Not only is it a physical burden for the 3.37 million Australians living with persistent, chronic pain1, the financial burden for the country is also considerable, estimated to be as high $144.1 billion a year2.
An alternative to help manage pain is the unique, diverse compound, PEA. PEA was first isolated from soybean lecithin, egg yolk and peanut in the mid-1950s and despite its discovery over 70 years ago, has only recently exploded in popularity for its ability to relieve pain in a variety of pain states.
PEA is an abbreviation for the fatty acid amide compound – palmitoylethanolamide. As a compound, PEA is produced naturally in the body in response to injury and stress. However, unfortunately the body produces PEA in such small amounts, that often there is not enough to help combat the increased stress that occurs in our bodies every day.
How does PEA work?
PEA works by acting on multiple mechanisms in the body that control inflammation and pain sensation. It acts directly and indirectly on several molecular targets to a produce a positive therapeutic effect on the central nervous system and, unlike regular fats, amide-containing fatty acids like PEA are directly involved in nerve communication.
Relief of symptoms of mild osteoarthritis
PEA has been well-researched for its ability to be beneficial in a variety of pain states, including mild joint pain, mild nerve pain and symptoms of mild osteoarthritis. A recent Australian study involving 111 people with mild knee osteoarthritis investigated the effects of 600mg of PEA daily for 8 weeks. By the end of the trial, mild knee pain and stiffness reduced by 53.7% in the 600mg group, compared to 25% in the placebo group and total WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index) scores (covering pain, stiffness and physical function) reduced significantly compared to placebo with no serious adverse events recorded3.
Relief of mild nerve pain
Due to PEA’s wide-ranging actions in the body, PEA has been shown to be useful in relieving mild nerve pain. A prospective study investigated the effects of 600mg PEA in combination with standard treatment in 118 patients with mild nerve-based pain. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) pain scores decreased significantly in the PEA group compared to baseline and the control group.
PEA from Levagen®+
Herbs of Gold Pain Relief PEA uses PEA from Levagen®+ a cold-water dispersible PEA specifically with increased bioavailability. Levagen®+ uses LipiSperse® technology which enables the PEA to easily disperse in the water environment of the gastrointestinal tract therefore increasing the surface area for superior absorption.
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2020). Chronic Pain in Australia. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-disease/chronic-pain-in-australia/contents/summary
2. Pain Australia. (2020). Painful Facts. https://www.painaustralia.org.au/about-pain/painful-facts
3. Steels, E., Venkatesh, R., Steels, E., Vitetta, G., & Vitetta, L. (2019). A double-blind randomised placebo-controlled study assessing safety, tolerability and efficacy of palmitoylethanolamide for symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Inflammopharmacology, 27(3), 475-485.