Dimethylglycine, also known as DMG, is a natural substance found in both plant and animal cells, and is derived from the amino acid glycine (see reference 1 under Clinical Summary para 1). As a supplement, it is purported to offer a number of health benefits, from enhancing physical performance to improving behavior in children with autism and attention deficit disorder. However, the evidence to support these claims is lacking, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (see reference 1 under Mechanism of Action).
How DMG Works
The body produces DMG in the cells by breaking down choline (see reference 1 under Clinical Summary). In the body, it acts as an antioxidant and improves oxygenation of the cells (see reference 1 under Clinical Summary). The thought is that taking DMG as a supplement may further enhance oxygenation, which improves athletic performance (see reference 1 under Clinical Summary). It is also thought to act as a neurological stimulator, which is why it has gained popularity in the autism community (see reference 1 under Clinical Summary). According to an October 2009 review article on the use of complementary medicine in autism published in "Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics," the two clinical trials testing the use of DMG on children with autism showed no positive effect or improvement in behavior (see reference 2 under DMG).
DMG is considered a safe and non-toxic substance, according to MSKCC (see reference 1 under Clinical Summary). If you're supplementing your diet with DMG, be sure to inform your doctor to monitor for any potential side effects or interactions. Additionally, while it's safe to take DMG, do not rely on it as a cure or treatment for any illness.