DMAE vs Centrophenoxine: Double Edge Swords for Hacking the ACh System

This stimulating class of drugs hacks the chemical domain of the essential neurotransmitter Acetylcholine(ACh), which may NOT be a good thing, ACh is one of the three essential Limitless neurotransmitters.

Originally published at

DMAE is a double edged sword when it comes to cognition and memory.

A Quintessential Anti Aging Compound

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There are over 40 human studies and research reviews published on Dimethylaminoethanol — DMAE for short. A Japanese study (Effects of dimethylaminoethanol upon life-span and behavior of aged Japanese quail) also showed that DMAE increased the lifespan of an aged quail.

Vs Alzheimer’s

A French 2012 study of 241 people suggested it may not be the most efficacious drug for treating those suffering from Alzheimer’s
“Standardized measures of memory, executive function, attention, functional capacity, and apathy were also obtained. Despite some interesting trends at week 12 and conversion rates favoring V0191, NO statistically significant differences in cognitive function between V0191 and placebo were noted.”
However, the abstract goes on to level a couple of criticisms at the study methodologies as to why this conclusion is not final.

A Warning

The consensus of the Biohacker community seems to be that DMAE isn’t worth it. Scientific literature suggests that…
DMAE causes birth defects.
DMAE is not metabolized into choline in the brain.
DMAE inhibits choline kinase.
DMAE inhibits choline transport.
A not insignificant amount of self experimenters report unpleasant effects from it…
Hyperactivity is a frequent complaint
Loss of focus
Loss of motivation
Steep tolerance curve of diminishing positive effects
Frequently these negative effects are reported after prolonged use at high dosages, one time or infrequent users report typical Nootropic effects of enhanced cognition and memory.
DMAE has a significant effect on the highly complex ACh system, consistent or high dosage use of it present what I think is an unacceptable risk of unbalancing this intricate orchestra of chemical reactions.
The bottom line is that other Nootropics, like the Racetams or Alpha GPC, have the same effects to a similar or greater degree and there is a virtual consensus of positive effects, where as DMAE is both questioned by the scientific literature and harshly criticized by its users in the self experimentation community.


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An antiaging compound which is an ester of DMAE, the advantage being bioavailability, it is absorbed better through the blood brain barrier. Centrophenoxine, ostensibly cleans up Lipofuscin, a cognition biproduct in the brain also sometimes referred to as age pigment, which has been implicated in cognitive decline in the elderly.

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Lipofuscin is the dark clumps

It may impact verbal intelligence, sapaiderman reported:
“I’m only taking 500mg a day with breakfast and within one week my vocabulary and verbal fluidity has improved.”
A Hungarian paper on gene expression’s role in aging stated:
“The protective effects of [Centrophenoxine](and of similar, newly synthesized other drugs) on the membrane components can slow down the age-dependent deteriorations of the intracellular physicochemistry, in agreement with the predictions of the [membrane hypothesis of aging].”
ZS. NAGY the experimental gerontologist who invented Centrophenoxine has been taking it daily for 35 years and reports no adverse effects. He concluded:
“…[Centrophenoxine] is harmless in the given dose [500 milligrams daily] even after a continuous taking as a preventive anti-aging compound, and on the other hand, it is helpful in the maintenance of the general health status of the human body.”
Centrophenoxine is actually taken in higher dosages than DMAE, see the infographic below. Its taste is described almost universally as vile and maybe even causing a slight burning sensation.
It’s a cure for Derealisation, according to Noouser and several others on Reddit:
“I have suffered from anxiety and derealisation (feel like I’m looking at the world through a thick plate of glass, can’t feel subtle emotions) for 20 years …“
He went on to report a transformative effect…
“…after about 5 days of taking centrophenoxine… I noticed that I was able to think properly for the first time in 20 years. I was able to have a thought, and have it regulate my emotions in an appropriate way. I’m able to consistently regulate my own anxiety using my thoughts, and this has huge knock-on improvements on my personal consistency in being able to deal with daily challenges and speaking with people etc.”
It certainly sounds like Noouser found their own personal NZT-48.


Centrophenoxine or DMAE is NOT a daily driver Nootropic, unless you are taking these drugs to deal with some debilitating issue they really should be consumed in moderation. I suggest not taking them more than once or twice a week in the recommended dosage.

Related Rant

Youtube can be a pretty useless place to get accurate information about a given supplement or drug! You search a given supplement and you’ll find a bunch of videoblogs of some guy sitting in his bedroom just doing a totally unprepared, uninformed rant about a Nootropic or supplement.
In my obsessive mission to understand cognitive enhancement, I’ve watched more of these videos than I’d care to admit… They predictably consist of:

  • ‘It makes me feel more energetic’
  • Some anecdote about be better at studying or work while dosed
  • ‘I sleep better on it!’
  • ‘I feel more confident in social situations’
  • Some gross generalization of the science or mechanism of the drug

They are usually under 5 minutes and half the time the guy hasn’t even gone to the trouble of cleaning his room before doing the videoblog…
This is a great example of the placebo effect, I’m pretty sure I could give these people flour, make up a fancy name for it and they would be convinced it made them better at studying, working or weightlifting.
There was a best selling book called The Cult of the Amateur, about how the internet has given misinformation an unequaled broadcasting platform, which I encourage you to be wary of. This is why I advise going to Pubmed and the biohacker forums as opposed to Youtube and blogs when you want to get a more accurate view.
This is why my video blogs about drugs include links to the studies that vindicate my opinions, I do brain training comparisons on and off the smart drug in question. I think you can pretty much disregard all the individual videoblogs that don’t do the same thing. Also, I actually write out all my videos as articles before I do them as videos, which is way more work than just going off the cuff, this forces me to organize and refine my thoughts some more and even do some fact checking. Which is obviously not the case with a lot of drug videoblogs out there.


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Confusingly, you’ll find reading online that DMAE is both a treatment of depression and a cause of it. Remember that depression is like a check engine on a car, it’s a symptom of a single or multiple imbalances somewhere in one’s complex neurobiology. Leapmind on Longecity self reported:
“When I take 50mg of DMAE for a couple of weeks my depression just disappears and even for a prolonged time. It also helps with my social- phobia.”
The solution to DMAE induced depression is quite simple, just cycle your dosing of it. When I do my Centrophenoxine trial I will only take it once a week. A good reason to buy this drug individually as opposed to in a stack or multivitamin.
Its positive effects on body energy also help those suffering from chronic fatigue and mild depression, according to an early study (Possible precursors and effect on behavior. International Review of Neurobiology) — which I could not find anywhere online.

Mechanism of Action

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The important thing to understand about this class of drug is that it is NOT a Choline source precursor like Alpha GPC or eggs, it’s something that prevents the breakdown of the ACh neurotransmitter in the mind. So it’s not an alternative to Alpha GPC or CDP Choline.

Because of ACh’s essential role in the central motor system, DMAE is taken by athletes to improve performance, physical energy and reflexes along with treating the movement disorder tardive dyskinesia.

On Mood

A 2003 German study (Efficacy of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) containing vitamin-mineral drug combination on EEG patterns in the presence of different emotional states) showed that DMAE has a positive effect on mood, alertness and those dealing with borderline emotional disturbance. Ray Sahelian, M.D reports that a single capsule (DMAE Bitrate 350 Milligrams — includes about 130 Milligrams of actual DMAE) makes you feel focused and alert, but taking more than that makes you feel edgy and tense.

Food Sources

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Like many other nootropics, DMAE is found in seafood (Anchovies and sardines). DMAE has been sold in Europe for over three decades and is referred to as Deanol.

Antiaging Skin Creams

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DMAE also has a positive effect on the skin, as an anti-wrinkle agent. A placebo controlled 2005 American study stated:
“Thus, the benefits of DMAE in dermatology include a potential anti-inflammatory effect and a documented increase in skin firmness with possible improvement in underlying facial muscle tone.”
A Belgian human study of 30 volunteers state that:
“The DMAE formulation under investigation increased skin firmness.”
A 2009 Brazilian study agreed with this conclusion.
I’ve been reading Atlas Shrugged where Ayn Rand is always describing these iconic entrepreneurs as having these very angular faces comprised of flat panes, this has made me just a little insecure because I’ve noticed that as I’m getting older I’m getting a little more of a roundish baby face. I haven’t gained weight but my face is just starting to show my age. I think I’m going to order some DMAE cream and take some before and after photos which I will publish in a few months and hopefully there will be a noticeable improvement in the asymmetrical perpetually pontificating thing that is my face.

On Memory

A 2009 French study on memory capacity stressed by Scalpolamine, reached a positive conclusion about its effects on long term memory
“Clinical study results show that scopolamine induced a memory deficit and that DMAE p-Glu produced a significant positive effect on scores in the Buschke test, as well as a slight but significant difference on choice reaction time.”

On Concentration

Most people report increased mind power from DMAE within a few hours and lasting most of the day. The increased attention is a result of boosted ACh levels, as demonstrated in rats in a 2000 study (Increases in cortical acetylcholine release during sustained attention performance in rats) at Ohio State University. Due to its effects on improving attention it can be used to treat ADHD. DMAE is able to pass the blood-brain barrier to become ACh. In addition to being essential to the somatic nervous system, ACh is also a neuromodulator which means that it affects brain plasticity (our ability to learn new skills). A double-blind, placebo-controlled German study of 60 participants who self selected as lacking concentration and mental efficiency, the EEG recordings revealed a positive effect on this deficiency over the 12 week trial. From its abstract:
“This drug effect was localized in the frontotemporal cortex in a statistically significant manner during both the memory and the symbol recognition tests.”

Lucid Dreaming

One of the most frequently reported effects is Lucid Dreaming, so if you attempt to levitate every time you walk under a doorway or rub your hands to stabilize your reality this drug maybe worth adding to your nighttime supplementation regimen. A 1988 study (Use of DMAE in the induction of lucid dreams) and a Scottish study (The cholinergic system, EEG and sleep) suggested that DMAE promotes REM sleep and lucid dreaming. Some people even report needing less sleep while on DMAE.

In conclusion…

I feel it’s necessary to add a conclusion to this, somewhat bipolar, presentation on this drug. The cognitive enhancement benefits of this drug are nothing special or unique in the Nootropic world and the potential downsides seem to be significant…

So if you are an otherwise healthy person, looking to supplement your badassery in life, I think you can probably get the same results from less risky smart drugs. However, if you are an older person facing the dire spectre of cognitive decline this drug family, Centrophenoxine in particular, is well worth your consideration. Are the possible negative side effects of these drugs going to be worse than the certain cognitive decline of your faculties? Doubtful.


Start at a low dosage like 50 Milligrams — 100 Milligrams of actual DMAE and work your way up. Take with meals. The most common over the counter form sold is DMAE bitrate; 350 Milligrams of DMAE bitrate=130 Milligrams (approximately) of actual DMAE so be aware of this when determining your dosage. Several sources recommend strongly against taking it on a daily basis but instead several times a week as you need increased powers of alertness.
Young people 250 milligrams — 500 milligrams
Elderly (Combating cognitive decline) 500 milligrams — 2 grams


ACh Precursors, again it doesn’t feed your mind the Choline it needs, so you’ll want to take it with Alpha GPC, CDP choline or your dietary sources to really experience benefits from it.
Racetams, since it hacks the ACh system, if you are a person that chronically experiences headaches from Racetams even when you increase your ACh intake, it’s indicative of something else broken in your ACh system, DMAE has a profound effect on this system and might fix that.
Piracetam, a couple Redditors suggest it goes well with the godfather of Nootropics, thekaid reported “I’ve been experimenting with centro recently and It’s seemed to bring back some of the oomph for piracetam.”
Aniracetam, Neurotropia suggests that the Ampakinic racetam goes particularly well with Centrophenoxine, producing a noticeable spike in reading comprehension, making it a great study stack.
One self experimenter reported:
“I take 500mg of Centro with ALCAR and Piracetam and my brain has moved from 5 miles to 50 miles per hour.”

Side Effects:

Reports of negative side effects are abundant varying from anxiety, restlessness, and muscle tenseness in the neck and shoulders to a possible connection to Multiple Sclerosis.
Birth defects, are a concern with DMAE and Centrophenoxine so if you are a woman planning on having children anytime soon, you want to stay away from these. Lots of stacks and multivitamins contain DMAE which just seems irresponsible to me considering women will be consuming them not knowing the serious potential repercussions if they become pregnant.

No major interactions reported. Some drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs) may interact with DMAE.

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Originally published at

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸

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