Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an 18-carbon long- chain fatty acid. PEA has been studied since 1939 in numerous health conditions. PEA is thought to work by reducing the inflammatory response and by restoring balance in the endocannabinoid system. Its mechanism of action is similar to that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is the body’s go-to- molecule and is made on demand when required under disease conditions. Due to its ubiquitous nature and presence in all cells, PEA has wide-ranging therapeutic applications. Some of the most common clinical applications are analgesic effects, chronic pain, and inflammation support.
PEA has anti-inflammatory effects on the body by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and by reducing the activity of activated microglia cells. It is also thought to reduce pain by modulating the neurotransmitters involved in pain signaling. In addition to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, PEA is also thought to offer neuroprotection by reducing the levels of reactive oxygen species and by modulating cell death pathways. It has also been shown to improve cognitive function in animal models of Alzheimer's disease.
The endocannabinoid system is involved in a wide range of physiological processes, including digestion. The role of the endocannabinoid system in the gut has been studied extensively and it is now well-established that cannabinoids modulate gastrointestinal motility, secretion and inflammation. PEA is one of the most abundant endocannabinoids in the gut and is thought to play a key role in gut-brain axis. The endocannabinoid system is known to be involved in various digestive disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Several studies have shown that PEA is effective in reducing symptoms of IBS, such as abdominal pain and bloating. A recent clinical trial showed that a PEA-based product was able to significantly reduce IBS symptoms in patients who did not respond to standard therapy. PEA has also been shown to be effective in supporting other digestive disorders such as GERD and IBD. In a clinical trial, PEA was able to significantly reduce symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn and acid reflux.