Palmitoylethanolamide, or PEA, is produced in the body naturally to combat pain and inflammation. Many animals and plants also produce PEA. The highest amounts can be found in soy lecithin, soybeans, egg yolk, peanuts, and alfalfa.
PEA is a fatty acid amid like anandamide, the main cannabinoid bliss molecule your body makes. Unlike regular fats, amide-containing fatty acids like PEA and our cannabinoids are directly involved in nerve communication.
- Supports relief from discomfort
- Promotes a healthy immune system
- Promotes eye health
Micronized Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a nutraceutical that has been formulated for better oral bioavailability and absorption. It modulates inflammatory responses and responses of the immune system as a fatty acid amide.
PEA is produced endogenously within the human body, but it can also be found in the tissues of plants and animals. It was originally isolated in egg yolks and now is commonly isolated from soy lecithin.
The micronized form of PEA provides superior absorption in two ways. Micronized PEA has a smaller particle size, which allows it to diffuse more efficiently on a cellular level. The smaller, micronized size also allows the particle to contain more energy for cellular distribution. The micronized formulation ensures a more effective delivery system than non-micronized PEA.
Palmitoylethanolamide Mode of Action
PEA consists of palmitic acid and ethanolamine. It is the hydrolyzed form of N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-palmitamide, a crystalline structure isolated in soy lecithin. It is this hydrolyzed substance that accounts for the anti-inflammatory properties that were first noted by scientists in 1957. PEA’s effects on the immune system have been studied since 1939.
PEA can be synthesized within the human body from the abundant fatty acid palmitic acid, but it is not dependent or influenced by dietary consumption of fatty acids. Palmitic acid in the diet is derived from dairy products such as cheese and butter, palm tree oil, and animal meat products. However, increasing palmitic acid in the hope of increasing endogenous PEA synthesis will not be effective.
The anti-inflammatory properties of PEA are due to its ability to inhibit inflammation-causing proteins called cytokines. Cytokines are released during periods of inflammation. PEA can suppress the secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha), a cytokine, while also inhibiting the release of interleukins. Interleukins are a specific class of cytokines that belong in the immunological system and are activated during the process of inflammation.
The involvement of PEA in restricting pro-inflammatory molecules, such as cytokines and interleukins, is part of the reason that PEA reduces inflammation. It promotes healthy immune system responses because of its action with the immune system and interleukins.
PEA has been studied for its immunological effects since its discovery in 1939 and remains one of the most researched and published nutraceuticals (more than 300 scientific papers have been written about it in just the past 50 years). Since 1971, PEA has been studied for its effects on respiratory viruses and inflammation, influenza viruses, and common colds. PEA has been clinically proven to deliver benefits against these types of infections. The end of the twentieth century fostered the biggest expansion of clinical trials for pain management and PEA’s role in the endocannabinoid system.
PEA indirectly acts on the ECS (endocannabinoid system) within the human body. Consisting of lipid-based neurotransmitters and proteins designed to pair up with cannabinoid receptors in the peripheral nervous system and brain, the ECS is still being thoroughly studied. The ECS is believed to influence areas of development, memory, fertility, the sensation of pain, and the immune system. PEA activates receptors similar to the cannabinoid receptor CB2 but does not display any actual connection to the receptors CB1 or CB2. Instead, it functions through an entourage effect which results in the activation of the ECS.
PEA benefits eye health due to a combination of strong anti-inflammatory properties and its natural retinoprotectant qualities (10).
Micronized PEA capsules provide 400 mg per 1 capsule.
Suggested use for adults is 1 capsule by mouth once daily, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Palmitoylethanolamide Side Effects & Toxicity
Clinical trials and animal safety trials have demonstrated that PEA is safe and has no noted side effects at normal clinical doses. No adverse effects were seen in either humans or animals at very high doses (near 1200 mg of micronized PEA/day).