[Paleopsych] DMAE

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Sat Apr 23 15:23:34 UTC 2005

DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol, is a compound found in high levels in 
anchovies and sardines. Small amounts of it are also naturally produced in 
the human brain. Health-food outlets sell it in capsule form to "boost 
brain power." It probably won't make you smarter, but some evidence 
suggests it may have benefits against the impulsive and disruptive 
behaviors caused by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It may 
also have a role in treating memory lapses and Alzheimer's disease, as well 
as some troubling movement disorders.

The supplement has an interesting history. Initially, drug makers were 
interested in selling the product as a medication for attention deficit 
disorder when studies in the 1970s showed that deanol, the chemical name 
for DMAE, reduced hyperactivity and improved concentration in 
schoolchildren with learning disabilities and behavior problems. However, 
when further testing was deemed too expensive, it was packaged as a 
nutritional supplement, since this substance is naturally found in fish.

Health Benefits

Because it steps up production of brain chemicals essential for short-term 
memory, concentration, and learning capacity, DMAE may aid in the treatment 
of ADHD and other disorders affecting the brain and central nervous system.


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