What is N,N-Dimethylglycine (DMG) Hydrochloride?
N,N-dimethylglycine (DMG) is an n-methylated derivative of the amino acid glycine. Researchers discovered DMG in 1943 as part of the pangamic acid (vitamin B15) structure. Pangamate B15 owed much of its biological activity to its DMG content, and researchers initially referred to it as vitamin B16. However, it isn’t a true vitamin, as the body can synthesize it in the citric acid cycle. DMG can also form by dropping one of the methyl groups from trimethylglycine (TMG) or as a byproduct during choline metabolism. It occurs naturally in plants and some foods, including cereal grains, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, and beans. DMG HCl is the combination of the amino acid with a hydrochloride salt to improve its stability.
Potential DMG Benefits
Athletes consume DMG as a pre-workout supplement, as it may improve exercise performance. Animal studies show that dimethylglycine reduced lactic acid buildup in response to extreme physical stress. One proposed mechanism of action is that DMG improves oxygen utilization. Muscles need more oxygen during exercise, and their oxygenation status has a direct correlation to exercise fatigue. When the body doesn’t have enough oxygen to energize the muscles, it produces lactate. It can use lactic acid for energy without the need for oxygen, but everybody has a lactate threshold. Once the body reaches this point, it produces lactate faster than it can clear it. Unbuffered lactic acid hinders exercise performance, as it makes individuals feel nauseous and forces them to stop. More oxygen and less lactic acid may improve energy during exercise, too. DMG may expedite muscle recovery as well.
DMG may help support the immune system. Human and animal studies have shown that DMG supplements stimulate the immune response. A human study found that DMG normalized, restored, and potentiated lymphocytes’ (white blood cells) mitogenic responses. Mitogen-stimulated immune responses are a benchmark of healthy immune cell function. Research also shows that DMG positively influenced the humoral immune response in addition to cell-mediated immunity. Humoral immunity produces antibodies that are antigen-specific and is critical for protecting the body against bacteria.
Potential DMG Side Effects
Most individuals can take DMG supplements without experiencing side effects. Several studies examined DMG’s effects and reported no side effects. DMG synergizes with other energy-enhancing amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, such as vitamins B6 and B12.
- Meduski, J. W., et al.. 1980. “Decrease of lactic acid concentration in blood of animals given N,N-dimethylglycine.” Presented at Pacific Slope Biomedical Conference, Univ. of California, San Diego, (1980) 7-9.
- Moffitt, P., et al. “Venous lactic acid levels in exercising horses fed N, N-DMG.” Proceedings of the 9th Equine Nutrition and Physiology Symposium, E., Lansing, Michigan. 1985.
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