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Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) for Pain Relief

Pain, Inflammation, Joint disorders | October 14, 2020 | Author: naturopath

Inflammation, Pain

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) for Pain Relief

A new class of analgesic products available for the treatment of pain is one based on an ingredient naturally manufactured by the human body – palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). People who have been suffering from chronic pain may have lower levels of PEA and supplementing with PEA may help with the pain response. PEA can be used for its neuroprotective properties and its anti-neuroinflammatory and pain-relieving actions.

Results from many placebo-controlled randomised clinical trials performed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of PEA in treating chronic pain, neuropathic pain and inflammatory conditions have shown PEA to be a non-addictive and a safe analgesic. It can be used alone or alongside other analgesic products.

PEA is naturally produced by the body but amounts may decline due to chronic disease, conditions associated with chronic inflammatory pain, tissue damage and aging. It is associated with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system regulates and balances an assortment of physiological functions in the body and dysfunction can result in the development of numerous pathological conditions. Neuropathic pain may be a result of lesions, disease or dysfunction of the somatosensory system. Diabetic neuropathies, trigeminal neuralgias and spinal cord injuries are some examples of conditions associated with neuropathic pain.

About palmitoylethanolamide

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an endogenous fatty acid amide naturally produced in response to pain and inflammation. It has been supplemented in Europe for many years (classified as a food for medical purposes), and in U.S. as a diet supplement. It has been shown to be effective for many different types of chronic pain - such as nerve pain, visceral pain (endometriosis and interstitial cystitis) and pain from joint inflammation (arthropathy).

What is palmitoylethanolamide?PEA was first identified as a natural food ingredient with medical properties in 1943 when it was part of epidemiological study on childhood rheumatic fever. It was noted the occurrence of rheumatic fever was lower in children fed egg yolk powder. PEA was subsequently identified as an active anti-inflammatory agent in chicken egg yolk.

PEA can be found in many foods such as peanuts, soybeans, soy lecithin, corn, peas and beans.

How PEA works in the body

Chronic pain is thought to be largely due to a process called neuroinflammation (an inflammatory response within the brain and spinal cord). PEA offers pain relief through its ability to bind to a receptor in the cell nucleus (the peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor) where it is able to perform many and various biological functions related to chronic and neuropathic pain and inflammation.

Conditions which may benefit from PEA

Conditions which may benefit from PEA are those involving acute and chronic pain and neuropathic pain. Some of these conditions include:

Mild osteoarthritis

  • to improve joint mobility
  • to reduce pain and inflammation
  • to relieve mild nerve pain

Neuropathic pain

  • Fibromyalgia –when taken with other medication, PEA may help in the reduction of pain

Conditions which may benefit from PEANerve pain – depending on pain source. This can include nerve pressure, nerve sensitivity and pinched or compressed nerves such as: 

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • sciatica
  • spinal injury

Glaucoma – to reduce intraocular pressure

Exercise Recovery

A study evaluating the effect of PEA on recovery from muscle damaging exercise showed PEA may help improve muscle recovery after intensive exercise by reducing the concentration of myoglobin and lactate.

Absorption of PEA

Supplemental forms of PEA are often produced using specialised technologies to help with absorption. Some of these technologies include:

Micronization​. This is used to reduce particle size to aid in absorption.

Combined with antioxidants flavonoids. PEA has been found to be especially effective when co-micronized with antioxidants such as luteolin, polydatin, quercetin or silymarin.

LipiSperse® technology. This is an advanced cold-water dispersion technology which allows lipophilic-active ingredients - those which have an affinity for lipids - to be more easily dispersed in water and thus increasing their bioavailability and uptake in the body. Using LipiSperse® technology enhances the absorption of a product.

Levagen+™ uses a water-dispersible technology to improve absorption in the gastrointestinal system.

Cautions 

PEA is generally well tolerated and non-addictive and can be taken with other medication for pain. It is still advised and always important to consult your health care provider before taking any new medication or supplements.

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References

Palmitoylethanolamide in CNS health and disease https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661814000656?via%3Dihub

Palmitoylethanolamide for the treatment of pain: pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5094513/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/palmitoylethanolamide

https://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2013/march/neuropathic-pain/

Neuroinflammation: The Devil is in the Details 

http://accurateclinic.com/accurate-education-palmitoylethanolamide-pea/

The Effect of Orally Dosed Levagen+™ (palmitoylethanolamide) on Exercise Recovery in Healthy Males—A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146510/

Therapeutic utility of palmitoylethanolamide in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with various pathological conditions: a case series https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500919/

Safety of micronized palmitoylethanolamide (microPEA): lack of toxicity and genotoxic potential https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5332261/

https://carusosnaturalhealth.com.au/products/pain-algesic?variant=32891603648565

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/palmidrol

http://pharmako.com.au/lipisperse.html#:~:text=Pharmako's%20LipiSperse%C2%AE%20is%20an,and%20uptake%20in%20the%20body.

Therapeutic Efficacy of Palmitoylethanolamide and Its New Formulations in Synergy with Different Antioxidant Molecules Present in Diets https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/9/2175/htm#B31-nutrients-11-02175

The pharmacology of palmitoylethanolamide and first data on the therapeutic efficacy of some of its new formulations https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bph.13580

The pharmacology of palmitoylethanolamide and first data on the therapeutic efficacy of some of its new formulations https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429331/

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