00:00 Intro and supplement disclaimer
01:34 About PEA
04:53 How to order PEA
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a natural supplement that helps reduce pain and inflammation. It may be useful for those with ME/CFS (Myalgic encephalomyelitis/ Chronic fatigue syndrome) and anyone suffering chronic pain.
Gabrielsson L, Mattsson S, Fowler CJ (2016) ‘Palmitoylethanolamide for the treatment of pain: pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy’, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, vol. 82(4), pp. 932-42.
This is a review article that critically analyses the claims about PEA. They note that there are relatively few studies published on PEA for pain, and some of these are of poor quality. Nevertheless, there is evidence that PEA “has analgesic actions” (i.e. it works as a painkiller) and very low incidence of serious adverse drug reactions, but that more studies are needed.
Paladini A, Fusco M, Cenacchi T, Schievano C, Piroli A, Varrassi G (2016) ‘Palmitoylethanolamide, a Special Food for Medical Purposes, in the Treatment of Chronic Pain: A Pooled Data Meta-analysis’, Pain Physician, 19(2), pp. 11-24.
A meta-analysis that pooled raw data from 12 studies, including double blind control trials, open label trials vs standard therapies, and open-label trials without competitors. “Results showed that PEA elicits a progressive reduction of pain intensity significantly higher than control.” No serious adverse events were reported in response to PEA.
Clayton P, Hill M, Bogoda N, Subah S, Venkatesh R (2021) ‘Palmitoylethanolamide: A Natural Compound for Health Management. International Journal of Molecular Sciences’, vol. 22(10):5305.
A review article that gathers and summarises the many applications of PEA. Not just for pain relief, PEA shows promising applications to a wide variety of conditions, including depression, immune disorders and potential protection against degenerative neurological disorders! However, take this review with a grain of salt – the authors are employed by a company who owns the patent for some PEA formulations, so they have an incentive to present PEA in a favourable light. While there is a lot of useful information here, just be aware that some of the studies they cite are of poor quality (e.g. small sample size, lack of a control or placebo, open-label trials etc.), so more robust trials are needed to confirm their results. Also, some of the studies mentioned are done on animals, so we don’t yet know if the effects will carry over to humans. Again, more trials are needed.
WHRIA Women’s Health and Research Institute of Australia factsheet
Order PEA through your local compounding pharmacy or try an online pharmacy, such as Stenlake Compounding Chemist. Prescription needed.
Order PEA through Novoceuticals. Note discounts for larger or recurring orders.