DMAE Review – Uses , Benefits , Effects

DMAE, abbreviated for Dimethylaminoethanol, is a nootropic well-known for its effects as an antioxidant and anti-aging agent. DMAE has been in the market as a dietary supplement and seems to offer potential treatment for Alzheimer's as well as improve memory, cognition, learning, etc. Read through the end to know more about it!

No matter if you are a fan of nootropics or not, you must be knowing the importance of Acetylcholine in the body. 

From our memory, cognition, and learning to carrying out bodily movements, all of this is owing to the neurotransmission carried out by Acetylcholine. 

Lower levels of Acetylcholine is linked with age-related cognitive decline, weakened brain activity, and other neurological disorders. Only, for this reason, many nootropics that you come across either upregulate the production of Acetylcholine or contain choline itself. 

One such nootropic that we are talking about today is a choline-analogous compound as well named Dimethylaminoethanol, in short DMAE. 

With limited research and substantial user experiences, DMAE seems to work pretty well in boosting Acetylcholine in the body. 

Let’s dig into more details and see if DMAE can become a go-to nootropic for you! 

What is DMAE?

DMAE, abbreviated for dimethylaminoethanol, is well known in the market under the brand names Deaner and Deanol. 

Structurally, this compound is analogous to choline, but with one less methyl group attached to it. This organic compound contains 2 functional groups, which are tertiary amine and primary alcohol functional groups, thus giving it dual properties (1). 

This colorless viscous liquid is produced in small quantities in our brain. It is also found naturally in fatty fish, such as sardines and salmon.

Previously, DMAE was sold as a prescription drug by the name Deaner and was supervised by Riker Laboratories.

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How Does it Work?

Because there is quite limited research regarding the pharmacodynamics of DMAE, the mechanism of action is not fully understood. However, it is believed to work in the following ways:

 

 

Scavenges Free Radicals and Reduces Lipofuscin Buildup

Studies have found that DMAE protects membrane fluidity by protecting against protein cross-linking and iron-induced oxidation, hence protecting membrane fluidity. 

It is thought that this ability to scavenge hydroxyl (OH) free radicals could explain its anti-aging effects as well. This scavenging of free radicals makes this compound a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect your brain from the anti-cognitive effects of aging (2).

Lipofuscin, also known as the “age pigment,” is set free when neurons die due to aging (3). This waste product is not easily broken down and is thought to be involved in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease as well as general cognitive decline. It’s lipofuscin that is responsible for brown spots that appear on the skin as people get older.

This pigment is also involved in degenerative eye diseases such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. This may be why some neurohackers report improved vision quality when supplementing with this drug.

Choline and Acetylcholine (ACh)

Studies have found that supplementation with DMAE increases the free choline found in the brain and blood and also boosts the production of the neurotransmitter ACh. 

As a precursor to choline, this nootropic allows the brain to boost the production of ACh and improve neurotransmission. 

Alters Brain Wave Activity

In a human study on mood and emotional states, it was found that supplementation with DMAE led to reduced alpha and theta brain wave activity.

This kind of change in brain waves has previously been found to boost focus and determination in humans.

Benefits of DMAE

As DMAE upregulates the production of Acetylcholine, most of the benefits are concerned with improved memory, enhanced cognition, and optimal learning capabilities. But research also suggests that DMAE may be beneficial in treating neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. 

Let’s dig into more details and see if the benefits are worth the risk.   

Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease and Enhanced Vision

It has been found that DMAE supplementation may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and may even help improve the symptoms of those who already have it.

These benefits are largely due to DMAE reducing lipofuscin buildup. Lipofuscin buildup is linked to both AD and degenerative eye diseases.

Not only this but DMAE is also known to prevent the buildup of Beta-Amyloid, a pigment usually found at higher levels in people diagnosed with age-related disorders and dementia (4). 

Many users who take DMAE report improved and clearer vision as well. 

Improving Memory

One of the most common reasons to supplement this nootropic is to improve memory formation.

Memory formation is dependent upon sufficient ACh levels in the brain. By boosting ACh levels, DMAE is thought to have a positive influence on memory in healthy adults. 

ACh is the primary neurotransmitter responsible for memory and learning. When ACh levels are increased in healthy adults, memory is likely to improve along with it. ACh is particularly important for the formation of new memories within the hippocampus.

When memory formation is improved, it can also help to overall increase learning ability. This is particularly useful for students or those who need to learn skills daily.

Smoother Skin

One of the studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology reports that the subjects administered with DMAE experienced an improvement in skin texture and face became more firm and overall sagging was overcome (5). 

Perhaps DMAE may help in the hydration of skin, thus leading to more glowing and fullness of the face. 

Clear Dreams

This supplement has been reported by many neurohackers to induce lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming occurs when you are aware of what you are dreaming and you have control over what happens. 

Many report lucid dreaming to not only be enjoyable but also capable of boosting creativity, mood, and problem-solving.

How exactly DMAE elicits this response is not well understood, however, it is hypothesized that this effect could be due to an increase in ACh, which is associated with sleep regulation.

Treating ADHD and ADD

Some of the most profound benefits confirmed in human clinical trials revolve around the use of DMAE for the treatment of ADHD. These studies took part in the 1970s, with numerous studies concluding that DMAE helped to improve hyperactivity and encourage concentration in children with ADHD (6).

In one of these studies, it was even found that DMAE had similar efficacy to Ritalin but without as many negative side effects.

Unfortunately, shortly after these studies provided promising results, research into the effect of this drug on ADHD halted as the drug lost its prescription status. 

Brain Fog

Many nootropic users report an improvement in mental clarity and a reduction of brain fog when supplementing with this compound. This benefit may also be correlated to an increase in ACh levels.

Energy, Attention, and Mood

Those who use DMAE report experiencing fewer depression symptoms along with improved focus, determination, and energy. There are numerous mechanisms that may be at play when it comes to these nootropic benefits.

Participants in a human study on the effect of DMAE on emotional states found that supplementation for three months led to improved attention and vigilance (7). These same subjects also reported feeling better and being more active in their everyday lives following supplementation.

The researchers believe that this impact might be due to a change in the electrical pattern of brain wave activity by reducing alpha and theta brain wave activity in particular.

Additionally, by enhancing the levels of the ACh neurotransmitter, DMAE may have slightly stimulatory effects as well. 

It is also hypothesized that using DMAE may help to boost dopamine levels, which would result in improvements in focus and mood. However, more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. 

Is DMAE Legal? 

DMAE has been in the market for a long now as it was commonly available as a prescription drug. However, it was discontinued owing to better alternatives available in the market. 

Nonetheless, it is now widely sold as a dietary supplement and is FDA approved as well. You can easily find it from any top vendors and start using it! 

Forms of DMAE

Because DMAE is now largely sold as a dietary supplement, you will find both the capsules and powder forms of DMAE. 

Depending on your preferred form of intake, you can either buy the capsules or the powdered form. 

Dosage and Cycling 

The precise dosage details will depend upon the use of intake, for example, someone might be using it purely for nootropic effects while someone else might be using it to treat and manage their neurological conditions. Not only this, research suggests that the optimal dosage may also depend on factors, such as age, gender, prior medical history, etc. 

Nonetheless, whatever the use maybe, there are no fixed dosage guidelines as it is not an approved drug. 

Mostly the optimal usage and dosage recommendations are derived from user experiences and limited clinical studies that have been done as of yet. 

The dietary supplemental form of this compound is available as DMAE bitartrate. Different clinical studies have administered different dosages into the subjects. As low as 200mg/day to as high as 1600mg/day is generally seen as safe and well-tolerated. 

It’s best to not take this supplement daily, but rather every other day in the morning, or on another cycle, such as 5 days on and 2 days off. It can be taken with or without food.

It is recommended to start at the lowest dosage of 200 mg/day split into two doses and increase until you notice improvements.

Again, the best available option is to consult your physician who will manipulate al the confounding factors, and then suggest an ideal dose for you. 

Side Effects and Interactions

The most common side effects when taking this supplement include:

  1. Skin Irritability
  2. Eye irritation
  3. Insomnia 
  4. High blood pressure
  5. Headaches 
  6. Muscle twitching
  7. Confusion
  8. Vivid dreams 
  9. Digestive upset 

There are some drugs that DMAE can interfere with. These include anticholinergic drugs, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors, cholinergic drugs as well as anticoagulants.

Who Shouldn’t use DMAE? 

People who should not take this supplement include women who are pregnant or want to conceive anytime soon because one of the studies has found an association between DMAE and neural tube defects, such as Spina Bifida. 

Patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders such as epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are also advised to not take DMAE. 

DMAE User Experiences

An anonymous user said, 

“The first time I had DMAE was a rather incredible experience,”

u/Neuropharma said, 

“If I take it in the a.m I feel the effects throughout the day. The benefits include Sharpness of mind, far better attention, improved reading speed/ comprehension, better social interactions, and less need for sleep. I feel like my brain is turned on like someone increased the volume. My workouts are more focused and it seems like virtually every aspect of my life has improved.”

Another anonymous user says, 

“the best thing: sleep is amazing. I find myself going to sleep most nights around 12 pm. It used to be the typical struggle to get up in the morning, usually only giving myself 15-30 minutes to get to work. The past week, when the DMAE started kicking in, I was up at 7 am of my own accord (an hour ahead of my alarm) with LOTS of energy. It was like I was awake, I knew it, and the day must begin.

My dreams have been picking back up again, too. While the memories in the morning aren’t vivid, the imprints are there and I know that I’ve been doing a lot in a dreamworld.”

Few users experienced adverse effects as well. Let’s see what they have to offer:

“My eyes would start to hurt after taking DMAE. It’s in sardines and I’ve never had a problem getting it from food.”

One of the users reported a loss in libido or sexual urges as well as he said, 

“I also near completely lost my libido.”

So it seems that there may be side effects but the general anecdotal evidence speaks volumes about the effectiveness of the nootropic. 

DMAE Stack 

DMAE and L-Theanine

L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, is known to improve focus, enhance vision, and boost memory. It can also reduce anxiety and inhibit the increase in blood pressure that often accompanies anxiety.

As two of the common side effects of DMAE are elevated blood pressure and anxiety, stacking these two compounds together may help to reduce the negative side effects caused by this nootropic.

DMAE and Acetyl L-Carnitine

Acetyl L-Carnitine, also known as ALCAR, is converted into acetyl-COA, which binds with choline to produce ACh. As DMAE provides a source of choline, taking these two nootropics together can help to further boost the levels of ACh in your brain. This can enhance the benefits that you’ll experience when it comes to improved memory and learning abilities.

Outside of their both working on the cholinergic system, these two nootropics boast different benefits and pathways. Taking both can add additional benefits that you will not get by supplementing with just one.

Where to Buy DMAE?

You may not find DMAE at your local pharmacy. Perhaps the best option available is to buy through one of our trusted vendors that we completely vouch for! 

DMAE by Nootropics Depot 

As stated earlier, DMAE is sold as a DMAE Bitartrate supplement, and Nootropics depot offers you both the available forms, capsules and powder. 
DMAE L-Bitartrate powder is either available in 125g or 250g, thus depending on your cycling duration, you can buy either one of them. The powder form is available at a price range of $14.99 to $19.99. 
On the other hand, DMAE L-Bitartrate capsules comprising 350mg are available in 60ct and 180ct. This comes at a cost of $15.99 to $29.99. 
With same-day shipping and free standard worldwide mail shipping on orders above $200, Nootropics depot offers a lot in very considerable price range. 
Considering so much of positive and satisfied reviews from the customers, I would definitely recommend Nootropics depot any time of the day. .

Pros

  • Powder and Capsules both available 
  • Multiple power variants available 
  • Satisfied customers 

Cons

  • Can’t be delivered to Australia and Ireland 
  • May be out of stock sometimes   

DMAE by Nootropics Depot 

As stated earlier, DMAE is sold as a DMAE Bitartrate supplement, and Nootropics depot offers you both the available forms, capsules and powder. 

DMAE L-Bitartrate powder is either available in 125g or 250g, thus depending on your cycling duration, you can buy either one of them. The powder form is available at a price range of $14.99 to $19.99. 

On the other hand, DMAE L-Bitartrate capsules comprising 350mg are available in 60ct and 180ct. This comes at a cost of $15.99 to $29.99. 

With same-day shipping and free standard worldwide mail shipping on orders above $200, Nootropics depot offers a lot in very considerable price range. 

Considering so much of positive and satisfied reviews from the customers, I would definitely recommend Nootropics depot any time of the day. 

Pros: 

  1. Powder and Capsules both available 
  2. Multiple power variants available 
  3. Satisfied customers 

Cons: 

  1. Can’t be delivered to Australia and Ireland 
  2. May be out of stock sometimes   

DMAE vs Other Compounds 

Centrophenoxine vs DMAE

The biggest problem while supplementing DMAE is that it is not highly bioavailable and doesn’t easily pass through the blood-brain barrier. If you’re looking for a highly bioavailable source of this compound that can enter the brain and exhibits even better nootropic effects, you might have to start using centrophenoxine.

Centrophenoxine is made up of DMAE paired with parachlorophenoxyacetate (pCPA), and when taken, it will break down and deliver DMAE to your body. PCPA is an absorption enhancer that allows DMAE to more easily cross the blood-brain barrier. As a nootropic, it has been shown to increase focus, concentration, and energy, and protect against age-related cognitive decline.

In an animal study, it was found that centrophenoxine was twice as effective as DMAE at increasing the levels of choline in the brain.

Because of the increased absorption, any of the benefits associated with supplementing DMAE are even more noticeable when supplementing with centrophenoxine.

Faqs about DMAE 

  1. Can you take DMAE every day?

For example, in a study examining the athletic performance benefits of DMAE, study participants took 300 to 2000 mg of Deanol per day.

  1. Will DMAE make you fail a drug test?

Under GC/MS testing, DMAA will never produce a positive result for amphetamines or any other drug tested by the DoD.

  1. Does DMAE tighten skin?

If we talk about its use in dermo-cosmetic products for skincare, the DMAE is a great ally to fight against visible signs of aging thanks to its tightening and firming action that also provides great hydration to the skin and improves the spots, unifying the skin tone.

  1. What foods contain DMAE?

Seafood such as salmon, oysters, rainbow trout, mackerel, tuna, halibut, sardines, and anchovies contain high amounts of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE).

  1. Is DMAE safe in pre-workout?

As DMAE is teratogenic, this is high up on our list of worst pre-workout ingredients.

  1. Is DMAE oil-soluble?

DMAE is water-soluble, so ideally it should be added during the water phase of an emulsion. You can add it to a finished product, but there’s a greater chance it will form small granules you can feel when applying.

1) https://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi/searchId.do?printerFriendlyView=true&locale=null&chebiId=271436&viewTermLineage=null&structureView=&#:~:text=Dimethylethanolamine%20(DMAE%20or%20DMEA)%20is,taken%20orally%20as%20a%20nootropic.
2) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22300295/
3) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15585347/
4) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/864168/
5) https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00128071-200506010-00005
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1092513/
6) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12844472/

Kartik Kumar Rathi

Kartik is a Doctor in training currently in his second year of medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming a successful cardiologist, he currently contributes to health blogs, research papers and also founded a social health startup to help educate others.

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