Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and lipoic acid may help calm cytokine storm of COVID-19

People whose COVID symptoms become severe often experience a cytokine storm, an exaggerated inflammatory immune response. This out of control inflammatory immune response may be what leads to the acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ failure that comes with severe COVID. Two lesser known, but powerful, nutrients may help.

You may have heard of lipoic acid. Lipoic acid is especially valuable for diabetes and diabetic neuropathy. But it is also a powerful antioxidant that has the unusual and versatile power of being both water and fat soluble.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a less well known supplement. It has strong anti-inflammatory, immune, pain relieving and antidepressant effects. PEA is naturally made in your own body. PEA influences control mechanisms in our cells that control cellular stress and inflammation. PEA has been shown to balance the inflammatory response of the immune system. This is exactly what seems to be needed in COVID. Could lipoic acid and PEA help?

No human studies have been conducted, so we don’t know. But a just published in vitro study offers the first promise. Lipic acid is a powerful and versatile antioxidant; PEA balances the inflammatory response of the immune system. When you put them together, what do you get?

At least in a laboratory, you get the ability to reduce free radical damage and modulate cytokines, suggesting that the novel combination could modulate the cytokine storm that is the hallmark of severe COVID.

The researchers say that this study suggests for the first time that lipoic acid and PEA may counteract the inflammatory damage of COVID by dampening the cytokine storm and acting powerfully as an antioxidant.


J Diet Suppl 2021 Aug 18:1-23


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