Palmitoylethanolamide Background & Benefits

Benefits of PEAPalmoitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a fatty acid amide. It is produced in small quantities naturally in the body and can also be obtained from protein rich foods such as egg yolk, soybeans, milk and other foods.

PEA is produced in the body in response to pain or inflammation. Although the beneficial properties of PEA have been known for decades, PEA was initially poorly understood. During the 1990’s, an Italian Nobel Prize laureate, Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini showed for the first time that PEA may control overactive inflammatory cells (mast cells) in many diseases. This ground-breaking discovery caused a stir in the research world as it was completely new and unexpected.

This discovery was the driving force behind the surge in clinical studies over the past two decades and as a result, PEA has become well known as a natural pain reliever.

PEA appears to work via multiple mechanisms, rather than a single mechanism. PEA’s mechanisms are complicated but in summary it works by down-regulating inflammatory molecules and also by binding to the body’s internal cannabinoid receptors to bring about an analgesic effect (pain relief).

PEA has been studied as an effective pain reliever for various chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, neuralgia, lumbar stenosis, carpel tunnel syndrome and nerve root compression. PEA also supports pain management when taken alongside standard medications, for conditions such as fibromyalgia and endometriosis.

PEA is not only effective, but also very safe. Human studies and extensive literature reviews have reported no adverse effects or interactions with other supplements of medications. Moreover, there appears to be no risk of addiction or tolerance.

Uses of Palmitoylethanolamide

The most common use for PEA is to support pain management for a variety of conditions.

Signs you May Need Palmitoylethanolamide

If you’re feeling ongoing discomfort, you benefit from taking PEA.

References

Hesselink JM, Hekker TA. Therapeutic utility of palmitoylethanolamide in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with various pathological conditions: a case series. J Pain Res. 2012;5:437-42.

Steels E, Venkatesh R, Steels E, Vitetta G, Vitetta L. A double-blind randomized placebo controlled study assessing safety, tolerability and efficacy of palmitoylethanolamide for symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Inflammopharmacology. 2019 Jun;27(3):475-485.

Gabrielsson L, Mattsson S, Fowler CJ. Palmitoylethanolamide for the treatment of pain: pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016 Oct;82(4):932-42.

Clayton P, Hill M, Bogoda N, Subah S, Venkatesh R. Palmitoylethanolamide: A Natural Compound for Health Management. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 18;22(10):5305.

Marini I, Bartolucci ML, Bortolotti F, Gatto MR, Bonetti GA. Palmitoylethanolamide versus a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug in the treatment of temporomandibular joint inflammatory pain. J Orofac Pain. 2012 Spring;26(2):99-104.


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