Chronic pain afflicts millions of Americans.
From back pain, to inflamed nerves and migraines headaches, millions deal with some type of debilitating pain that keeps them from work, their families, and enjoying life.
Unfortunately, most of the medicines used for pain management create other problems.
Anti-inflammatory drugs cause serious stomach issues and strong pain killers offer serious risk of addiction.
This is why there’s so much interest in the fairly new discovery of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA).
Unlike traditional pain management approaches, PEA essentially adds extra “clean up cells” to the body to calm inflamed nerve cells.
PEA was discovered in the 1950s as a potential anti-inflammatory.
By the 1960s, doctors in Eastern Europe were already excited about the anti-inflammatory properties PEA showed in rheumatoid arthritis.
PEA was demonstrated to be of clinical value in a wide variety of pre-clinical and clinical experiments between the period of 1957–1992.
But PEA did not attract sufficient attention in the scientific community due to the absence of an explanation for its activity.
New interest in PEA emerged only after Nobel prize winning scientist, Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, described how PEA works in mast cells and identified PEA as an inhibitor of these cells when activated.
The fact that PEA is a nutraceutical (a nutrition pharmaceutical) is another reason why the medical community isn’t inclined to take it seriously.
Nutraceuticals are generally not patent-protected, so they are not a focus for the pharmaceutical industry and therefore less studied, publicized, and recognized.
But PEA has undergone over 40 clinical trials, testing around 6,000 subjects.
This body of evidence shows a positive risk/benefit ratio for PEA, warranting much wider use of this compound by the medical community.
The Pharmaceutical Popularity Contest
In short, there may be a natural treatment for chronic pain, but it simply does not attract attention because it can’t be patented like most drugs.
So, unlike shark cartilage or other hyped “natural treatments” of the past, PEA has had double-blind clinical trials and the results were outstanding.
The problem is there is no money in this.
If you Google sciatica (back pain) you will get many search results for surgery, steroids, and other drug therapies, but very little on PEA.
This is strange when you consider that PEA is already shown to be a highly effective treatment for back pain.
600 sufferers of back pain were broken into three groups, and the results for those given 600 mg of PEA had fantastic results.
The key number is the Number Needed to Treat (NNT). The best result is 1.
You give this to one person, and they get the desired result.
Most pain meds are two or higher. PEA’s result was 1.5.
In other words, if you gave it to three people with back pain, two had a 50% reduction in their back pain.
That is better than any drug or treatment in the market today, yet because there isn’t a major pharmaceutical company pushing this, few doctors are aware of this compound.
What is frustrating to some doctors is you can’t be sure of the source of your PEA.
It isn’t regulated, so who knows if what you order online is what it claims to be on the label.
What does PEA treat?
Sciatica (back pain) sufferers need to look at PEA. It was subjected to a double-blind test showing remarkable effectiveness where subjects were given 600 mg doses.
Migraine headaches are the sixth highest cause of loss of years due to disability. A single-blind test of 20 sufferers were given 1,200 mg daily for 90 days.
Within 60 days, patients reported a remarkable reduction in pain and reduction in number and frequency of headaches with no side effects.
Anything you would take ibuprofen for, PEA seems to treat it better. In a study of 24 patients with joint pain who took 600 mg of PEA daily had better pain management results than the group who took ibuprofen.
Please check with your doctor before beginning any new treatment program. Additionally, while information is available on the web about PEA, it is hard to find because it is not being pushed by Big Pharma.