Anti Aging Today


DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) is a natural amino alcohol and a precursor to choline and acetylcholine in the brain. DMAE naturally occurs in fish, especially sardines, herring and anchovies. Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D. introduced DMAE in 1957 under the trade name Deaner. DMAE by itself is alkaline and caustic, so only salts and esters of DMAE are used in products. Deaner, a prescription drug, is the p-acetamidobenzoate salt of DMAE. The bitartrate and PABA salts of DMAE, which are available in vitamin stores, have the same active constituents.

DMAE is reported to elevate mood, increase intelligence, improve memory and learning, and extend lifespan. DMAE also stabilizes lysosome membranes, preventing the uncontrolled leakage of lysosomal enzymes in the cells and the resulting damage of important intracellular organelles. Some researchers suggest that aging may be triggered by leakage of lysosomal enzymes into the cells and surrounding connective tissue as a result of membrane damage. Another theory proposes that aging is due in part to the accumulation of lipofuscin, or age pigment, a yellowish-brown substance that builds up in the skin and brain cells. DMAE can slow the rate of accumulation of lipofuscin and also speed up its removal.

DMAE and the vitamin choline have similar structures; DMAE is choline with one methyl group removed. Both are reported to increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain, but choline must be processed in the liver first, while DMAE can be transported directly across the blood-brain barrier. This explains why DMAE works more consistently when taken to increase concentration and short-term memory. DMAE supplementation is best started with a small amount and increased gradually. A large dose taken before the body gets used to it could result in a temporary condition of muscle stiffness in the neck and shoulders. This almost never happens at typical doses of DMAE, but as a precaution it's best to increase the dose at weekly intervals.

In three experiments, the drug DMAE ( Dimethylaminoethanol) , sold in the U.S. and Europe under the names Deaner and Lucidril extended the lifespan of mice up to 49.5% when given in the animals' drinking water. In the early 1980s, Riker Laboratories, the manufacturer of DMAE decided to withdraw the drug from the market because of poor sales for its FDA-approved use (hyperactivity in children). Since then, a similar version, commonly sold under the name DMAE has become available as a dietary supplement. The combination of DMAE and the herb gingko has become popular as a cognitive-enhancing therapy or "smart drug".

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