PEA (palmitoylethanolamide) started out back in 1939 as a natural food ingredient within dried egg yolk. It was noted that it possessed medicinal properties because when fed to undernourished children with recurrent haemolytic streptococcus infections, rheumatic fever was reduced. The action was attributed the anti-inflammatory actions of PEA and later isolated from soy lecithin in 1957. Later this was confirmed in human clinical trials starting in the 1970s and repeated since in various studies.
PEA is naturally found in mammals, produced on demand in the central nervous system where it is produced my neurons, the immune system and glial cells. As a result it is helpful for regulation of pain and inflammation in the human body.
How Does PEA Work?
PEA has been shown to reduce pain, activation of mast cells, reduce nerve oedema and preserve peripheral nerve function. In simple terms this means it helps the body to reduce inflammation in a natural way. Studies show that the major target area for PEA is a transcription factor that regulates pain and inflammation by switching off the nuclear factor kappa-B signaling cascade, an important pathway in synthesis of proinflammatory mediators. PEA also is proposed mechanism of action is to work on the cannabinoid type 2 receptors, ATP-sensitive potassium channels and neuropathic pain receptors.
What conditions can PEA help with?
Studies have shown PEA to help with a large selection of conditions which have direct pain including:
- chronic pain
- diabetic neuropathy
- post-herpetic neuralgia
- failed back surgery
- peripheral neuropathy
Studies also suggest PEA can be helpful with other conditions which are suggested to have a component of underlying inflammation such as:
- Parkinson Disease
- Common food allergies
- Post Operative surgery
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