Dimethylglycine Benefits - Exploring the Health Benefits of DMG

Dimethyglycine, sometimes abbreviated DMG, is a chemical produced in the process of using the B-vitamin choline. Choline becomes betaine, and betaine can convert the inflammatory chemical homocysteine into the amino acid methionine. This process also creates dimethylglycine, which becomes the amino acid glycine. In turn, glycine is used to make the antioxidant glutathione, also known as GSH.

Dimethylglycine for Women in Pregnancy

In the bloodstream of pregnant women, choline tends to build up. In the bloodstream of unborn babies, betaine and dimethylglycine tend to build up. Researchers this may be because the unborn baby needs more dimethylglycine to make the glycine to make the GSH to protect its rapidly growing tissues from free radicals. But would it make sense for pregnant mothers to take dimethylglycine for the unborn baby's health?

Healthy Pregnant WomanThe answer is, probably not. The placenta sends choline to the fetus, not dimethylglycine. If a pregnant woman takes a dimethylglycine supplement, the dimethylglycine will build up in the mother's bloodstream, not the unborn child's. Making sure to get enough choline in the mother's diet, however, benefits brain development in the unborn child. Researchers even believe that it may reduce the damage caused by the mother's drinking during pregnancy and Down syndrome.

The needed supplement may be choline. It's not dimethylglycine. Pregnant women may benefit from choline supplements because it is difficult to get all the choline they need from food. An adequate intake of choline during pregnancy is about 600 mg a day. That's hard to get from food alone.

Hard Boiled Egg

Many pregnant women may want to stay on the safe side by taking supplemental CDP-choline-especially if alcohol use and age at conception are concerns.

Dimethylglycine for Autism

If dimethylglycine isn't the supplement needed to protect brain health in the unborn, could it be the supplement needed to protect brain health in the autistic?

Twenty-eight studies have investigating the potential of supplementing with a combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium can help children and adults with autism. Many parents and givers offer dimethyglycine with B6 and magnesium.

The rationale for adding dimethylglycine to B6 and magnesium supplementation is that the body needs B6 and magnesium for brain health. Vitamin B6 is a cofactor for the enzymes the brain needs to regulate dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). Magnesium is needed for enzymes that convert essential amino acids to non-essential amino acids in the brain and elsewhere in the body.

Since magnesium and B6 are needed for the brain to make enzymes that use trimethylglycine to remove an inflammatory substance called homocysteine, these supplements have been given to autistic persons. Sometimes there is considerable improvement in symptoms, and sometimes there is not. Lowering levels of homocysteine in the brain seems to be helpful only when the brain is using tryptophan properly, which in turn has to do with blood sugar levels and other dietary issues. Nonetheless, sometimes parents and caregivers report tremendous improvement after giving these two substances.

Some parents have experimented with giving low doses of dimethylglycine. Three clinical research trials have looked at the potential of using dimethylglycine as a treatment for autism.

The brain converts homocysteine into dimethylglycine and methionine, so it was theorized that building up levels of dimethylglycine, rather than lowering levels of homocysteine, was responsible for improvements in autism. None of the three trials of dimethyglycine showed that it helped.

The benefits of magnesium and vitamin B6 for treating autism don't have to do with increasing dimethylglycine levels. They have to do with decreasing homocysteine levels. However, giving trimethlyglycine, which is also known as betaine, may increase results from magnesium and vitamin B6. Typical doses are:

Anecdotally, about 90% of parents of autistic children who give both magnesium and B6 report positive changes. About 50% of parents report results from adding betaine to the supplement program. There are parents who find that dimethylglycine helps, but it is not as important as these three supplements.

Dimethylglycine for Seizure Disorders

The advice to give dimethylglycine for epilepsy derives from the experience of a single person. A case study reported the progress of a 22-year-old man with profound developmental issues who had 16 to 18 seizures a week despite heavy medication. When his mother began giving him 90 mg of dimethylglyine twice a day after it was suggested it might give him more stamina, his seizures dropped to just three a week. Stopping dimethylglycine caused the seizures to resume.

A follow-up study, however, did not find any benefit of giving 300 to 600 mg dimethyglycine a day in treating seizures. The study was discontinued after just 28 days of treatment, which might not have been long enough, and it is possible that the benefits of dimethylglycine are limited to lower doses. Other studies have found that dimethylglycine limits brain damage caused by seizures after severe allergies to penicillin, so it is possible that it may be helpful in some cases.

Start with a dosage of 50 to no more than 100 mg twice a day for a month, and then increase for another month to see if it helps. Do not discontinue any prescribed medications, and let your doctor know you are using supplemental dimethylglycine. Your experience may help many other people.

And what else is likely to help?

The B vitamins biotin, thiamin, and folic acid, as well as vitamin D and omega-3 essential fatty acids may help. L-carnitine prevents side effects caused by the antiseizure medication Depakote (valproic acid), sometimes labeled as Depakene for children's dosing.

Dimethyglycine Supplements for Birds, Cats, Dogs, and Horses

Dimethyglycine drops are a popular supplement among pet owners. Dimethlyglycine is advertising for use in treating diabetes in both dog and cats, mange in dogs, and feline leukemia. It is also used to treat "doggy Alzheimer's" and "kitty Alzheimer's," age-related eye problems in both dogs and cats, and as a general immune stimulant for birds. It's supposed to increase stamina of race horses, too. But does it really work?

Despite the lack of any evidence of benefit, dimethyglycine is a very popular supplement for birds, cats dogs, and horses. We at least know from 20 years of widespread use that it is not harmful to them. The more important question is, if dimethylglycine does not work, what does?

Animals have nutritional requirements that are quite different from humans. Here is a list of supplements that don't work, followed by a list of supplements that do.

And the veterinary supplements that actually do work?

How can you provide the animals in your life with these supplements? That is a bigger topic than I can cover in this article, but you can download free reports on nutrition for dogs, nutrition for cats, nutrition for birds, and nutrition for horses from this site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is dimethylglycine useful for treating high homocysteine levels?

A. No, the supplement used for treating high homocysteine (it's FDA approved in the United States) is trimethylglycine, also known as betaine. Dimethylglycine is what is left after trimethlyglycine removes homocysteine from circulation.