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Side Effects of DMAE

Not a single scientific invention is unmixed bliss! That goes true with DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) also. DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), which is a form of acetylcholine and known to have lots of positive effects on mental health, and most importantly the skin, is not devoid of a few side-effects as well.

DMAE is available as cream, tablets, liquid or capsules to increase the level of acetylcholine in the body and stimulate synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. 

The exact effects and side-effects of DMAE are yet to be found out with appropriate research as the scientists are divided on their opinion about the working procedure of DMAE on human cells. However, most of them agree on the fact that DMAE reportedly improves and tones the skin, particularly around the eyes.

Common Side Effects of DMAE

  • Sleeplessness.
  • Headaches.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Anxiety.
  • Restlessness.
  • Neck and shoulders pain

Types of Side Effects

  • It has been found in a study that the side effects of DMAE are more prominent when the supplement is taken orally rather than used topically. The possible side effects may include constipation, headaches, drowsiness, insomnia, hyperactivity, abnormal dreams, confusion, depression, changes in personality, nervousness and anxiousness.
  • It also increases the side effects of certain drugs which are used to treat Alzheimer's disease, like donepezil (Aricept), tacrine (Cognex), rivastigmine (Exelon) and galantamine (Razadyne).
  • DMAE increases blood pressure in some patients. If a person is already suffering from mental health issues, DMAE can aggravate the problem by causing the onset of schizophrenia symptoms.
  • Also, it is suggested not to use DMAE when someone is pregnant or nursing as the drug has the potential to cause drowsiness.

Researches on Side Effects of DMAE

In a research article published in a British Journal of Dermatology back in the year 2007, major safety concerns were raised regarding the use of Topical DMAE. The study, led by Dr. Morissette shed light on the effect of DMAE in human skin cell cultures and rabbit skin.

It was found that DMAE added to the cultures of fibroblasts induced vacuolization which is a type of action of the skin cells themselves after a particular skin damage to encapsulate and excrete foreign agents and the damaged parts of the cells. It was concluded that vacuolization itself suggested the possibility of skin damage. It was also observed that DMAE stopped the fibroblasts from dividing. After the DMAE was washed out of the culture, the process got reversed.

However, there were a lot of drawbacks to the study as DMAE applied to the skin of the rabbit ear made the epidermis to thicken as well as the perinuclear swelling in the epidermal cells. It is just an indication of vacuolization and cell damage and not at all a concrete proof.

There was also not any clinical trial on human beings for a considerably long time with topical DMAE formulas as a lot of skin rejuvenation treatments like alpha-hydroxy acids, chemical peels, laser resurfacing uses the technique of controlled skin damage where the healing process itself is the main factor behind improving of the skin matrix. It still needs to be researched and analyzed to see if the damage caused by DMAE is transient and beneficial in the longer-term.

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