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What is PEA?
WELLNESS

What is PEA?

PEA is known by many names including palmitoylethanolamide and palmidrol. PEA is a fatty acid molecule known as a cannabinoid, which is naturally produced in the human body in response to pain and inflammation, it also helps to support the myelin sheath around nerves which is essential for healthy nerve function. PEA is produced on demand and subsequently utilised within the cell where injury, inflammation or tissue damage is detected.

PEA can be found in protein-rich foods such as egg yolk and meat. It works by enhancing the body’s natural pain response while also reducing the response of the nervous system which also causes pain.

Throughout our bodies exists a system called the Endocannabinoid System. It consists of a network of receptors and compounds which help to restore balance when there are pain and inflammation present in the body. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. Once the body detects injury, signals are sent to the immune system to heal the injured area. This turn of events results in the area becoming inflamed and painful due to the increased blood flow that is transporting the immune and proinflammatory cells to the area. Increased blood flow also helps to carry oxygen and nutrients to the site of an injury, assisting with the healing process. Not all inflammation is productive, however, and chronic inflammation can lead to further health problems if remained unchecked.

The body naturally makes its own cannabinoids (such as PEA) which lock into Endocannabinoid receptors on injured cells and exert their effects in relation to nerve pain and inflammation via a number of cellular processes. Put simply, PEA works by interacting with several inflammatory mediators naturally occurring within the body resulting in a reduction in pain and inflammation. This is a natural process which occurs in the human body. Unfortunately, PEA levels can decline due to its natural breakdown in the body and so the body’s own natural anti-inflammatory processes are not always sufficient. In some cases, where there is a history of chronic pain and inflammation, the body can become low in PEA levels.

PEA works by interacting with several inflammatory mediators naturally occurring within the body resulting in a reduction in pain and inflammation.

Supplemental PEA can help reduce this over activation of inflammatory activity, effectively stopping the breakdown of natural PEA made within the body and balancing the inflammatory process. It does this by mimicking the effects of the body’s own PEA and natural anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving systems.
Felicity Downes-Casipit
Author

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