What You Should Know
DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol is an organic compound commonly used in paint thinners, water treatment, and polyurethanes. In the weight loss industry, there is no connection between DMAE and weight loss, though some studies claim increased life span and alertness. Studies are currently underway testing DMAE as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
List of Ingredients
Dimethylaminoethanol, also known as dimethylethanolamine, N,N-dimethyl-2-aminoethanol, beta-dimethylaminoethyl alcohol, beta-hydroxyethyldimethylamine and Deanol.
A quick search for DMAE will return more than 2 million listings. Many of these listings are for vitamin companies selling DMAE for dietary supplementation. General Nutrition Center, or GNC, a leader in supplement and vitamin sales, lists DMAE as a memory booster that increases choline. Choline is the foundation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain.
TwinLab offers DMAE-H that lists weight loss as one of the benefits of the supplement. The supplement is available in liquid form and contains PABA, para-aminobenzoic acid. There is no link between either DMAE or PABA that would support the claim of weight loss. PABA is commonly used to treat skin conditions and may be linked to allergic reactions suffered under general anesthesia.
Topical DMAE is also marketed for skin tightening and anti-aging. There is no scientific data supporting this claim either. Dieters and consumers in general, may want to stay away from products claiming any benefits other than those that are memory related.
Several websites list warnings about taking DMAE with certain medical conditions. These include schizophrenia, epilepsy, and bipolar disorder or manic depression. There is no reason given for the warning.
DMAE supplements range in strength from 250 mg to more than 1,000 mg per dose. While there is no known toxic levels for DMAE, side effects of high doses have been reported. Side effects may include insomnia, muscle tension, and headaches. Supplements are generally priced around the $5 to $10 mark.
- May boost memory.
- Low cost.
- Available online from a variety of sources.
- No known toxicity level.
- No clinical support for DMAE use in weight loss.
- Many DMAE claims are unfounded.
- Supplements range in doses from 250 to 1,000 mg or more – could be confusing to dieters.
- Weight loss claims are unfounded.
- Side effects can affect normal daily life.
- Some supplements contain PABA, which may be linked to allergic reactions.
DMAE is a widely sold supplement that is none essential in the body. Most claims link DMAE supplementation to increasing memory or boosting brain functions and there may be some clinical evidence to support these claims. Other products site weight loss as a benefit of taking DMAE, but that claim is unfounded. Dieters should beware of products containing PABA as toxicity can occur and allergic reactions may be more common than reported.