DMG for Health and Vitality
By Erica Stoton

It's a fact that equine owners want their steeds to remain healthy and energetic throughout their normal lifespan. For those so inclined, the horse's fountain of youth can be found in a natural and holistic approach to care of the immune system. Dimethylglycine is often one of the forgotten links in good health but some research is showing positive results and proving the product's value in equine medical and preventative care.

There are numerous concoctions available to horse owners today that claim to improve your animal's health and energy levels. While many of these are legitimate, providing essential nutrients and immune system boosters, others merely offer superficial results. DMG has been a product subject to much criticism due to the popular myth that "energy boosters" are scams. Now, Dimethylglycine is being recognized for its incomparable immune revitalizing action.

What Is DMG and How Does It Work?
Dimethylglycine is an amino acid metabolite. It is found naturally in such sources as the outer coat of rice and in all seed products. Body cells produce this substance during the processing of the methionine amino acid. It is classified as a metabolism enhancer or an ergogenic substance, which means that it is an essential part of general body function. DMG is found in the cells of all living things and is responsible for the flow of nutrients, methyl, and oxygen through cells and also stimulates the production of vital T-cells. The action of DMG provides efficient cell function, optimum immune response, better muscle and brain function and increased energy levels. Although DMG is present in all cells, it is often deficient due to related insufficiencies but it does not exhibit deficiency symptoms. One of the remarkable traits about DMG is that it is one of only a few amino acid components that can be safely and effectively supplemented exclusively. As an example it is used on children that have Down's Syndrome or Autism because it boosts the immune system and helps provide better cell communication. There are absolutely no side effects of this substance even in high dosages. With these and the many other benefits of this dietary supplement, DMG is also being used worldwide with great success in the treatment and prevention of many Equine ailments.

What Can DMG Do For My Horse?
Athletes often use Dimethylglycine as a dietary supplement and the Equine athlete can benefit as well. By improving oxygen and nutrient flow in cells, DMG reduces lactic acid production, the risk of muscle spasms and injuries and increases energy levels. This is especially beneficial for performance horses who are prone to injuries and require high energy levels. Research in racehorses has shown that muscles functioned far more efficiently with the supplementation of DMG and suffered significantly fewer injuries and spasms. Trainers also saw an increase in their animal's speed, endurance and muscle tone. Overall, a horse who's diet was supplemented with DMG had a greater advantage over horses without supplementation. DMG increased adaptation to environmental and dietary changes, improved digestion and reduced the occurrence of colic, reduced the risk and occurrence of injury and illness and generally improved physical and mental function. DMG has been proven to boost the immune system by an incredible 300-400% thereby helping your horse maintain disease resistance.

In addition to the efficacy of DMG as a preventative aide, there are affects on the horse's health when it is used as a treatment. DMG is often used on animals that are suffering immune disorders or ailments that are highly stressful and it is found to be extremely helpful in these cases. Studies using DMG to treat disorders such as Cancer, allergies, Anemia, Hypothyroidism and numerous other difficult ailments is showing very exciting results. Although extensive research is not complete, it may be safely stated that DMG can be utilized for horses going through the shod to barefoot transition or those with hoof disorders. Increased oxygen and nutrient flow to cells promotes healthy, strong hooves, especially when this has been inhibited by shoes. Undersized foals receive great benefits from the supplement as it allows for increased nourishment of cells and raises the level of growth hormones. All injuries heal quicker with DMG supplementation. DMG is useful in any ailment, injury or situation where the immune system needs strengthening.

When Should I Provide DMG Supplementation To My Horse?
DMG is safe to use on newborn foals, pregnant and lactating mares, old or weak horses and those who may be on conventional drugs. According to researchers, high doses will not have any negative affects. Due to the fact that Dimethylglycine is produced by the body through the assimilation of other nutrients, it does not show any clear deficiency symptoms. There is no definitive way to determine if and when your horse needs supplementation and veterinarians seldom consider DMG deficiencies. However, if your Equine lacks energy, disease and injury resistance or has a poor immune system or suffers any illness DMG supplementation should be considered. Performance horses and those that frequently experience stress are also prime candidates for supplementation. If your horse is found to be deficient in B vitamins, amino acids or other nutrients DMG should definitely be given. Dimethylglycine is an excellent preventative measure against Equine ailments and injury and as a treatment, owners should consider it as an addition to their horse's daily diet.

How Is DMG Used?
Many dietary supplements are difficult to provide in a pure form because they may have an unpleasant smell or taste. Manufacturers often include artificial flavours and extraneous ingredients or owners have to go to great trouble to convince their horse to eat the substance. DMG is used in a pure form and is very simple to provide to horses because of its naturally sweet taste. It is easily obtainable in powder form and is dissolved in water or mixed with food. Dosages range greatly depending on the size of your horse and its needs, there are no dose limits and very high doses do not have any negative affects. DMG does not cause imbalances of other nutrients but it has been found beneficial to provide complete dietary supplementation in addition to Dimethyglycine. All nutrients have increased affect when DMG is added. Results can be seen within one to 14 days depending on the condition of your horse and it is not unreasonable that owners can expect to see a remarkable improvement in the Equine's general health.

The Future Of DMG In Equine Health Care
Currently DMG is not approved or disapproved by the FDA and it is legally, easily and safely used by horse owners or veterinarians. DMG gives performance horses a decided edge against competitors and this has prompted the Thoroughbred Racing Association to debate over whether or not this supplement should be allowed. Other sport associations are following and owners are wise to consult with the appropriate governing organization if you are using DMG on your performance horses. It should be noted, however, that DMG does not act as a stimulant but rather increases health thereby boosting performance. Owners who provide horses with DMG supplementation should not be discriminated against because their animal is healthier than others. The fact that DMG is a naturally occurring, non-stimulating nutrient should assist in proving this point and make the supplement readily accepted.

While DMG is a vital and effective part of keeping your horse healthy it should not be looked upon as miracle substance. You can not give an old skeleton of a horse DMG and instantly turn it into a Triple Crown winner. In the final analysis we must provide our horses with natural and holistic care in order for optimum Equine health. More research will convince horse owners of the validity of DMG and its ability to offer horses increased health and vitality.

©Erica Stoton-June 20, 2001

Erica Stoton is a free-lance writer based in Winnipeg, Canada, a natural animal care consultant, and co-author of The Compleat Pet Herbal©, new software that educates pet owners on natural pet care. She also offers the pet industry a wide range of technical services and is a contributing editor for Animals Exotic and Small Magazine. She can be reached at