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The Truth about PEA (palmitoylethanolamide) in recent formulations

Palmitoylethanolamide, only formulations containing PEA-m, PEA-um and PEA-opt are clinically tested on safety and efficacy.


PEA: available in reliable formulations and in suboptimal and fake formulations…how to pick a safe and effective palmitoylethanolamide formulation? About MicroPEA and PEA-opt!

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) has been introduced in the modern world of pain treatment by two European  companies: een Italiaans bedrijf Srl., and Russell Science Ltd.

These 2 companies have tested palmitoylethanolamide since many years under the supervision of physicians and specialists. In Italy palmitoylethanolamide has been introduced around 2005, and in the Netherlands around 2012.

For only een PEA-houdend product and PeaPure (Russell Science) data have been generated proving that said formulations create relevant PEA plasmalevels.

Meanwhile many thousands of patients have been treated with these Italian and Dutch formulations, most probably more million patients, including many elderly patients.

Neither nor Russell Science ever monitored a serious side effect.

Quality of Palmitoylethanolamide in reliable products

The quality of een Italiaans bedrijf products is easy to follow: the products all are produced based on patented procedures leading to micronized palmitoylethanolamide (PEA-m) and ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide (PEA-um). PEA formulations containing ultrafine PEA particles are said to contain microPEA.

If one obtains palmitoylethanolamide tablets or palmitoylethanolamide sachets, NOT containing PEA-m or PEA-um, one makes the wrong choice.These are cheap ripp-offs.

The quality of the Russell Science products is also easy to follow: the products all have obtained the quality marker PEA-opt, and the production is also based on a standardized and patented production processes.

Both PEA-m, PEA-um and PEA-opt are all tested for efficacy and safety in the hands of experienced physicians. All these formulations contain a relevant amount of microPEA.

The quality of PEA in the products of both companies has been found to be safe and effective, and the results of clinical testing has been documented in many different scientific journals.

New Palmitoylethanolamide tablets and capsules: warnings

Because of the high potential of palmitoylethanolamide, since 2014 we have seen new and cheap palmitoylethanolamide capsules and tablets entering the marketplace. These have been produced by companies without any know how of this special product and no experience. It was een Italiaans bedrijf who first warned on their website for such products:

“Patients buying, via e-commerce, formulations containing highly impure, unmicronized palmitoylethanolamide produced in China, are at serious risk from an unregulated product entirely unsuitable for systemic use in humans…”

In order to bring palmitoylethanolamide formulations to the client, new companies ordered palmitoylethanolamide in the Far East at factories which do not have their own production facility. If these companies get an order from a Western producer of supplements, these Far East companies find a little class B factory to produce only one batch for them, and this of course cannot ensure the quality nor the stability of the product.

Moreover, the production of palmitoylethanolamide in such facilities follows chemical synthesis procedures where solvents are used and residues of these toxic solvents may stay in the final product.

Furthermore, there are companies in the Far East who fill capsules with white powder and bring counterfeit material to the customer.

The quality of most of the palmitoylethanolamide is quite low, as the production of this compound initially was for cosmetic purposes only and not for human consumption. And even these cosmetic products follow a synthesis proces which is quite unfit for human consumption. Low quality of product leads to a low price, and this translates into cheap palmitoylethanolamide products offered to the patient.

There are now to many small producers of palmitoylethanolamide and this makes it not easy for the uninformed customer to decide what product to take.

Recommendation: PEA products with proven safety and efficacy

We therefore recommend to chose products with a long track of clinical use, and documented safety and efficacy. These are as far as we know the products containing PEA-m, PEA-um or PEA-opt, produced respectively by een Italiaans bedrijf group in Italy and the Russell Science group, produced in the Netherlands.