Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a bioactive functional lipid that belongs to a class of molecules known as fatty acid amides. PEA is a naturally occurring compound that dates back hundreds of millions of years up the evolutionary path and is found in plant and animal cells. PEA has anti-inflammatory as well as pain-relieving properties. It acts as a protective and repairing molecule supporting the self-healing ability of the body.
PEA has often been described as a pleiotropic compound. It’s a “magic shotgun” capable of modulating numerous complex systems by hitting different important cellular targets simultaneously. Oral supplementation with PEA is an interesting alternative or worthwhile complementary strategy in the treatment of a large number of disease states, especially chronic pain, inflammation and degenerative diseases.
PEA can be produced in almost every cell by on-demand synthesis when needed, and in the amounts that are needed. Its production is naturally increased in situations where cells or tissues are damaged, or are threatened to become damaged. PEA’s metabolism in cells is not complex. Cells can synthesize PEA from fat-like substances already present in the cell membrane via the precursor n-acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE). Degradation is simple as well: any cell that can synthesize PEA has access to the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme. This enzyme can break PEA down to its building blocks which can then be reintegrated in the cell membrane.
PEA restores unbalanced regulatory biological processes that may be disturbed, acutely or chronically, by a host of endogenous and exogenous mechanisms. This is achieved via impact on a particular nuclear receptor, the PPAR receptor. This nuclear receptor restores biochemical balance in cells and thereby preventing an excess of inflammatory factors and pain-promoting substances. Activation of this nuclear receptor plays an important role in analgesia.
Additional specific cellular targets of PEA are mast cells and glial cells. Excessive activation of these cells are important factors in chronic pain. In fact, it has been known for several years that these satellite, non-neuronal cells may maintain chronic pain. PEA inhibits any excessive activity of these inflammatory cells. It restores their normal activity, thereby considerably decreasing the reactivity of chronic pain systems throughout the body. In addition to PPAR receptor activation and the calming effect on particularly mast cells and glial cells, many other mechanisms of action have been identified.
OptiPEA® is a premium brand for PEA worldwide. When it comes to manufacturing PEA we have adopted and work in accordance with EU GMP standards. We only use high quality raw materials, novel process engineering and highly-sensitive full spectrum chemical analysis for research and quality assurance of our products.
General PEA dosing guidelines are as follows:
A minimum dose of 20 mg per kg of body weight and maximum dose of 100 mg per kg of body weight can be used for a more individualized approach.
Since 1972 dozens of clinical trials reported in the medical literature, involving thousands of patients have documented the benefits of PEA. These have shown that PEA is an effective and safe natural compound to use. In these studies, many of which included elderly and child subjects, no negative side effects have been identified.
In clinical studies, doses up to 100 mg per kg of body weight per day have been used without any adverse effects that could be distinguished from placebo effects. The LD50 is not determinable because the substance is a natural fat.
Whether it is safe to use PEA during pregnancy or lactation is still insufficiently investigated. For individuals who suffer from renal or hepatic conditions it is generally advised to start cautiously with a single daily dose of 400 mg and increase slowly. To date, no adverse interactions between PEA and regular medicines have come to light.