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chronic pain

The acronym PEA stands for Palmitoylethanolamide. It is a naturally occurring fatty acid amide produced in the body. PEA binds to receptors in the cell nucleus and is involved in the regulation of neuroglia cells within the central nervous system.

What is PEA?

PEA plays an extensive role in many biological pathways related to inflammation and pain (chronic and neuropathic). PEA has also demonstrated an ability to assist in opioid tolerance. PEA acts on both neuronal and non-neuronal cells, and its ability to suppress overactive mast cells, results in a reduction in the release of histamine and cytokines into the body. These inflammatory substances act upon neurons increasing the perception of pain.

The major target area for PEA is the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α); a receptor that regulates gene networks that control inflammation and pain. PEA’s other modes of action include; the inhibition of anandamide (AEA) degradation, and desensitisation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1(TRPV1).

Conditions and supplementation

Many studies have been conducted over the past few decades examining the use of PEA for an extensive range of conditions related to chronic pain and inflammation, particularly for pain treatment-resistant patients.

Such conditions include:

  • Arthritis
  • Nerve Compression Syndrome
  • Sciatic Pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Dental Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Migraine
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Vaginal Pains
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Interestingly, numerous studies have revealed that the PEA levels in patients suffering from some of these conditions were in fact low, compared to healthy controls. This would suggest an even greater need to supplement with this endogenous modulator.

PEA can also be found in some foods, for example egg yolk, soybean lecithin, peanut meal and milk, and is in fact classified as a “food” for medical purposes. There have been no drug-drug interactions reported no serious side effects for that matter. The other beneficial point to note regarding PEA supplementation, is due to it being an endogenous substance by nature, it is not addictive. Something not commonly seen with pain medications.

PEA can be compounded into capsules and as a transdermal cream at the required dose. The strength and form prescribed will depend on the condition being treated, along with the patient’s history. We have PEA in stock at Kingsway and our trained staff members are always more than happy to offer recommendations to practitioners on dosing/prescribing PEA. So please feel free to contact us any time on 1300 564 799 or email on

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