Flu and common cold: a proven natural treatment!

Flu and common cold: a proven natural treatment!

The flu vaccine is definitely not as effective as it used to be! The viruses have mutated, and they keep changing and adapting further, so many people who get regularly vaccinated against flu still get sick in the flu season. Fortunately there’s an effective supplement, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)!

In industrialized countries worldwide, 5 million people get sick and over 500.000 people lose their life due to flu. The natural substance palmitoylethanolamide decreases the chance of catching flu or colds. And what if you already have the flu or a cold? Then taking PEA will quickly reduce the severity of the symptoms.

The effects of this natural bodily compound (palmitoylethanolamide) have been proven by a number of extensive (double blind, placebo controlled) clinical studies.

In this time, when the flu vaccine is being criticized from all sides and the value of drugs like Tamiflu is altogether unclear, having an alternative for flu and common cold is of great importance. It is important to note that PEA is completely safe and produced by the body naturally.

Its mechanism is incredibly simple, yet effective.

PEA is available in the form of capsules, liposomal liquid and cream. The liposomal liquid is the latest and most advanced version of the product which greatly improves bioavailability.

Are vaccines and pharmaceutical means good against flu?

Now that we know that pharmaceutical anti-flu medicine like Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) can have nasty side-effects, and may not even work, it seems that the natural and body produced substance palmitoylethanolamide offers a natural effective alternative without side-effects. This theme has received a lot of attention recently! It was also recently featured in an international journal on infections, together with professor Witkamp from Wageningen.

The flu vaccine has been a controversial subject as well. Even amongst the most regarded experts we see that opinions differentiate. Recent extensive studies about the effectiveness of flu vaccines haven’t been very optimistic. [1] [2][3] [4]

Apart from the question if fly vaccine is desirable, it is important to know that the natural bodily compound PEA is effective in preventing flu, as was proven by 5 different randomized and double blind studies conducted on more than 3000 adults that we will discuss below.

In another study conducted on 457 school children the substance also proved to be useful and effective for children.

The preventative and treatment dose for flu and colds is 1200-1400mg per day for the first 2 weeks followed by 400mg twice a day after that. This ensures good support to the immune system during the flu period. However, in case of severe problems and late usage, patients can take up to 2400 mg a day in order to speed up the buildup.

PEA has been used by many hundreds of thousands of people nowadays without any report of negative side effects. This is in agreement with the studies which also found that PEA is completely safe. The substance can also be effectively used with senior patients. No negative interactions with other medicine or food are known and this is understandable. PEA is an endogenous fatty acid, naturally produced in the body and present in many plants and animals as well.

PEA is produced by our own body as a response to infections, inflammation and pain. By supplementing this substance during fly and common cold you help your body to restore balance faster.

PEA’s supportive role towards our immune system during flu and colds has been known since the previous century and it’s recently gone through a revival as many studies have been done around this substance that showed that PEA has anti-inflammatory, immune supporting (and pain relieving) properties.

 

Is palmitoylethanolamide good against flu?

The table below shows a summary of 5 extensive clinical studies that were done on over 3000 people combined, of which 1527 were given PEA.

StudyPEA (n=)Placebo (n=)Percentage of protectionSignificance
Masek 122322145 %P < 0,05
Masek 222221632 %P < 0.05
Kahlich 143645634%P < 0,0002
Kahlich 241119952%P < 0,0002
Kahlich 323511859%P < 0,0002

 

The table shows that the chances of catching flu or colds on PEA treatment decreased with between 32% and 59%. That is a considerable amount.

PEA was also tested on children, even as young as 4 years old.

In 1997 a double blinded study on 457 school children also indicated that the use of PEA significantly decreased the inflammation of the respiratory system.

None of the studies reported any side effects. Plesnik, one of the main researchers, noted:

“No side effects were registered after several years of clinical testing of PEA in military and civilian communities”

Schmidt, another researcher, summarized the results of al the studies in 1990 as follows:

“ The specific property (of PEA) as an inducer of non-specific resistance led to several clinical trials to evaluate the prophylactic efficacy of N-acylethanolamine in upper respiratory tract viral infections.

In several clinical double-blind trials, repeated daily intake of N-palmitoylethanolamine (Impulsin, 30 mg/kg) reduced the incidence and severity of respiratory tract infections and also markedly diminished the number of episodes of fever, headache, and sore throat.”

The prevention of flu and colds has been portrayed in both sections of the research. In all three studies it clearly showed that Impulsin (PEA) significantly decreased the chance of flu and colds. The use of PEA reduced the chance of colds and flu with between 34-59% – an impressive achievement.

There were several other large studies in this time period that showed some additional results that displayed that PEA had a clear effect and significantly reduced the chance of colds and flu.

As an example we will discuss in more detail the results of several large studies, as described by Masek and colleagues of the  ‘Institute of Pharmacology, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences’, and the ‘Military Institute of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology’, both in Prague (Czech Republic). The studies were conducted on people living closely together (military) and where flu easily spread among them. The studies used PEA, which at that time was commercially called Impulsin.

Despite the fact that the study was conducted several decades ago, the research is still reliable and was conducted double blinded and randomized. We quote:

“Volunteers were allocated to PEA or placebo treament in a strictly double-blind random manner and the code was not broken until the data had been prepared for statistical analysis.

Each subject was given a coded bottle containing 72 tablets. Half the bottles contained Impulsin, 300 mg/tablets, and the others contained only placebo tablets. The tablets were indistinguishable in appearance and taste.

Each volunteer received a description of the purpose and method of the study. Subjects were instructed to swallow two tablets, three times a day, for twelve consecutive days. The periods of six or eight weeks were evaluated in several ways; the first and last weeks were omitted to produce 6-week intervals for assessment.”

468 volunteers, who all worked for the Skoda car factory, were included in the first study. The second study consisted of 918 volunteers, between the age of 18-20 who were in the military.

The first study showed that taking palmitoylethanolamide decreased the spells of fever, and other symptoms like fever and headache by 45,5%. The total amount of days that the flu lasted also decreased with taking Impulsin, as is shown in the table above.

In the military group the substance also showed a measurable and favorable effect on the incidence of flu and colds.

“The corresponding numbers for the 8 week period were 301/436 (69%) volunteers on Impulsin remained healthy, as did 266/465 (57%) on the placebo. Thus, the incidence of disease amongst subjects who received Impulsin was 40% lower in the 6 week study and 32% lower in the 8 week period; the reductions were highly significant (p<0.0005).”

These studies both showed that PEA can be safely prescribed and that there are measurable effects that indicate protective properties of PEA during flu and colds.

 

Conclusion: palmitoylethanolamide is useful and safe for flu and colds

The conclusion of the authors was as follows:

“The results of both large-scale double-blind trials suggest that prophylactic administration of Impulsin would be useful in the prevention of virus infections of the respiratory tract of man. This is of considerable importance, since disability due to acute respiratory illness causes great economic loss every year in many countries.”

It was recently discovered that our own immune system helps us to normalize unmanageable infections, like the flu. [7]  This makes it easy to understand PEA, a bodily substance that is created to as a response to inflammation.

 

Palmitoylethanolamide: anti-inflammatory

At that time in the 70’s, it was thought that PEA had an unspecific  anti-inflammatory effect. Experiments with animals during that time already showed that PEA could increase immunity against viral infection and respiratory infections. [8][9]

Positive results were also described about infection among children and diligent research was being conducted to discover the working mechanisms, which at that time couldn’t yet be found. [10][11][5][13] At that time people suspected it influenced the white blood cells (T and B cells). Only 10-20 years later they found that the substance supports the immune system by decreasing inflammation. [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]

Evaluation of PEA for flu and colds

Palmitoylethanolamide is found in all sorts of living animals and is a substance produced by the body. PEA is also found in certain foods like eggs and peanuts, as well as single cell organisms, such as yeast cells.

Between 1972 and now many thousands of patients have been treated with PEA and no notable side effects have been reported. This is totally different for pharmaceutical anti-fly drugs like Tamiflu, which have quite a few negative side effects. [19]

There have been no negative interactions of PEA with other medicine, including the pharmaceutical anti-flu drugs.

In 6 different double blind studies PEA clearly proves to be effective against flu (much like an oral flu vaccine), and common cold. This also differs from the regular pharmaceutical anti-flu medicine, of which it is highly unclear if they are effective at all.  [20][19] [22]

Furthermore, dozens of other clinical studies have been published concerning PEA, each of which showing the safety and effectiveness of this substance.

Hence, the green light for PEA to treat and prevent flu and colds. Considering the balance between effectiveness and side-effects, PEA is definitely a good choice.

 

 

References

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[2] Ørnskov Pedersen L, Lund KB, Nielsen TJ, Hansen J, Tougaard NH, Andersen JH. | [Unclear effect of influenza vaccination in healthy adults]. | Ugeskr Laeger. | 2012 Mar 26;174(13):859-61.

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[6] Kahlich R, Klíma J, Cihla F, Franková V, Masek K, Rosický M, Matousek F, Bruthans J. | Studies on prophylactic efficacy of N-2-hydroxyethyl palmitamide (Impulsin) in acute respiratory infections. Serologically controlled field trials. | J Hyg Epidemiol Microbiol Immunol. | 1979;23(1):11-24.

[7] Karmaus PW, Chen W, Crawford RB, Harkema JR, Kaplan BL, Kaminski NE. | Deletion of cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 exacerbates APC function to increase inflammation and cellular immunity during influenza infection. | J Leukoc Biol. | 2011 Nov;90(5):983-95. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0511219. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

[8] Lackovic V, Borecký L, Kresáková J. | Effect of impulsin treatment of interferon production and antiviral resistance of mice. | Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). | 1977;25(5):655-61.

[9] Masek K, Perlík F, Klíma J, Kahlich R. | Prophylactic efficacy of N-2-hydroxyethyl palmitamide (impulsin) in acute respiratory tract infections. | Eur J Clin Pharmacol. | 1974 Oct 4;7(6):415-9.

[10] Plesník V, Havrlantová M, Jancová J, Januska J, Macková O. | [Impulsin in the prevention of acute respiratory diseases in school children]. | Cesk Pediatr. | 1977 Jun;32(6):365-9.

[11] Wiedermannová D, Wiedermann D, Lokaj J. | [Prophylactic administration of impulsin to clinically healthy children.–effect on the serum proteins and metabolic activity of granulocytes (author’s transl)]. | Cas Lek Cesk. | 1978 Aug 18;117(33):1030-4.

[12] Wiedermannová D, Lokaj J, Wiedermann D. | [Prophylactic administration of impulsin to clinically healthy children. The effect on T and B lymphocytes in peripheral blood (author’s transl)]. |Cas Lek Cesk. | 1979 Oct 12;118(40-41):1249-51.

[13] Svec P, Béderová E, Svec J. | The influence of N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-palmitamide on virus-induced sarcomas in chickens and Rauscher leukemia in mice. | Neoplasma. | 1975;22(5):519-24.

[14] Li Y, Yang L, Chen L, Zhu C, Huang R, Zheng X, Qiu Y, Fu J. | Design and synthesis of potent N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase (NAAA) inhibitor as anti-inflammatory compounds. |PLoS One. | 2012;7(8):e43023. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043023. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

[15] Ahmad A, Crupi R, Impellizzeri D, Campolo M, Marino A, Esposito E, Cuzzocrea S. |Administration of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) protects the neurovascular unit and reduces secondary injury after traumatic brain injury in mice. | Brain Behav Immun. | 2012 Nov;26(8):1310-21. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2012.07.021. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

[16] De Filippis D, Luongo L, Cipriano M, Palazzo E, Cinelli MP, de Novellis V, Maione S, Iuvone T. |Palmitoylethanolamide reduces granuloma-induced hyperalgesia by modulation of mast cell activation in rats. | Mol Pain. | 2011 Jan 10;7:3. doi: 10.1186/1744-8069-7-3.

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[18] Solorzano C, Zhu C, Battista N, Astarita G, Lodola A, Rivara S, Mor M, Russo R, Maccarrone M, Antonietti F, Duranti A, Tontini A, Cuzzocrea S, Tarzia G, Piomelli D. | Selective N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase inhibition reveals a key role for endogenous palmitoylethanolamide in inflammation. | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. | 2009 Dec 8;106(49):20966-71. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0907417106. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

[19] Smieja M. | ACP Journal Club. Review: oseltamivir relieves symptoms but does not reduce hospitalizations in influenza. | Ann Intern Med. | 2012 Sep 18;157(6):JC3-5. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-157-6-201209180-02005.

[20] Ebell MH, Call M, Shinholser J. | Effectiveness of oseltamivir in adults: a meta-analysis of published and unpublished clinical trials. | Fam Pract. | 2013 Apr;30(2):125-33. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cms059. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

[21] Smieja M. | ACP Journal Club. Review: oseltamivir relieves symptoms but does not reduce hospitalizations in influenza. | Ann Intern Med. | 2012 Sep 18;157(6):JC3-5. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-157-6-201209180-02005.

[22] Hsu J, Santesso N, Mustafa R, Brozek J, Chen YL, Hopkins JP, Cheung A, Hovhannisyan G, Ivanova L, Flottorp SA, Saeterdal I, Wong AD, Tian J, Uyeki TM, Akl EA, Alonso-Coello P, Smaill F, Schünemann HJ. | Antivirals for treatment of influenza: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. | Ann Intern Med. | 2012 Apr 3;156(7):512-24. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-156-7-201204030-00411. Epub 2012 Feb 27.