What is DMAE and what are the suggested DMAE benefits? The acronym DMAE stands for dimethylaminoethanol. It is also known as deanol. The molecule is an analog – a structural derivative – of one of the B vitamins. It is also a precursor of acetylcholine, that is, it is one of the molecules used to build acetylcholine in cell metabolism. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, a molecule involved in the transmission of messages between nerve cells in the central nervous system.
Much of the DMAE information available highlights its relationship to acetylcholine. No doubt the link is the basis for research into the possible role of deanol in mental acuity, attention span, resistance to stress, and other neurological processes. The DMAE benefits suggested by this link are of interest to many people and deanol is being marketed as a dietary supplement for these and other health concerns; however the scientific evidence for its use in this way is not solid yet. This article discusses deanol in another application - as a topical anti aging skin treatment, an application with promising scientific backing.
Scientifically supported DMAE information is still relatively scanty; however, several controlled studies have tested the ability of deanol to improve the appearance and condition of aging skin. One study (reported in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2005) measured DMAE benefits by comparing a group of volunteers using a topical gel containing the molecule for 16 weeks, with a group who used a gel that did not contain deanol. At the end of the study, researchers found improvement in wrinkles in the forehead, around the eyes and nose, and on the throat. The shape and fullness of the lips also showed improvement. When the volunteers stopped using the gel for two weeks, the skin did not regress to its former condition.
DMAE information from studies indicates that the topical application of this product is safe: short term use was not found to cause redness, peeling skin, dry skin, itching or other discomfort. Further study found no significant problems after one year of use. Adding to DMAE benefits, deanol is apparently an anti-inflammatory, and continued use results in an increase in skin firmness. It seems as though this product may indeed have a role in anti aging skin care.
The mechanisms of DMAE benefits are still not clear. Again, its activity may be closely related to its role as an acetylcholine precursor. Research indicates that acetylcholine is produced, stored, and broken down in skin cells, and that the neurotransmitter is playing an active role in cell metabolism in the skin. DMAE information gathered to date doesn't tell us exactly what the molecule is doing, but it seems clear that it is essential to the healthy functioning of our skin cells - and that topical application of its precursor, dimethylaminoethanol, is beneficial to aging skin. No doubt, continued research will shed more light on DMAE benefits in the near future.
R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with more than 25 years experience as a health care professional. You can learn more about DMAE benefits on the AntiAging Information site.