The amino acid derivative dimethylglycine (DMG) is produced when betaine (trimethylglycine) donates a methyl group to homocysteine for re-methylation back to methionine. This methyl donation is mediated by the enzyme betaine homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT). Elevations in DMG act as a negative feedback by inhibiting this enzymatic conversion. [L]
Clinically, DMG elevations may indicate an increase in activity of the BHMT “salvage-pathway.” Therefore, high DMG may reflect the need for additional folate, vitamin B12, and zinc.
DMG has been marketed safely as a nutritional supplement since 1974. It was used in the Soviet Union in the 1960’s as part of a formula to benefit athletic performance. [L] Dietary sources include cereal grains, seeds, beans and liver. Intake and supplementation with DMG plays an important role in keeping Hcy levels stable and providing methyl donors. [L]
Because it contains two methyl groups for donation, therapeutic interventions with DMG have been successful in many conditions including autism, hyperlipidemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, and cardiovascular disease. [L]
– Obeid R. The metabolic burden of methyl donor deficiency with focus on the betaine homocysteine methyltransferase pathway. Nutrients. 2013;5(9):3481-3495. [L]
– Kendall RV, Lawson JW. Recent findings on N, N-dimethylglycine (DMG): a nutrient for the new millennium. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. 2000:75-85. [L]
– Gu HF, Zhang X. Zinc Deficiency and Epigenetics. 2017. [L]
– Shaw GM, Lu W, Zhu H, et al. 118 SNPs of folate-related genes and risks of spina bifida and conotruncal heart defects. BMC Med Genet. 2009;10:49. [L]
– da Costa KA, Corbin KD, Niculescu MD, Galanko JA, Zeisel SH. Identification of new genetic polymorphisms that alter the dietary requirement for choline and vary in their distribution across ethnic and racial groups. Faseb j. 2014;28(7):2970-2978. [L]
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF YOUR DIMETHYLGLYCINE (DMG) RESULT IS TOO LOW?
– Decreasedcholine/betaine intake
– Zinc deficiency (cofactor BHMT) [L]
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF YOUR DIMETHYLGLYCINE (DMG) RESULT IS TOO HIGH?
– Supplementation with DMG or Betaine
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.
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