Dimethylglycine is a derivative of the amino acidglycine with the structural formula (CH3)2NCH2COOH. It can be found in beans and liver. It can be formed from trimethylglycine upon the loss of one of its methyl groups. It is also a byproduct of the metabolism of choline.
When DMG was first discovered, it was referred to as vitamin B16, but, unlike true B vitamins, deficiency of DMG in the diet does not lead to any ill-effects and it is synthesized by the human body in the citric acid (or Krebs) cycle meaning it does not meet the definition of a vitamin.
This compound is commercially available as the free form amino acid, and as the hydrochloride salt [2491-06-7 ]. DMG may be prepared by the alkylation of glycine via the Eschweiler–Clarke reaction. In this reaction, glycine is treated with aqueous formaldehyde in formic acid that serves as both solvent and reductant. Hydrochloric acid is added thereafter to give the hydrochloride salt. The free amino acid may been obtained by neutralization of the acid salt, which has been performed with silver oxide.
^Bolman WM, Richmond JA (June 1999). "A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot trial of low-dose dimethylglycine in patients with autistic disorder". Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders29 (3): 191–4. doi:10.1023/A:1023023820671. PMID10425581.