Palmitoylethanolamide has long been known as one of the best options for reducing or eliminating pain and inflammation. It packs a number of benefits and one small downside that is not caused by palmitoylethanolamide, but actually the enzymes in our bodies. However, the downside has just been resolved with the combination of palmitoylethanolamide and liposomes – liposomal PEA.
What is palmitoylethanolamide?
Palmitoylethanolamide, also known as PEA (mind you, the same acronym is used for another substance) is a fatty acid amide produced by the body when it needs to regulate the function of various kinds of cells and thus deal with pain and inflammation and restore balance in the body.
It was discovered in the 1950s and there have been more than 400 studies including PEA since then. PEA has proven incredibly efficient, but also devoid of side effects and negative interactions with any other drug. It has been in our bodies since forever and it is the safest way to treat pain and inflammation. Its mechanism was discovered by Rita Levi-Montalcini, a Nobel laureate.
If you are not familiar with PEA, I would strongly suggest reading this article. It is an eye-opener and probably the most comprehensive set of information regarding palmitoylethanolamide that is not packed with narrow niche terms and intended strictly for medical professionals.
Now let’s see why there is the need to take PEA when our bodies produce it already.
Many of you will already know that PEA takes some time to build up in the body. This depends on our individual absorption capacities, our production capacities and the enzymes that break down PEA. These enzymes are called FAAH and NAAA and they do their job really quickly, which means that it takes time for PEA to build up and provide benefits.
Similarly, our bodies can only produce limited amounts of PEA at a time. This means that chronic conditions drain out our PEA amounts and chronic pain remains an issue.
This is why adding daily dosages of PEA has been the solution for more than 1 million of people worldwide.
Moreover, its lack of side effects, negative interactions with drugs and numerous other advantages (you can see the scope of receptors it affects in the article about PEA mentioned above) make it perfect for prolonged usage – something that not recommended with opioids.
Many people already enjoy the benefits of PEA, but some lack sufficient absorption capacities. They will greatly benefit from the amazing breakthrough that the combination of liposomes and PEA is.
What is liposomal palmitoylethanolamide?
Taking it for granted that you are familiar with at least the basic benefits of PEA, we’ll move on to explaining what liposomes are and how they resolve the absorption, bioavailability and buildup issues.
Any nutraceutical, vitamin or drug that you take reaches the desired cells only partially. Some of it gets digested by the stomach acid before it even reaches the blood stream and some is attacked by enzymes even outside the gastrointestinal tract.
Liposomes have three benefits that resolve these issues and help deliver the beneficial content where and when necessary.
How does liposomal PEA work?
Liposomes are small spherical structures with a phospholipid bilayer membrane. This membrane encapsulates some kind of a liquid that carries the beneficial content – PEA in this case.
The liposome membrane is actually its most important part. The mentioned phospholipids are consisted of a head and two tails. The head naturally turns towards water (it is hydrophilic/polar), while the tails turn away from water (they are hydrophobic/non-polar).
This means that if you put two phospholipids together in an aqueous area, their tails will connect while trying to find something that is not water. Putting many phospholipids in the same place means that they have to form the phospholipid bilayer with heads turned towards the water of the environment and tails hidden between the heads.
This is called a phospholipid bilayer.
Forming a ball of this bilayer (liposome) with water encapsulated in the middle means that PEA is protected within the liposome. Nothing can dissolve it and it is completely safe.
This is so because our cell membranes are consisted of the same phospholipid bilayer. Anything that fails to penetrate a cell will also fail to penetrate the liposome. This means that properly created liposomal PEA is completely protected from the stomach acids and enzymes.
That was protection. Now the delivery.
This biocompatibility between liposome membranes and the cell membranes brings another huge benefit.
The cell membrane usually lets substances in selectively. However, since the membranes of the liposomes and cells are biocompatible, the cell membrane fuses with the liposome membrane to let the entire amount of PEA from within the liposome into the cell.
What are the benefits of liposomal palmitoylethanolamide
Liposomal PEA literally eliminates the only downside of regular PEA. The patients who have problems with PEA buildup will see this as a godsend, while those who have already benefitted from regular PEA can increase the effects if they need to.
Liposomal PEA is protected from stomach acids and enzymes and let into the cell in its entirety without any obstacles.
Moreover, by choosing different kinds of liposomes, the delivery route and timing can also be targeted, which makes liposomal palmitoylethanolamide even more versatile.