DMAE goes by several other names, including dimethylaminoethanol, dimethylethanolamine and deaner. The National Library of Medicine describes DMAE as a clear, odorless liquid that is often used in products such as:
- Skin care serums
- Cognitive-function supplements
- Mood-enhancing pills
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DMAE promises to give you younger-looking skin and a sharper mind. However, the research is not conclusive.
If you're considering adding DMAE to your wellness regimen, you may experience several health benefits. However, there are some risks involved in taking unregulated supplements. Before you purchase DMAE, be sure to understand the potential benefits and risks.
Skin Benefits of DMAE
If you're looking for a new way to revitalize your skincare routine, you may seek out products that contain DMAE. According to the Cleveland Clinic, topical skincare products often use this ingredient to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, the research is mixed on the subject.
The studies on DMAE and skincare benefits are either outdated or done on animals. Therefore, the results of this research is not conclusive, but they are promising. For example, a 2005 review of evidence in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology found that DMAE may help combat several skin problems, including:
- Low muscle tone
These results seem promising if you're looking for a way to get firmer skin. However, the review itself calls for more research to determine if DMAE is more effective than other products in skincare ingredients. As such, you may want to wait until researchers publish more conclusive evidence.
Brain Benefits of DMAE
While DMAE for skincare benefits requires topical use, you may also take it as an oral supplement. DMAE is thought to be one of many ways you can keep your brain sharp as you age. Unfortunately, the studies around this supplement and its effects on the brain have many of the same flaws as those regarding DMAE and skin.
One March 2012 study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease looked at the effects of DMAE in people with prodromal Alzheimer's disease. Researchers studied 242 patients who took a compound called V0191, which includes DMAE. The scientists found no significant evidence of cognitive improvement with these patients over 12 weeks, but called for more investigation.
Instead of taking supplements for extra brainpower, you may consider a healthy diet. The American Association of Retired Persons reports that people who eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables daily have better brain health than those who don't. Supplements had no effect on this finding.
Choose Reputable Brands
If you choose to take a chance on DMAE supplements or skincare products, be sure to find a safe product that is right for you. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) keeps food, beverages and medications under tight restrictions, the regulation of dietary supplements is lighter. Despite this, the FDA has taken action against several companies selling DMAE supplements.
In 2016, the FDA published a warning letter to Reviva Labs Inc. for publishing health claims for which they did not have evidence. Several of the offending claims include the company's DMAE products, including that the ingredient would stimulate muscle tone. The FDA sent a similar letter to BrainAlert LLC in 2017 regarding the companies claims about DMAE's brain benefits.
In 2018, the FDA took further action against Years to Your Health and warned consumers about taking any supplements the company made, including those with DMAE. This came after the FDA found potentially harmful ingredients in the products and asked for a recall. The company refused to comply.
- National Library of Medicine: "2-Dimethylaminoethanol"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Understanding the Ingredients in Skin Care Products"
- American Journal of Clinical Dermatology: "The Role of Dimethylaminoethanol in Cosmetic Dermatology"
- Journal of Alzheimer's Disease: "Effect of Six Months of Treatment with V0191 in Patients with Suspected Prodromal Alzheimer's Disease"
- American Association of Retired Persons: "2019 AARP Brain Health and Dietary Supplements Survey"
- Food and Drug Administration: "Dietary Supplements"
- Food and Drug Administration: "Warning Letter BrainAlert, LLC"
- Food and Drug Administration: "FDA Alerts Consumer Not to Use Products Distributed by Years to Your Health"