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The Perricone Weight Loss Program

November 2005

By Nicholas V. Perricone, MD


DMAE is a naturally occurring nutritional substance with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is found in fish, including wild Alaskan salmon, anchovies, and sardines. Back in the 1950s, DMAE was a prescription drug used as a treatment for central nervous system problems such as attention deficit disorder. Although it is no longer used for this purpose, it is being sold as a nutritional supplement for improving cognitive function, with additional benefits of improved memory and increased problem-solving ability. DMAE is important in the production of neurotransmitters, especially acetylcholine, which is essential in the communication from one nerve to another and between nerves and muscles. In order for your muscles to contract, the message must be sent from your nerves to your muscles via acetylcholine. DMAE also has membrane-stabilizing effects and can also help reduce body fat, most likely from its activity as a precursor to acetylcholine as well as its anti-inflammatory activity.
Taking DMAE as a supplement will not only improve your cognitive function, it will help increase skin firmness and muscle tone. In fact, recent studies have confirmed that topically applied DMAE lotion turned out to be extremely efficacious—in other words, it had positive effects on the skin, greatly increasing the appearance of radiance, tone, and firmness, while decreasing the micro-inflammation in the skin.


  • For optimum health, beauty, and weight-loss benefits, I recommend eating fish rich in DMAE, taking DMAE supplements, as well as applying a topical lotion containing DMAE to face, neck, and body.
  • It is thought that DMAE can make epilepsy and bipolar depression worse; thus, it is advised that those with these health problems avoid DMAE.
  • DMAE can also be over-stimulating for some people, perhaps causing muscle tension or insomnia, so individuals experiencing such difficulties are advised to discontinue use of DMAE.
  • Take with meals for optimum effect.


My recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg per day. For certain therapeutic uses, such as lowering cholesterol, larger doses may be recommended. As always, consult your physician.


•For maximum fiber, eat lots of raw fresh fruits and vegetables. Adding fiber to the diet helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is important in avoiding diabetes, metabolic disorders, and unwanted weight gain. Eat the skins of your fruits and vegetables if they are organic and unwaxed; the greatest fiber and antioxidant/anti-inflammatory properties are in the skin.

•The recommended fiber intake per day is 25–30 grams. Do not forget to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day—this is vitally important—especially because increased fiber can cause constipation if you don’t drink enough water.

•Fiber can help prevent gallstones and kidney stones as well as high cholesterol. Fiber-rich foods slow down the digestive process, preventing a rapid release of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream.

•Fiber can offer protection from certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer.

•Fiber can help prevent heart disease. Soluble fiber, which is found in oats, for example, can exert a positive effect on cholesterol, triglycerides, and other particles in the blood that influence the development of heart disease.

The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet is not just about the foods we do or do not eat. It is also about understanding the actions we do in our daily lives that are pro-inflammatory, and learning how to change them. Many have a direct link to obesity and weight gain, as well as accelerated aging, wrinkles, the thinning of skin, the killing of brain cells and shrinking of the brain, and a weakened immune system.


A simple rule of thumb is to consider the following: if it contains flour and/or sugar or other sweetener, it will be pro-inflammatory. For the most part, avoid the following foods:

• Bagels
• Baked goods
• Breads, rolls
• Cake
• Candy
• Cereals (except old-fashioned oatmeal)
• Cheese (except, sparingly, hard cheeses such as Romano and Parmesan, soy, feta, and cheese made with goat or sheep’s milk)
• Cookies
• Corn bread, corn muffins
• Cornstarch
• Corn syrup
• Crackers (except flaxseed crackers)
• Croissants
• Egg rolls
• Donuts
• Fast food
• French fries

• Fruit juice—eat the fruit instead
• Granola
• Flour
• Fried foods
• Honey
• Hot dogs
• Ice cream, frozen yogurt, Italian ices
• Jams, jellies, and preserves
• Margarine
• Molasses
• Muffins
• Noodles
• Pancakes
• Pasta
• Pastry
• Peanut butter made with hydrogenated oils
• Pie
• Pita bread
• Pizza

• Popcorn
• Potatoes
• Pudding
• Relish
• Rice
• Sherbet
• Shortening
• Snack foods, including potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, rice and corn cakes
• Soda
• Sorbets
• Tacos
• Tortillas
• Vegetable oils (other than olive or coconut)
• Waffles