Palmitoylethanolamide raises resistance against bacterial infections and decreases mortality

“Palmitoylethanolamide increases the resistance against infections”

is the keymessage of a new article which highlights one of the positive medical aspects of the treatment with palmitoylethanolamide in inflammations: PEA enhances the immunesystem in its fight against bacteria. It can do so, without having negative effects on white blood cells, such as overactive stimulation. Pre-treatment with PEA also significantly increased survival of mice infected.

The authors concluded:

Our observations suggest that these protective effects of PEA in mice can increase the resistance to bacterial infections without the hazard of collateral damage by excessive stimulation of phagocytes.

In the final section of the paper the authors highlight the significance of some of their findings:

…our results suggest that PEA treatment influences the immune defense of the whole organism including the deep compartments. Early clinical trials with PEA in the 1970s, at that time under the trade name of Impulsin, demonstrated its potential of reducing the incidence and severity of acute respiratory infections. Unfortunately, since then, no other studies focusing on PEA as a prophylaxis or as an adjuvant therapy in the management of infections have been published. Concerning its safety, more than 3,600 patients have been successfully treated with PEA, with no adverse effects reported in any of the trials…


PEA increases survival after infectionThis is a very important article, as it is one of the more recent articles underlining old observations from decades ago, were PEA was found to be an anti-inflammatrory agent. Now, after having discovered the mechanism of action of PEA in the treatment of pain, its natural properties to enhance our immune system and help our defense against infections becoming more and more known.

Therefore PEA seems indeed a very appropriate therapy in all kinds of chronic inflammations.

Figure 4 Legenda: Prophylaxis with palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) conferred protection against E.
coli K1 infection. Kaplan-Meier survival curves of mice pre-treated intraperitoneally with
0.1 mg/kg PEA (250 µl, containing 0.3% DMSO in 0.9% NaCl) 12 hours and 30 minutes
before infection (n = 39) and control mice (n = 39) (250 µl, 0.3% DMSO in 0.9% NaCl) after
ip infection with E.coli K1 (A) and of mice pre-treated with 0.1 mg/kg PEA (250 µl
containing 0.3% DMSO in 0.9% NaCl) 12 hours and 30 minutes before infection (n = 29) and
control mice (250 µl 0.3% DMSO in 0.9% NaCl) (n = 28) after intracerebral infection with
E.coli K1 (B). The respective groups were compared by log-rank test.

Redlich S, Ribes S, Schütze S, Nau R. Palmitoylethanolamide stimulates phagocytosis of Escherichia coli K1 by macrophages and increases the resistance of mice against infections. J Neuroinflammation. 2014 Jun 14;11(1):108.

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