncommon.
Weight loss and insomnia may occur. Some patients have reported lucid dreams.
The evidence of long-term effects seems inconclusive. Some studies showed DMAE to increase the lifespan of animals in which it was tested.
Others studies indicate a possible reduction in the life span of quail and there is uncertainty of whether this could be extrapolated to humans.
It is possible dosage is a major factor as a determinant of its overall effects. A high dosage could produce opposite effects than sought and contribute to life shortening.
The supplement's effectiveness for alzheimer's and other memory disorders has also been questioned.