Dimethylglycine is an anti-stress nutrient with antioxidant properties. Recently, studies have implicated the generation of oxygen-derived free radicals and lipid peroxidation as one of the mechanisms in the pathogenesis of gastric ulcer. Hence, we evaluated the antiulcer activity of dimethylglycine in various rat models of ulcer and also investigated the probable antioxidant mechanism of the anti-ulcer effect. Dimethylglycine at a dose of 25 and 35 mg kg(-1) significantly reduced ulcer number, ulcer size and ulcer index in pyloric-ligation-, ibuprofen- and stress-induced ulcers. The 35 mg kg(-1) dose was more effective than 25 mg kg(-1) and was comparable to famotidine. Dimethylglycine did not produce any significant change in acid secretion, unlike famotidine. There was a significant increase in plasma and tissue malondialdehyde levels in pyloric-ligated rats but these levels fell following dimethylglycine treatment. Also, there was a significant reduction in glutathione levels after dimethylglycine treatment. The results suggest that the gastroprotective effect of dimethylglycine could be mediated by its free radical scavenging activity and cytoprotection of gastric mucosa.