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Palmitoylethanolamide: Definition, Preparation, Benefits, Side Effects, Where to Buy

In this article, Nature Micron will provide some information about palmitoyl ethanolamide. It mainly includes the following aspects: definition, safety, food sources, preparation, application, benefits, side effects, purchase, etc. I hope you can find the answers you need in this article.

What is palmitoylethanolamide(PEA)?

Palmitoyl ethanolamide (PEA) is a naturally occurring endogenous fatty acid amide. Belongs to the class of nuclear factor agonists. PEA has been shown to bind to receptors in the nucleus (nuclear receptors) and exert a large variety of biological functions related to chronic pain and inflammation.

It is widely used in sports nutrition supplements and joint health formulas around the world, especially in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and EU countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy. Palmitoyl ethanolamide has undergone many safety tests. Its safety is self-evident. But many special circumstances are not excluded.

Palmitoyl ethanolamide was discovered in 1950 by scientists R. Mechoulam and Y. Gauni. They first isolated PEA in egg yolk and subsequently identified it as an endogenous fatty acid amide present in various body tissues. Therefore, it can be said that palmitoyl ethanolamide is naturally present in different tissues within the human body. It is a purely natural compound.

Palmitoyl ethanolamide is primarily synthesized on demand according to various physiological conditions, particularly in response to tissue damage or inflammation. Small amounts of these substances are found in many foods, such as egg yolks, soy lecithin, and some fish. Although palmitoyl ethanolamide is not abundant in foods, its precursor molecule, palmitic acid, is a common saturated fatty acid in many foods.

For example: meat, dairy products, palm oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, certain nuts and seeds, processed foods, etc. are rich in palmitic acid.

Palmitoyl ethanolamide is synthesized on demand according to various physiological conditions. Supplementing the above foods cannot directly increase the content of PEA in the body. But when the body needs it, supplemented palmitic acid can undergo an enzymatic reaction in the body to form PEA.

So, apart from the on-demand synthesis of palmitoyl ethanolamide in the human body, do you know its chemical synthesis method? Here are three specific synthesis methods.

How is palmitoylethanolamide made?

If you want to synthesize palmitoyl ethanolamide in the laboratory, you can follow the following materials and steps to try to synthesize it.

Method One:

  1. A solution of palmitic acid (0.5 mmol), ethanolamine (0.75 mmol) and N,N-dimethylaminopyridine (0.5 mmol) in 20 mL acetonitrile.
  2. The reaction mixture was warmed to room temperature and stirred for 2-8 hours.
  3. After the reaction was complete, as determined by TLC analysis (eluent, 30% acetone in hexane; stain developer, 5% phosphomolybdic acid in 95% ethanol), stirring was stopped and the solvent was evaporated under vacuum.
  4. The crude residue was loaded on SiO2 and purified by flash chromatography (gradient with 5 to 60% acetone and hexane).
  5. The pure fractions were combined and the solvent was evaporated under a vacuum to give the compound palmitoyl ethanolamide.

Method Two:

  1. 100 mmol of ethanolamine dissolved in 120 ml of methylene chloride was placed in a 250 ml round bottom flask.
  2. To this solution was added dropwise 40 mmol of palmitoyl chloride dissolved in anhydrous dichloromethane through an addition funnel.
  3. The reaction was stirred continuously at a temperature of 0-4°C and stopped at appropriate times by the addition of 10% aqueous citric acid solution.
  4. The organic phase was then dehydrated over anhydrous sodium sulfate and filtered.
  5. The solvent was removed under reduced pressure using a rotary evaporator, and the solid residue was absorbed and crystallized with a suitable solvent to give the compound palmitoyl ethanolamide.

Method Three:

  1. A suspension of palmitic acid (100g, 0.39mol) in dichloromethane (500) was added slowly at room temperature triethylamine (47.4g, 0.47 mmol).
  2. The reaction mass was cooled to 0-5°C, then ethyl chloroformate (50.9g, 0.47mol) was slowly added.
  3. The reaction mass was stirred at 0-5°C for 45 minutes.
  4. Ethanolamine (35.7g, 0.58mol) diluted with 100 ml of methylene chloride was added dropwise.
  5. The reaction mixture was stirred at 0-10°C to allow the reaction to complete.
  6. Water was added to the reaction mass, and 100 g of product was isolated after filtration.
  7. The product thus obtained was recrystallized in methanol to obtain 95.1 g of the highly pure product palmitoyl ethanolamide.

After synthesizing palmitoyl ethanolamide, what can we do with it? Now, let’s continue

What is the use of palmitoylethanolamide?

Palmitoyl ethanolamide is used in cosmetics, personal care products, detergents, sports nutrition supplements, health products, pain treatment, etc. Its rich and excellent properties have attracted widespread attention.

Disease treatment

Palmitoyl ethanolamide is one of the most important endogenous analgesic and anti-inflammatory compounds that has been shown to be effective not only in acute but also chronic pain. As a natural pain reliever, it has the following functions:

  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic
  • Improve immune regulation capabilities
  • Treat chronic pain
  • Treat skin diseases. Eczema, psoriasis dermatitis, etc.
  • Protect nerves
  • Mast cell stabilization
  • Fibrosis Prevention
  • Treat inflammatory eye conditions

Excellent surfactant

Palmitoyl ethanolamide forms an emulsion between water and oil, making oil and dirt easier to remove. Therefore, it is widely used in cleaning products such as shampoo, shower gel, and hand lotion. Here, it can also increase the consistency and lather of the product, allowing for better cleaning results.

Moisturizing properties

Palmitoyl ethanolamide can form a protective film on the surface of the skin to prevent moisture loss, thereby maintaining skin moisture. Therefore, it is widely used in skin care products such as facial creams, lotions, lipsticks, etc.

Antibacterial properties

Palmitoyl ethanolamide inhibits the growth of bacteria, thereby reducing infection and inflammation caused by bacteria. Therefore, it is widely used in oral care products, disinfectants and other fields.

Sports Nutritional Supplements and Allied Health Formulas

Palmitoyl ethanolamide has such a wide range of applications, so its benefits are also very obvious. The following are the specific benefits.

What are the benefits of palmitoylethanolamide?

The benefits of palmitoyl ethanolamide are mainly reflected in the treatment of diseases and pain relief, and it is a naturally occurring compound in the human body, so it is well tolerated and has minor side effects.

Pain relief

PEA is effective in relieving various types of pain, including chronic pain such as neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS).


PEA can regulate human immunity and is used to treat immune diseases and immune disorders.


PEA has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is very effective in treating certain skin diseases, eye diseases, inflammation, etc.

Although palmitoylethanolamide has many benefits, it is safe and well-tolerated. But when using it, we should still pay attention to some of its potential side effects.

What are the side effects of palmitoylethanolamide?

Some of the following side effects of palmitoyl ethanolamide are potential or specific. But for our health, it is still worth your reference.

Digestive problems

Some people may experience mild digestive discomfort, such as nausea, upset stomach, heaviness in the stomach, mild diarrhea, or intestinal discomfort. Such side effects usually occur when taking large amounts, so be sure to follow the appropriate dosage when using it.

Allergic reaction

Some people may experience allergic reactions. Symptoms may include itching, rash, swelling, dizziness, or difficulty breathing, which are very rare.

Drug interactions

Palmitoyl ethanolamide does not appear to interact with any medications. But before taking it, talk to your healthcare provider to ensure it’s safe to take.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

There is limited information on the side effects of PEA during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But it is recommended not to use it.

After knowing so much information about palmitoyl ethanolamide, if you want to buy PEA, then the following content is perfect for you.

Where can I buy palmitoylethanolamide?

If you are shopping for the best palmitoyl ethanolamide, I recommend our own brand Natural Micron. Of course, you can also choose other best brands, such as Sigma-Aidrich.

We provide high quality, high purity, and cheap price palmitoyl ethanolamide. No matter where you are, such as Australia, Europe, North America, South America, etc. We can meet your needs and we provide free samples for your testing. And our output is extremely high, which can fully meet your large needs.

Finally, for detailed parameter information about Palmitoylethanolamide, check out this page.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA CAS: 544-31-0)

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