What is Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a lipid that occurs naturally in our body in the category of fatty acid amide. It is hence an endogenous lipid. PEA is also naturally produced in plants and animals.

The major palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) food sources are milk, soy beans, garden peas, soy lecithin, meat, eggs and peanuts.

Palmitoylethanolamide also termed as palmitoylethanolamine or N-2 hydroxyethyl palmitamide is well known and used for its role in fighting pain and inflammation. There is also evidence for palmitoylethanolamide weight loss benefits.


How does Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) work?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) exhibits vast mechanisms of action in its role such as;

  • PEA usually targets the PPAR-α receptor (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha). The PPAR- α is a receptor that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and also helps in burning fat and boosting metabolism. When PEA binds to this receptor it helps in preventing the release of many substances that can lead to inflammation as well as genes associated with inflammation (Pro-inflammation genes). This hence helps prevent or lower inflammation.
  • Palmitoylethanolamide also works indirectly to induce the activities of some receptors such as the cannabinoid receptors. PEA indirectly stimulates the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) by acting as enzyme (FAAH -fatty acid amide hydrolase)involved in the breakdown of the cannabinoid anandamide. This help in raising the levels of anandamide in our bodies, which is responsible for relaxation and combating pain.


What are the benefits of Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)?

There is a wide range of palmitoylethanolamide benefits known due to its therapeutic properties including reducing sensitivity to pain, fighting inflammation, antiepileptic, and neuroprotection.

Some of the reported palmitoylethanolamide benefits include;


i. Supports brain health

Palmitoylethanolamide benefits in enhancing brain health are associated with its ability to fight neural inflammation and also promotion of neural cells survive. This is noted more with people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders and stroke.

For instance, in a study of 250 people suffering from stroke, palmitoylethanolamide supplement administered along with luteolin was found to enhance recovery. PEA was found to enhance memory, the general brain health as well as day to day functioning. These effects of palmitoylethanolamide powder were noticed 30 days after supplementation and increased over one more month.


ii. Relieve from multiple pain and Inflammation

Scientists provide considerable evidences of palmitoylethanolamide pain relieving properties. As a matter of fact, palmitoylethanolamide offers pain relief to diverse types of pain and inflammation. Some studies that demonstrates palmitoylethanolamide pain relief properties are;

In a study involving animals, palmitoylethanolamide supplement along with quercetin was found to offer relief from joint pain as well as improve the joint functioning and protection of cartilage from damage.

Some preliminary studies show that PEA can help reduce nerve pains in diabetic patients (diabetic neuropathy).

In another study with 12 people, a palmitoylethanolamide dosage of 300 and 1,200 mg/day given for about 3 to 8 weeks was found to lower the intensity of chronic and neuropathic pain.

A study of 80 patients suffering from Fibromyalgia syndrome found out that PEA in addition to other medicines for the disorder potentially lower the pain.

Further, several other studies show the palmitoylethanolamide pain relief potential including relieve from pelvic pain, sciatic pain, back pain, cancer pain among others.


iii. Helps reduce the symptoms of depression

PEA indirectly influences the receptors responsible for mood. Some studies demonstrate palmitoylethanolamide anxiety relief as a key role in fighting depression.

In a study of 58 patients with depression, palmitoylethanolamide supplement at 1200 mg/day along with antidepressant medication (citalopram) administered for 6 weeks was found to significantly improve the mood and the general depression symptoms.


iv. It relieves the common cold

Palmitoylethanolamide benefits in combating the common cold lies in its ability to destroy the virus responsible for the common cold (influenza virus). Surprisingly, the common cold occurs widely and affects almost everybody especially people with comprised immunity.

A study with 900 young soldiers demonstrated that a palmitoylethanolamide dosage of 1200 mg per day reduced the time taken by the participant to heal from the cold and also the symptoms such as headaches, fever and sore throat.


v. Lowers the symptoms of insular (multiple) sclerosis

With the proven palmitoylethanolamide anti-inflammatory properties, PEA is undoubtedly suitable for treating multiple sclerosis.

In a study of 29 patients suffering from advanced multiple sclerosis, PEA added to the standard dose of interferon IFN-β1a was found to lower the pain as well as enhanced the patients’ quality of life.

Other palmitoylethanolamide benefits are;

  • Beneficial to your eyes
  • Promotes heart health


Can Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) powder help to lose weight?

Yes, Palmitoylethanolamide powder provides numerous weight loss benefits. Here are some of the palmitoylethanolamide weight loss benefits;


i.Palmitoylethanolamide improves metabolism

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is able to bind to PPAR- α, a receptor responsible for metabolism, appetite, weight loss and fats burning.  When the PPAR- α receptor is triggered you experience high energy levels which helps the body burn more fats in exercises hence you lose weight.


ii.Palmitoylethanolamide can lower your appetite

Palmitoylethanolamide weight loss potential is demonstrated in its ability to influence your appetite. Similar to enhancing the metabolism, when the PPAR- α receptor is activated it leads to a feeling of fullness while eating thus helps you control the amount of calories consumed.

Further, PEA is considered a fatty acid ethanolamides that plays a key role in feeding behavior. In a study of overiectomized rats with high weight gain, PEA supplement at 30 mg/kg body weight for 5 weeks was found to significantly lower their food intake, fat mass and consequently the body weight.


iii.Palmitoylethanolamide anti-inflammatory effects during exercise

One may experience pain and inflammation during and after workouts due to excessive weight. Well, PEA supplement could help prevent this by stimulating anti-inflammatory activity of the PPAR- α receptor. Palmitoylethanolamide can also inhibit the release of inflammatory enzymes in the by the human adipose tissues.


Who should take a supplement of Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) supplement is fit for all suffering from adverse pain or inflammation and also anyone interested in weight loss whether on medication or not. PEA has been seen to enhance the efficacy of other drugs. It is an option for those who do not find relief in using the prescribed pain killers.

Palmitoylethanolamide anxiety relief is an excellent attribute anyone at risk of depression or suffering from depression should take PEA for.

Furthermore, one would reap more of the PEA from supplements since manufacturers seek formulations that increases palmitoylethanolamide bioavailability in your body.


Are there any side effects?

Palmitoylethanolamide is not toxic as it is also produced naturally in your body. No adverse palmitoylethanolamide side effects have been reported as well as no adverse interactions with other drugs.

However, some users rarely reported mild palmitoylethanolamide side effects such as stomach upset, mild diarrhea and gut discomfort after taking PEA supplement.


How do I take Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) supplement?

While we emphasized the palmitoylethanolamide anti-inflammatory benefit among other benefits, it is worth bringing to your attention some more facts about PEA. PEA occurs in large particles and is insoluble in water, this makes palmitoylethanolamide bioavailability and absorption limited.

The good news, however, is that manufacturers target formulations that enhance palmitoylethanolamide bioavailability for maximum utilization in your body. For these, PEA supplements are available in capsule form, tablet form, powder form, and even as topic creams.

Oral supplementation along with a topical cream of PEA would be recommended for best results. A palmitoylethanolamide dosage of 1200 mg/day taken as 1 capsule (4oomg) thrice a day for 2-3 months together with a topical cream is recommended.


Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and Anandamide

Palmitoylethanolamide and anandamide are closely related since they are both endogenous fatty acid amide produced in the body.

PEA and anandamide are said to have synergistic effects in treatment of pain and also enhance the pain killers used.

They are also broken down by the fatty acid hydrolase enzyme in the body, hence the effects achieve when used together is more than when used on standalone supplement.


Palmitoylethanolamide VS Phenylethylamine

Phenethylamine a chemical substance that is naturally produced by the body. It is widely used for enhancing athletic performance and also can help relieve depression, aid in weight loss and enhance mood.

Palmitoylethanolamide on the other hand is a fatty acid amide that is largely known for pain and inflammation relief.

These two compounds are not related. The only thing that connects them is that they are both abbreviated as PEA.



CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compounds extracted from hemp and marijuana. While the body produces cannabinoids naturally, CBD has been supplemented to meet the need.

Cannabinoids are the biological active chemicals produced in the body that are responsible for memory, pain, appetite, and movement. Scientists speculate that cannabinoids may be beneficial in reducing inflammation and anxiety, destroying cancer cells, offering relaxation in muscles and also enhances appetite.

PEA is a fatty acid amide also produced in the body and can be referred to as a cannabimimetic. This means it mimics the works of CBD in your body.

Both CBD and PEA acts indirectly by inhibiting the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which usually breakdown anandamide and weakens it. This results to high levels of anandamide. Anandamide plays a major role in the mood and also motivation. The increased levels of anandamide positively influence the endocannabinoid system.

PEA has gained popularity and competes with CBD. PEA is considered a safe alternative to CBD due to the legal issues facing it and also the fact that most people cannot tolerate the high levels of ‘stone’ that comes with the CBD.

Further, PEA is much cheap than CBD. However, PEA can be used in addition to CBD to achieve synergetic effects.



i. How long does it take for pea to work?

Well, PEA is not a ‘magic supplement’ as with many supplements to work instantly. One should expect significant relief from pain in 2 to 6 weeks and the maximum benefit can be reaped as long as 3 months of use.


ii.  Is Palmitoylethanolamide a cannabinoid?

PEA is not grouped as a cannabinoid. It works indirectly to activate the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Interestingly, PEA exhibits synergistic effects with cannabinoids.


iii. Is Pea supplement safe?

PEA supplement is considered safe. No adverse palmitoylethanolamide side effects have been reported. However, there are rare case where users of PEA report mild side effects including mild diarrhea, stomach heaviness and gut issues.

It is always advisable to consult your medical practitioner and also research widely on a particular supplement before considering it as part of your diet.


iv.  What is PEA derived from?

PEA is naturally produced in our bodies and also by animals and plants. However, for people with chronic pain or inflammation, PEA occurs in insufficient amount hence the need for PEA supplements.

Palmitoylethanolamide can be derived from food sources rich in proteins such as milk, meat, soy beans, soy lecithin, peanuts and garden peas among others. However, the PEA obtained from food sources is in small amounts.  This makes palmitoylethanolamide bulk production necessary to meet this dietary needs.


V. Where to buy Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) powder?

We’re in an interesting era where online stores have become a one stop shop for everything including palmitoylethanolamide bulk supplies.  If you consider taking PEA, research widely for legit palmitoylethanolamide bulk supplement manufacturers. Most users of palmitoylethanolamide buy it from online stores and should consider their reviews for the best PEA powder in the market.


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  2. Beggiato Sarah, T. M. (2019). Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) as a Potential Therapeutic Agent in Alzheimer’s Disease. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 821. doi:10.3389/fphar.2019.00821.
  3. Coppola, M. & Mondola, R… (2014). Is there a role for palmitoylethanolamide in the treatment of depression? Medical Hypotheses. 82. 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.12.016.
  4. De Gregorio, D., Manchia, M., Carpiniello, B., Valtorta, F., Nobile, M., Gobbi, G., & Comai, S. (2018). Role of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) in depression: Translational evidence. Journal of Affective Disorders.doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.10.117.