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
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".
"Man who say it
cannot be done should not interrupt man doing it."
- Chinese Proverb
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