You’ve tried Curcumin, Quercetin, Bromelain, Magnesium, Omega’s, even CBD oil, and none of them seems to do the trick for your pain, right? Well, I bet you haven’t tried Palmitoylethanolamide. Okay, I’m not going to make you even try to pronounce that word. Don’t worry, you won’t have to say it to get it. That’s why we call it PEA. A lot easier right? Here’s how it works. First allow me to explain a little about the different types of nerve cells and how they work in regards to pain.
Glial cells are types of cells in the central and peripheral nervous system that are like scaffolding and glue that holds the brain and nerves together. But that’s not all they do. We have discovered that glial cells are also responsible for facilitating nerve impulses, and exerting an inflammatory response on neurons. When your glial cells get dysregulated or over-activated they can have a detrimental effect on the nervous system, causing pain.
Mast cells are a type of immune system cell that responds to chemical signals when you get injured. Remember, inflammation is not a bad thing when it does what it’s supposed to do. If you injure your arm for example, mast cells release a payload of inflammatory chemicals in the surrounding tissue. These chemicals attract white blood cells and activate their immune response against foreign invaders like bacteria to keep you from getting infected. Good thing right? Mast cells also activate pain receptors. Now you may not like that but pain lets you know -- without question – “hey, be careful with that”. But overactive mast cell activation induces an increase in the density and sensitivity of pain receptors and can play a part in a variety of chronic pain disorders. Not good!
Remember my article about CBD oil? It was discovered that mammals have a specific receptor cell known as the endocannabinoid system, which is closely interconnected with the nervous and immune system. CBD has been shown to boost every function of our cannabinoid receptors to help soothe and relax us. PEA has an affinity for the cannabinoid-like G-coupled receptors, although it has no affinity for the classical cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. This is why it is sometimes referred to as a non-psychoactive “indirect endocannabinoid.” It does not block pain signals the way opioids and other analgesics do. Instead it works upstream by supporting the healthy function of glial cells and mast cells.
PEA for Pain
Because PEA tends to combine with or dissolve in lipids or fats, I recommend that you take it with some food or milk. This should help PEA dissolve and be better absorbed. Most foods will have a sufficient amount of fat to assist in dissolution, but if taken with a fat-free food it may not dissolve as well. Recommended foods to take it with are eggs, cheese, dairy, meats, salad dressings, peanut butter, coconut oil, etc. Alternatively, it may also be taken effectively with other lipid supplements such as fish oil.