As summer rolls into fall and chillier temperatures bring gatherings indoors, close quarters give germs the perfect environment to spread. Good immune health habits like a healthy diet, regular physical activity, washing your hands frequently, and getting plenty of sleep go a long way. But, everyone is always looking for new ways to support their immune systems.
While palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) may not be as well-known as other nutrients touted for their immune health properties (like vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc), it offers major benefits for your immune system. * Find out what PEA is and how it can keep your immune system functioning at its best.*
What is PEA?
PEA goes by many names: palmitoylethanolamide, palmitate monoethanolamide, or palmitic acid monoethanolamide. But you can call it PEA for short. It’s a naturally occurring fat-like compound called a fatty acid amide found in egg yolks and some plant foods, and it’s made in the body to support a healthy immune response.*
How does PEA work to promote a healthy immune system?*
The immune benefits of PEA can be traced back to the 1930s, when researchers discovered that feeding dried egg yolk to children enhanced their immune response.* In the 1950s, researchers identified a substance in egg yolk, later determined to be PEA, that provided allergy and immune health benefits.* Research continued, and by the 1970s, the immune benefits of PEA were well-established.* Today, PEA is known to be a safe and effective choice to promote a healthy immune response.*
So, how does PEA actually work? PEA is made and released on demand in response to challenges to the body. PEA serves as a negative feedback signal, keeping the immune system in check and preventing it from going into overdrive.* It also helps regulate mast cells, a type of immune cell, by helping them shift from immune activation to a resting phase, which prevents the immune system from over-reacting.* More simply put, PEA helps assure a healthy and effective immune response.*
How can you get more PEA?
While PEA is present in small amounts in food, the easiest way to get a higher dose of PEA is with a high-quality PEA supplement. Be sure to choose a supplement that’s independently tested and certified by a trusted organization, like NSF® International or USP®. It’s your best guarantee that your PEA supplement contains everything it should, and nothing it shouldn’t.
In addition to healthy lifestyle habits to promote a healthy immune system, consider adding PEA to your daily routine for extra support.* It plays a key role in immune function, and can help keep you feeling your best.* Remember that not all PEA supplements are created equally, so take care in choosing one that’s independently tested and certified to keep you safe and healthy.