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Back to Herbs eFlash - DMAE



From:  http://www.backtoherbs.net/eflash/0412_dmae.php



DMAE naturally occurs in fish, especially in sardines, herring, and anchovies. It is present in very minute quantities in brain tissue. DMAE is an organic compound; a liquid with a color that ranges from clear to pale yellow. It is an antioxidant and a precursor of the neurotransmitter Acetycholine (ACh). Acetycholine is responsible for feelings of well being and relaxation; it plays an important role in the onset of a dreaming state.

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 is reported to elevate mood, increase intelligence, improve memory and learning, and extend life span. 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 is considered a neurostimulant. It is most commonly used as a mild stimulant that can boost energy without interfering with sleep patterns. DMAE is believed to contribute to increased mental awareness and stamina without the significant side effects of caffeine or amphetamine drugs. In relation to weight loss, DMAE also contributes to heightened metabolism and thermogenesis by boosting energy levels and by helping to reduce body fat stores while building muscle.

There is some evidence that the supplement DMAE may be helpful for ADD, according to studies performed in the 1970s. Two such studies were reported in a review article. Fifty children aged 6 to 12 years who had been diagnosed with hyperkinesia (which would likely be ADHD in today's terms) participated in a double-blind study comparing DMAE to placebo. Evaluations revealed statistically significant test score improvements in the treatment group compared to the placebo group.

Another double-blind study compared DMAE with both Ritalin and placebo in 74 children with "learning disabilities. (It appears that today, the participants would have been given a diagnosis of ADD). The study found significant test score improvement for both treatment groups over a 10-week period.

DMAE has been reported to offer the following benefits:
  • Alleviates the behavioral problems and hyperactivity associated with Attention Deficit Disorder (increases attention span, decreases aggression, improves learning ability and sometimes increases intelligence in 70% of ADD patients).
  • Inhibits and reverses the cross-linking of proteins.
  • Decreases the incidence and severity of hangovers in people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol (subjects reported freedom from the depression or headaches associated with hangovers).
  • Increases the body's production of energy.
  • People who use DMAE supplements report that after 3-4 weeks of DMAE use, they notice a continual mild stimulation of their CNS (central nervous system) without side effects and possibly a boost in energy.
  • Alleviates anxiety.
  • Increases assertiveness.
  • Reduces apathy and increases motivation in persons afflicted with depression.
  • Improves creativity and verbal thinking (fluency).
  • Improves the behavior and mental function of children afflicted with Down's Syndrome.
  • Exerts favorable effects on those chronic dyskinesias (including tardive dyskinesia) that occur as a result of long periods of major tranquilizer use.
  • Increases intelligence; improves learning and memory (especially in children).
  • Elevates mood.
  • Causes dreams to become more lucid (vivid), and users experience sounder sleep.
  • Increases daytime motivation and physical energy in persons afflicted with insomnia.
  • Increases willpower (subjects who previously were unable to stop smoking reported success).
  • Increases acetylcholine levels within the brain.
  • It is a cell wall stabilizer.
  • Apparently removes lipofuscin (accumulation of toxic pigments) from cells, including nerve and brain cells (neurons), and age spots from the skin.
  • Improves free radical scavenging of other antioxidants.
  • Increases life span, including maximum life span, in experimental animals. Has extended life span of older animals.
Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D. introduced DMAE in 1957 under the trade name Deaner. In three experiments the drug 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".

It has been shown that DMAE topically causes some level of skin tightening and facial lifting. Also it is shown to reduce lipofuscin deposits, which are the main cellular pigments found in age spots, or "liver spots." These spots are primarily observed in elderly patients.

DMAE is considered a nutritional supplement and is available in capsules, liquids or powdered forms. DMAE may be added to various formulas designed to boost energy, fight fatigue or burn fat. DMAE supplementation has been known to increase energy levels, as well as alleviate the symptoms typically following the consumption of large quantities of alcohol. Supplementing with DMAE can also offset the symptoms associated with long-term use of antipsychotic drugs. It may also have positive benefits for dreaming and mood stabilization.

DMAE is available in supplement form. It can be consumed orally, or used as a cream topically.

Internal DMAE supplementation is best started with a small amount and increased gradually.

DMAE should not be used by those with epilepsy or those with bipolar disorder (manic depression). Maximum safe dosages for children or for pregnant or nursing mothers have not been established.

Be sure to try NSP's Focus Attention (90 caps) or Focus Attention Powder (3.3 oz.).



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