Dimethylglycine and Autism Ranking: Limited negative evidence

Dimethylglycine to treat autismDimethylglycine (also known as DMG) is a derivative of the amino acid glycine. It is found naturally in plant and animal cells and in certain foods such as beans, cereal grains, and liver.

Dimethylglycine acts as a building block for many important substances in the body including amino acids, hormones and neuro-transmitters. It also appears to play an important role in neurological functions and in the immune system.

Some people think that some autistic individuals have a range of nutritional and metabolic problems. These include low levels of nutrients, high levels of oxidative stress (a chemical state within cells that can increase cellular damage) and difficulties with metabolic processes (such as digestion).

Some people think that these nutritional and metabolic differences may be the cause of some of the core features of autism (such as impaired communication and social difficulties) and related issues (such as challenging behaviours).

They also believe that by taking dietary supplements, such as dimethylglycine, they can reduce some of those symptoms. However, the exact mechanism by which dimethylglycine might do this is unclear

Our Opinion

There is currently no agreement amongst scientists as to whether autistic individuals have a particular pattern of vitamin, mineral or other nutrient deficiency.

There is a limited amount of research evidence, based on two scientifically valid and reliable trails, to suggest that dimethylglycine is not effective in improving social, language or other functioning in autistic children and adults.

However there are many positive anecdotal reports about the benefits of dimethylglycine, which is relatively cheap, easy to use, and appears to have no significant side effects for most people.

For these reasons, we believe that further research into dimethylglycine may be justified.


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17 Jun 2022
Last Review
01 Apr 2017
Next Review
01 Aug 2023