From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Palmitoylethanolamide or Palmitoylethanolamine or PEA is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is available as a supplement and may have benefits for chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and for some mast cell activation or neurological diseases.[1][2][3]

PEA is not derived from marijuana but is an endocannabindiol-like compound that affects on some of the same pathways that marijuana compounds like THC and CBD do, and may have similar effects but without the potential for abuse found in THC or cannabis.[4]

PEA is also known as palmitoylethanolamide powder, hydroxyethylpalmitamide, Impulsin, N-(2-Hydroxyethyl) hexadecanamide, N-(2-Hydroxyethyl)palmitamide, Palmitamide MEA, Palmitic Acid Monoethanolamide, um-PEA, Palmidrol, and under various brand names including Normast®︎.[3]

Ultramicronized PEA[edit | edit source]

Ultramicronized PEA, also known as um-PEA or PEA-um is a form of palmitoylethanolamide available under the brand name Normast.[5][3]

Theory[edit | edit source]

PEA has been suggested as a potential treatment for both Long COVID and ME/CFS, based on the common microvascular symptoms of Long COVID and supported by Scheibenbogen and Wirth's Unifying hypothesis of endothelial dysfunction as the cause of neurological symptoms in ME/CFS.

PEA is a Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor (PPAR) alpha agonist, a group of drugs with the potential to improve endothelial health and function in ME/CFS, as well as being anti-inflammatory.[6]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Clinicians[edit | edit source]

Risks and safety[edit | edit source]

Costs and availability[edit | edit source]

Available without a prescription, in the form of a powder, sublingual treatment, capsules and cream.[7][8][3][9]

Normast[edit | edit source]

Epitech's Normast is probably the best known brand of PEA, and has been used for multiple clinical trials including for fibromyalgia pain, and unsuccessfully in spinal cord injury patients where it was found to be not statistically more effective than a placebo for nerve pain, spasicity, and insomnia,[5] and for other chronic health conditions. Normast ultramicronized PEA and is manufactured in Italy.[5]

Other brands[edit | edit source]

Brands of PEA other than Normast include Levagen or Levagen+, Optipea, PeaCURE, PeaPlex, PeaPure, Mirica, and Soothamide.[7][8][3][9]

Buy online[edit | edit source]

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

  • 2002, The Palmitoylethanolamide Family: A New Class of Anti-Inflammatory Agents?[2]
  • 2009, The potential benefits of palmitoylethanolamide in palliation: a qualitative systematic review[10] (Full text)
  • 2012, New Targets in Pain, Non-Neuronal Cells, and the Role of Palmitoylethanolamide[1] (Abstract)
  • 2014, Palmitoylethanolamide in CNS health and disease[11] (Abstract)
  • 2021, The microvascular hypothesis underlying neurologic manifestations of long COVID-19 and possible therapeutic strategies[6] (Full text)

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hesselink, Jan M. Keppel (February 29, 2012). "New Targets in Pain, Non-Neuronal Cells, and the Role of Palmitoylethanolamide". The Open Pain Journal. 5 (1). doi:10.2174/1876386301205010012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lambert, D.M.; Vandevoorde, S.; Jonsson, K-O.; Fowler, C.J. (March 1, 2002). "The Palmitoylethanolamide Family: A New Class of Anti-Inflammatory Agents ?". Current Medicinal Chemistry. 9 (6): 663–674. doi:10.2174/0929867023370707.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "PALMITOYLETHANOLAMIDE (PEA): Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews". WebMD. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  4. Clayton, Paul; Subah, Silma; Venkatesh, Ruchitha; Hill, Mariko; Bogoda, Nathasha (November 28, 2021). "Palmitoylethanolamide: A Potential Alternative to Cannabidiol". Journal of Dietary Supplements. 0 (0): 1–26. doi:10.1080/19390211.2021.2005733. ISSN 1939-0211. PMID 34842030.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Andresen, Sven R.; Bing, Jette; Hansen, Rikke M.; Biering-Sørensen, Fin; Johannesen, Inger L.; Hagen, Ellen Merete; Rice, Andrew S.C.; Nielsen, Jørgen F.; Bach, Flemming W. (September 2016). "Ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide in spinal cord injury neuropathic pain: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial". PAIN. 157 (9): 2097–2103. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000623. ISSN 0304-3959.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Research Accessibility Team (RAT) (August 19, 2021). "The microvascular hypothesis underlying neurologic manifestations of long COVID-19 and possible therapeutic strategies". Cardiovascular Endocrinology & Metabolism. 10 (4): 193–203. doi:10.1097/XCE.0000000000000253. ISSN 2574-0954. PMC 8575441. PMID 34765889.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Micronized Palmitoylethanolamide bulk Powder,bulk PEA". Cima Science Premium Ingredients Manufacturer. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "PeaPure Capsules - PEA". RS4supplements English. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Palmitoylethanolamide FAQ". vitalitus. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  10. Davis, Mellar P.; Behm, Bertrand; Mehta, Zankhana; Fernandez, Carlos (December 1, 2019). "The Potential Benefits of Palmitoylethanolamide in Palliation: A Qualitative Systematic Review". American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine®. 36 (12): 1134–1154. doi:10.1177/1049909119850807. ISSN 1049-9091.
  11. Mattace Raso, Giuseppina; Russo, Roberto; Calignano, Antonio; Meli, Rosaria (August 2014). "Palmitoylethanolamide in CNS health and disease". Pharmacological Research. 86: 32–41. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2014.05.006. ISSN 1096-1186. PMID 24844438.