Although it is often categorized as a food, dimethylglycine is in fact a tertiary amino acid. It is an innate constituent of processes relating to both plant and animal metabolism. Dimethylglycine (DMG) is derived from the simplest of all amino acids, glycine. It is found in abundance in nearly all animal and plant cells, and serves as a transitional in the metabolism and conversion of choline to glycine.
Dimethylglycine’s chemical structure resembles that of a water-soluble vitamin. This may provide information on why it is often labeled as a natural food supplement rather than an amino acid. Classifications of dimethylglycine as a vitamin are discredited, because symptoms associated with a deficiency of DMG are not known to exist.
DMG is absorbed for use by the small intestine. The liver then swiftly converts dimethylglycine into other useful metabolites by means of oxidative dimethylation. DMG serves as a building block to amino acids, hormones, neurotransmitters, and even DNA. It is thought to be a metabolic enhancer and aid in processes associated with those included in cellular respiration, immune response, and oxygen utilization within the body.  Dimethylglcyine may also play equally important roles in the prevention of fatigue and improvements in liver function.
Being a nonessential amino acid, DMG is produced naturally in the body. It is a relatively nontoxic food substance that produces little, or no, residual effects. Dimethylglycine is often obtained from the outer coating of rice, brewer’s yeast, grain, and is found in the majority of all seed products. Information regarding DMG presence in food is quite limited. Consequently, a food graph has been omitted.
Among the most intriguing benefits of dimethylglycine supplementation may be in its use concerning individuals suffering from autism. Cognitive functions, such as speech, attention span, and eye contact, may be noticeably improved by DMG and vitamin B6 supplementation. [2, 3] It may also prove useful in the reduction of seizures in a large number of autistic children and adults.  Research into the beneficial effects of dimethylglycine in autistic persons has been endorsed by the Autism Research Institute.
Immune system function is often inhibited in autistic individuals. Research indicates that DMG may assist in strengthening the immune system in both autistic, and non-autistic individuals. In a recent study conducted on human subjects, DMG increased antibody production by more than 400%.  Dimethylglycine stimulated both branches of the immune system, producing a three to five-fold increase in protective antibody production. These benefits have also been replicated in animal study. 
DMG also acts as a detoxifier within the human body. Studies have shown dimethylglycine to be an enhancer of “oxygen utilization by [both] tissues, and complex free radicals.  It may ultimately be an effective antioxidant which protects the body’s cells from adverse free radical reactions. The antioxidant property found in this anti-stress nutrient, may be extremely compelling in the treatment of systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and melanoma. [7, 8] DMG may aid in the reduction of antinuclear antibodies in lupus, while preventing the metastasis of certain types of cancers as well.
Metabolic enhancements of specific physiological pathways have also shown improvements in function in concurrence with dimethylglycine supplementation. These pathways include the muscular, immune, and cardiovascular systems.  DMG is, accordingly, an ergogenic nutrient which improves the production of energy, thereby possibly enhancing physical stamina.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, athletic performance, and ulcers are among topics of continual research into the benefits of DMG as a nutritional supplement. [10, 11, 12] More research is necessary to accurately assess these claims.
There is no established Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for dimethylglycine. If one wishes to add DMG to his/her diet from an external source, it is often recommended that supplementation of DMG be taken in conjunction with vitamins A, B6, and E. The range for supplementation exists as 50 - 100 milligrams, taken twice daily.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences recommends that healthy people achieve .36 grams of highly bioavailable protein for each pound of bodyweight - equaling 0.8 grams of protein, per kilogram of bodyweight.
A toxicity of dimethylglycine has not been reported in human subjects. Excessive doses may, however, cause mild nausea which lasts for a period of two to three days. More research into the toxicity of DMG supplementation is necessary.
Although a deficiency of DMG is extremely rare, it is theorized that an inadequacy of dimethylglycine levels in the body may promote a diminished capacity in both circulatory and oxygenation functions. Also of importance regarding a deficiency of DMG, is the effect of decreased cellular respiration and probable adverse effects upon the heart and brain.
1. Tonda ME, Hart LL. (1992). N, N dimethylglycine and L-carnitine as performance enhancers in athletes. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 26, 935-937.
2. Rimland B. Seizures, Vitamin B6, DMG, and Sudden Speech. Autism Research Review International. 1996;10(2):1.
3. Vitamin B6/DMG. Letters to the Editor, Autism Research Interview International. 1994;8(2):6.
4. New England Journal of Medicine, 1982, 307, 1081-1082; Epilepsia, 1989, 30, 90-93.
5. Graber CD, Goust JM, Glassman AD, Kendall R, Loadholt CB. (1981). Immunodulating properties of dimethylglycine in humans. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 143, 101-105.
6. Reap EA, Lawson JW. (1990). Stimulation of the immune system response by dimethylglycine, a nontoxic metabolite. Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, 115, 481-486.
7. Lahita, R. and Phillips Lupus - Everything you need to know about Lupus, Avery Publishing, Garden City Park, NY, 1998.
8. Kendall, R. and Lawson, J. Treatment of Melanoma Using N,N-Dimethylglycine, US Patent 4,994,492, Feb 1991.
9. Pries, M. Report to Food Science Corporation on the role of DMG in Cardiovascular Patients, 1981.
10. Walker, M. Some Nutri-Clinical Applications of N,N-Dimethylglycine. Townsend Letter for Doctors. June 1988.
11. Meduski, J., Hyman, S., Kilz, R., Kim, K., Thein, P. and Yoshimoto, T. Pacific Slope Biochemical Conference. Abst. July 7-9, 1980, U. of California, San Diego, 1980.
12. Effect of dimethylglycine on gastric ulcers in rats. Hariganesh K, Pathiba J. J Pharm Pharmacol 2000;52: 1519-1522.