If you are the parent of an autistic child, you may already be familiar with DMG as a treatment for autism spectrum disorder. Dimethylglycine, also known as Vitamin B15, N-dimethylglycine, calcium pangamate or pangamic acid, is gaining popularity as a behavioral modification treatment for both children and adults with autism. As a treatment for autism, DMG is supported by a great deal of anecdotal evidence from parents, health professionals and caregivers. Here is what you need to know about DMG supplementation for autism, including safety, cost, and dosage information.
What are the health benefits of DMG as a treatment for autism spectrum disorder?
Proponents of DMG and many of those who have used DMG supplements to treat their autistic children claim that DMG can improve eye contact and social interaction, increase and improve speech communication and increase frustration tolerance in those with autism. In severe cases on the autistic spectrum, DMG may also decrease aggressive behavior, both toward self and others.
As an autism treatment, how does DMG work?
DMG supplements are absorbed by the small intestine into the bloodstream. Dimethylglycine is converted to glycine by the liver. Glycine is one of the most basic amino acids, and is essential in the formation of methionine, choline, various neurotransmitters, numerous hormones, and DNA itself. DMG is not the same as TMG.
DMG increases oxygen uptake in the blood and increases circulation, both of which increase nutrient absorption. It also boosts immune function; many people with autism have immune system deficiencies. DMG has also been shown to reduce seizures, which are also common in those with autism spectrum disorder.
What studies have been done on DMG as a natural treatment for autism?
Despite a growing body of encouraging anecdotal evidence, the research done on DMG supplements as a treatment for autism spectrum disorder is limited. Two studies on DMG and autism have shown no effect on behavioral symptoms from dimethylglycine supplements, although it is argued that the researchers were using incorrect dosages or that the study was too small to be statistically significant. A more recent study involving 84 subjects was far more promising, and it is clear that more research needs to be done on the effects of DMG supplements on autism.
Is DMG treatment for autism safe? Will my autistic child suffer side effects from DMG?
DMG is an extremely safe treatment for autism because dimethylglycine does not build up in the body, so it is impossible to overdose; excessive DMG is excreted naturally.
No serious side effects have been reported from taking DMG, although those with an extremely rare condition called dimethylglycine dehydrogenase deficiency have reported smelling a fishy odor after taking it. That side effect, plus occasional nausea, can be avoided by taking DMG supplements with food.
Some parents have reported hyperactivity in their autistic children as a side effect of taking DMG supplements. This can be avoided by supplementing the DMG with folic acid. Many doctors argue that adding folic acid to the DMG treatment regime for autism is beneficial in any case, and many DMG supplements include both folic acid and vitamin B-12.
Is DMG an expensive treatment for autism? How long before you can expect positive results from DMG?
Dimethylglycine is legally classified as a food, and is available at most natural food stores for around $11 for thirty 125 mg capsules or tablets. Pangamic acid (DMG) is also found in whole grains such as brown rice, pumpkin seeds, brewer’s yeast and liver.
DMG treatment has produced beneficial results for those with autism spectrum disorder in as little as one week, although doctors recommend that you keep up treatments for a month or longer if you do not see immediate effects; in some, DMG just takes longer to be effective.
What is the recommended dosage of DMG supplements to treat autism?
The recommended dosage for DMG as a natural treatment for autism spectrum disorder varies. Most practitioners recommend you divide the DMG dosage throughout the day, starting at one-half of a 125 mg tablet per day for children and increasing the dosage gradually, every three days, to a maximum of four 125 mg tablets daily. In adults, start at one tablet per day and work up to 2 to 8. Although it is a nutrient, there is no RDA for dimethylglycine. Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting any supplementation treatment or regime.