Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is synthesized by healthy tissue in the human body in response to inflammation. It works as a signaling molecule to down-regulate the inflammatory response of glial cells and mast cells. PEA is made by various plants and animals and is present throughout the animal kingdom. It can be extracted from natural sources, but modern production methods typically synthesize it from palmitic acid.
What is it?
What are Glial Cells and Mast Cells?
Glial cells are various types of companion cells in the central and peripheral nervous system. Once thought to be nothing more than the glue that holds the brain together, these cells are now understood to have a much more complex role in the brain besides simply acting as a scaffold. Glial cells are responsible for nourishing neurons, facilitating nerve impulses, and exerting an inflammatory response on neurons. Dysregulation and over-activation of glial cells can have a detrimental effect on the nervous system[6,7,8].
Mast cells are a type of immune system cell that responds to chemical signals from tissue injury. When mast cells “degranulate,” they release a payload of inflammatory cytokines, NGF, histamines, and other molecules in the surrounding tissue. These chemicals attract white blood cells and activate their immune response against pathogens. Mast cells also activate nociceptors (pain receptors) with the chemicals they secrete. In addition to nociceptor activation, NGF released from mast cells also encourage nociceptor proliferation. In other words, continued mast cell activation induces an increase in the density and sensitivity of pain receptors. Mast cell overactivity is implicated in a variety of chronic pain disorders .
How does it work?
Palmitoylethanolamide is thought to act primarily on the Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Alpha (PPAR-α), a receptor in the cell nucleus. It also has affinity for the cannabinoid-like G-coupled receptors GPR55 and GPR119, although it has no affinity for the classical cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. This is why it is sometimes referred to as a non-psychoactive “indirect endocannabinoid.” The prescence of PEA and other N-acylethanolamines have been known to enhance anandamide action by an entourage effect.
It does not block pain signals the way opioids and other analgestics do. Instead it works upstream by supporting the healthy function of glial cells and mast cells.
Is it safe?
PEA is part of your body’s own signaling system. It is not a dug, steroid, NSAID, or opioid. It has been studied in various clinical settings (see References) and has been found to have no side effects, no drug interactions, and an overall excellent safety profile. Nevertheless, we strongly advise our customers to consult with their doctor before starting a PEA regimen.
How should I take it?
Because PEA is lipophilic, we recommend that our customers take it with some food or milk. This should help the product dissolve and be better absorbed. Most foods will have a sufficient amount of fat to assist in dissolution, but if taken with a fat-free food it may not dissolve as well. Recommended foods to take it with are eggs, cheese, dairy, meats, salad dressings, peanut butter, coconut oil, etc. Alternatively, it may also be taken effectively with other lipid supplements such as fish oil.
For customers first starting out on PEA we recommend they take 4 capsules per day for two weeks to a month, and then decreasing to two capsules per day. It may be preferrable if the dosages are spread out throughout the day for best absorption.
Unlike conventional analgesics, PEA can sometimes have a delayed effect, and its effects tend to be cumulative. While in some cases our customers may notice an effect in a short period of time, it may take weeks for noticeable improvement.
Why get it from Vitalitus?
Our own child uses our product, so we go through extensive third party lab testing to confirm that it is pure and safe. We also increase the effectiveness of our PEA by including a natural emulsifier in our patent-pending formula. This overcomes the poor solubility of PEA and makes it more bioavailable. Our capsule is made from vegetable hypromellose and we use no synthethic excipients. Instead we use a rice-derived flow agent to ensure flowability of the product for a consistent fill weight to comply with GMP regulations and our own quality standards.
We’re committed to making the best quality, most effective PEA products in the US. These qualities are some of the reasons our product has been repeatedly recommended by top physicians while warning against imitators.
Vitalitus is a small family-owned company located in western Pennsylvania. We make our products in the US to GMP standards. We are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and offer the highest level of customer support.
- New Targets in Pain, Non-Neuronal Cells, and the Role of Palmitoylethanolamide
- Therapeutic utility of palmitoylethanolamide in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with various pathological conditions: a case series.
- Treatment of chronic regional pain syndrome type 1 with palmitoylethanolamide and topical ketamine cream: modulation of nonneuronal cells
- Randomized Split-Mouth Study on Postoperative Effects of Palmitoylethanolamide for Impacted Lower ThirdMolar Surgery
- Palmitoylethanolamide: A Useful Adjunct in Chemotherapy Providing Analgesia and Neuroprotection
- Glial cell dysregulation: a new perspective on Alzheimer disease
- Microglial cell dysregulation in brain aging and neurodegeneration
- Glia and pain: Is chronic pain a gliopathy?
- Mast cells: versatile gatekeepers of pain