Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) safely and effectively reduces pain

Managing pain has proven to be a challenge for science. Existing pharmaceutical painkillers are limited by their disappointing efficacy and considerable side effects. But there is a little known natural supplement that is showing tremendous promise for its power over pain and for its safety.

Palmitoylethanolamide, or PEA for short, is naturally made in your body. In addition to strong immune and antidepressant effects, PEA is powerfully anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and neuroprotective. 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.

In 2016, a meta-analysis of 12 studies—3 double-blind, 2 controlled but not blinded and 7 uncontrolled—confirmed that PEA is significantly better than controls for reducing pain. It worked better, and it worked in more people (Pain Physician. 2016 Feb;19(2):11-24).

A year later, another meta-analysis looked at 10 studies of PEA for pain. This time all of the studies were controlled studies. Once again, PEA was found to be significantly better than controls for reducing pain. And, unlike conventional painkillers, PEA kills pain safely. Less people had to drop out in the PEA groups than in the control groups (Pain Physician. 2017 Jul;20(5):353-362).

Now another new study has once again put the spotlight on PEA.

By using several different pain models, this novel study found, not only that PEA is a powerful painkiller, but that it works in several different ways.

The double-blind study gave either a placebo or 400mg PEA 3 times a day to 14 healthy people for 4 weeks. It then applied tests for different kinds of pain. PEA significantly reduced repetitive heat pain by more than 20% and significantly increased cold pain tolerance and pressure pain tolerance, as well as other pain models.

This new study shows that PEA works as a safe anti-inflammatory and painkiller in many ways, reducing central and peripheral sensitivity to pain and increasing pain inhibition as a pain modulator. The variety of painkilling mechanisms helps explain why PEA works on a variety of pain conditions.

PEA is not yet very well known as a painkiller. But it will be. And you may benefit by getting to know it now.


 Nutrients. 2022 Oct; 14(19):4084


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