DMG: A Nutrient for the New Millennium

DMG, short for dimethylglycine, is a nutritional supplement that can provide wonderful positive benefits to humans and animals. Our bodies use DMG every day, even though we don't know it. Humans and animals produce DMG in small amounts, and it affects nearly every metabolic pathway within each cell of the body. At the end of this paper, I will include the more technical, scientific information for those intrepid individuals who wish to learn more.

Here is what you need to know about DMG:

It provides useful building units for biosynthesis of vitamins, hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies, nucleic acids and other metabolically active molecules. It can be helpful in virtually all species of animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, rodents, reptiles and birds. DMG is one of the nutrients found in the supplement, Immune and Digestive Support. Many veterinarians have discovered the unique and wonderful properties of this new supplement.

Laboratory and clinical research indicates that DMG supplementation can be used effectively as a nutritional adjunct to a number of health issues in pets.

These include:
Cardiovascular problems
Glucose metabolism
Autoimmune disorders
Allergies
Cancer/tumors
Liver diseases
Respiratory problems
Immune response deficiencies
Neurological disorders
Neurological disorders

Let’s look at many of the specific conditions that Immune and Digestive Support containing DMG may help your pets.

DMG for Seizuring Animals

Ferrets with Insulinoma

DMG increases the threshold for seizures and can reduce seizures in all types of animals. In some cases, if DMG is added to a seizuring animal’s therapy, it may decrease the amount of anticonvulsants required by an animal. This can be very beneficial for ferrets suffering from insulinoma, until the blood sugar issues are under control. Diet plays a huge role in helping stabilize a ferret suffering from insulinoma, and Young Again Ferret Food is one very positive step in improving the health of a ferret. In some cases, an insulinoma may present as a solitary tumor in the pancreas, but for most ferrets, the lesions are microscopic infiltrates, and surgery is not considered the best way to treat this condition. Some veterinarians recommend surgically removing approximately 1/3 of the pancreas, usually the tail of the pancreas, however, the pancreas is a delicate organ and surgery is not always beneficial.

DMG and the Immune System

It improves the immune response by increasing resistance to disease and infection.

It has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can modulate the inflammatory response.

DMG and Tumors

A study was performed using mice and melanoma cells. Mice were injected with melanoma cells and those mice receiving DMG had fewer implantations of melanoma cells than the control group did. This study was performed at Baylor University.

It possesses anti-cancer activity and can prevent metastases (the spread of tumor cells). I routinely use DMG in all of my patients with any type of cancer. If it can help prevent the spread of tumors, then I am all for it.

DMG and Cardiac Disease

It aids in cardiovascular functions by reducing elevated cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride levels and improving circulation. Ferrets and cats with cardiac disease may benefit from the administration of DMG.

DMG and Diabetes in Cats

It improves glucose metabolism and for this reason, I recommend prescribing DMG for all diabetic cats, in addition to changing the cat’s food to Young Again Zero Carbohydrate Cat Food. Many diabetic animals will eventually develop cataracts in the lenses of the eyes, which can significantly decrease eyesight. When the cataracts are mature, the diabetic pet will eventually lose vision, except for being able to discern light and dark. DMG can retard cataract formation in diabetic animals.

DMG and IBD/IBS

According to literature studies, DMG helps with inflammation, circulation, healing and detoxification, all of which helps cats and dogs suffering from inflammatory bowel disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome. Young Again pet foods may help contribute to the resolution of issues related to chronic gastrointestinal problems in dogs and cats.

DMG and Cataracts

DMG is also an excellent adjunct to therapy for rabbits suffering from E. cuniculi, which is a microscopic protozoal organism that has an affinity for kidney tissue and the central nervous system (CNS). In addition to strengthening the immune system, DMG may also slow the formation of cataracts in the eyes of E. cuniculi infected rabbits.

DMG and Liver Disease

It aids in detoxification and enhances liver function. When administered, part of it will be converted to SAM-E, a nutrient helpful to the liver. Any cat suffering from hepatic lipidosis from not eating for one or several days may benefit from the administration of DMG.

DMG and Exercise

It improves oxygen utilization in the body and it removes lactic acid from muscle tissue. This makes DMG wonderful for athletic dogs. Lactic acid is what causes muscle cramps and pain after running. I know that many greyhound racers use DMG for their dogs. Many horse trainers believe it is helpful during training exercise.

It enhances energy levels, endurance and muscle metabolism.

It improves mental and physical performance.

It improves neurological function and mental clarity.

DMG use in Veterinary Medicine

DMG has been used by veterinarians and trainers in horses and dogs.

DMG is suggested for use in dogs, cats, horses and birds for performance and enhanced recovery from illness. It can be used therapeutically as an adjunct to traditional therapy for osteoarthritis, stress, seizures, allergies, heart disease, cancer, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and diabetes.

DMG has antifungal properties and helps fight bacterial and viral infections. It is converted to SAM-E in the body. It helps detoxify the liver. It decreases the inflammation associated with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). It helps maintain glucose metabolism and can help slow the development of diabetic cataracts. DMG helps circulation and cardiovascular health.

It increases the threshold for seizures and I have personally used it to control seizures in many animals, including dogs, cats, Amazon parrots, lovebirds and many other animals. In many cases, DMG alone will control seizures, and in other cases, reduced amounts of anticonvulsants will be necessary (such as phenobarbital, Valium, Keppra or phenytoin). It can be used for many neurological problems in exotic animals, such as idiopathic seizures in red-lored Amazons and peach-faced lovebirds, E. cuniculi in rabbits, PDD in psittacines and hypoglycemic seizures in ferrets (resulting from insulinoma issues).

While the label recommendation is for once or twice a day dosing, this supplement is absorbed rapidly, so often I will recommend small, incremental doses during the day. Often to help control seizures, I find that more frequent dosing will control seizures (along with treating any underlying medical problems, such as infection, low blood glucose or even lead toxicosis) much better than just one or two doses per day. I recommend working with your veterinarian to adjust the DMG and/or anticonvulsant medications to best control seizures.

The Science of DMG

As promised, I am providing a bit of the science (including the jargon) about how DMG works. DMG is an adaptogen that works with other cofactors in the body to counteract the negative effects of stress, to promote healing and even to help prevent some degenerative diseases. Some of the things that it does are to decrease homocysteine levels (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease), increases oxygen utilization, modulates the immune response, aids in liver detoxification, regulates cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increases energy levels. New research shows that DMG can function as an antioxidant and prevent free-radical damage. So, you can see how this nutrient can be a wonderful adjunct to traditional medical therapy for many different disease states.

DMG is found naturally in low levels in the body, and also in certain foods, such as meat (liver), beans, seeds and grains. It is considered an intermediary metabolite, meaning that it is rapidly broken down into other substances that the body needs. The body can produce small amounts of DMG from other nutrients, but supplementation can provide increased levels of DMG resulting in many healthful benefits for the body. DMG is built from the amino acid glycine and is physiologically active and important to cell metabolism. It provides methyl groups for modification, building and detoxifying many components in the body. Biochemically, it occupies a central position in the cell's metabolic pathway, so it can produce a wide range of biological effects in the body.

DMG and the Autistic Spectrum

While I have no personal experience with autistic children, there are many testimonials describing significant improvement in autistic children that are given DMG regularly. Apparently, many autistic children will become more verbal and communicative when taking DMG, and may become more interactive with family members. Again, I have no personal experience, but with children being diagnosed with any number of problems within the autism spectrum in almost epidemic proportions today, it is worth a look-see in case it can help a child that you might know. I don’t see how it can be detrimental. The same can be said for animals suffering from abnormal behaviors, such as pacing, repetitive behaviors, obsessive licking or those suffering from other unusual situations.

It improves verbal communications and social interactions in autistic individuals. While there isn’t any research in pets suffering from separation anxiety or other issues, DMG is certainly a “do no harm” addition to any medical and behavioral therapy.

Dosing DMG

DMG should be taken between meals, although it can be taken with food. DMG is broken down quickly and used by the body, so smaller, multiple doses are better than giving the entire dose all at once. The upper limit of dosing is extremely high; humans can take up to 6000 mg. per day without complications or risk of overdosage.

DMG comes in a liquid and the dosage is right on the label, and the dosage is also marked on the dropper which is included. Vetri-DMG Liquid is available for use in small animals and exotics. Each drop contains 5 mg of DMG.

According to the label dosing, the dosage for birds is: 1 drop per 100 grams body weight. This is given BID as a loading dose, for two weeks, then once a day. The liquid may also be used for dogs and cats:

For animals:

 

up to 25 lbs: give 0.5 ml daily

 

25-50 lbs: give 1.0 ml daily

 

51-90 lbs: give 1.5 ml daily

 

91+ lbs: give 2.0 ml daily

Give dosage two times per day for the first two weeks, as a loading dosage, then give once a day, or for best results, divide dosage between a.m. and p.m. However, it is a very safe supplement and I will often tweak the dosage to accommodate the situation and provide the best support for the animal. Smaller, incremental doses are seemingly much more efficacious than one dose once a day.

If you are interested in reading more about DMG, there is a wonderful book entitled Building Wellness Through DMG (by Roger V. Kendall, Ph. D. with Adena Therrien, Freedom Press, 2003) that explains the science behind the supplement. The book discusses using DMG for lupus and other autoimmune disorders, respiratory disorders, cancer and autism, to name just a few. There are also many scientific papers that you can explore on-line, as well. The book discusses dosages for humans and animals with different conditions that might benefit from the administration of DMG.

DMG is available from several sources. Some nutrition and vitamin outlets sell DMG for humans in a powder, liquid or tablet/capsule form. I purchase mine as capsule from Now Foods, Bloomingdale, IL 60108, www.nowfoods.com. Another source is Best Naturals, NJ, www.shopbestnaturals.com.

DMG is available in tablets for small animals and exotics from Vetri-Science Labs, phone number: 800-882-9993. However, Vetri-Science Labs sells only to licensed veterinarians. For pet owners interested in purchasing single bottles, check the web, as we have seen it offered at Amazon.com.

Cadeusus
Copyright 2006 Margaret A. Wissman, D.V.M., D.A.B.V.P.
All Rights Reserved
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