The palmitoylethanolamide key opinion leader professor JMK Hesselink from the Netherlands has published an extensive review on palmitoylethanolamide in 2012 and discussed all clinical data available.

Palmitoylethanolamide: a long tradition of research

He pointed out that since the first paper on PEA was indexed in the international databank Pumed in 1968 many new research has been published, and in 2016 we can find more than 500 scientific papers and each month new ones appear.

In the review paper he discussed many clinical trials conducted with PEA, amongst others ion visceral pain, neuropathic pain and pain in women’s disorders. But even in extraction of molars PEA seems to ease the pain. He also reviewed that the initial clinical research on PEA started in the 1960s and 1970s, especially in the Czech Republic in the indication flu and common cold. Meanwhile it is understood why PEA can also exert prophylactic effects in these viral disorders, and bacteriologists increasingly focus on PEA as a new way to support our immune system.

PEA: effective dose around 1200 mg/day

In most clinical trials doses up to 1200 mg have been used and found to be effective and safe. As main biological target he discussed the nuclear PPAR receptor. This is a master switch kind of receptor, which can down regulate overactive inflammations.

He further discussed a number of proof of concept clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy and safety of palmitoylethanolamide in the treatment of various neuropathic pain states. These trials all confirm that glia cells are a new and important target for modern painkillers.

Palmitoylethanolamide is starting to become ‘hot; in certain circles for the treatment of various painstates, especially since it follows a natural course in its actions and brings balance to the body.
We prefer treatment either with the Italian PEA tablets, based on um-PEA or m-PEA, or by administrating the Dutch PEA capsules based on the PEA-opt quality marker. Dutch capsules do not contain any chemical excipients and are 100% pure in vegetarian capsules.

Only for these the Dutch and the Italian formulations long term safety and efficacy data gathered under the supervision of MDs are available. And only for these formulations (PEA-um, PEA-m and PEA-opt) there are currently data available proving that after intake PEA levels in the body significantly rise. Such data do not exist for me-too PEA formulations. PEA-um, PEA-m and PEA-opt are sometimes referred to as micro-PEA, due to the fact that in these formulations microscopic active PEA particles are brought.


JMK Hesselink. New Targets in Pain, Non-Neuronal Cells, and the Role of Palmitoylethanolamide. The Open Pain Journal, 2012, 5, 12-23