Palmitoylethanolamide: a natural anti-inflammatory compound compared with dexamethasone and diclofenac


Diclofenac is a well known painkiller, a NSAID, and has many serious side effects. Dexamethasone is a well known inhibitor of inflammation, a cortiosteroid, and has many side effects. Therefore this study is of great value. It does not demonstrate we can leave out NSAIDs and corticosteroids, but it does tell us that palmitoylethanolamide has both analgesic, painkilling properties as well as anit-inflammatory properties. It thus can be of immense value in the clinic, which is already the case.

Anti-inflammation properties of palmitoylethanolamide, dexamethasone and diclofenac.

In the carrageenan-induced paw edema model in mice Wise et al (2008) compared two active controls to a dose-range of pure PEA: N-palmitoyl ethanolamine (PEA; Tocris) was conpared to these two positive controls as well as to various other endocannabinoids. PEA reduced edema up to more than 50% (in doses 35 and 50 mg/kg BW); the authors concluded:

PEA is the only endocannabinoid that reliably and efficaciously reduced the magnitude of paw edema when administered before the carrageenan.

The efficacy of PEA (given after the edema) was comparable to the efficacy of dexamethasone (given before the edema), as can be seen in the graph from this publication.

These data support the action of palmitoylethanolamide as an antiinflammatory agent as a great natural painkiller.

Schermafbeelding 2014-05-03 om 22.11.27

Source: Wise LE, Cannavacciulo R, Cravatt BF, Martin BF, Lichtman AH. Evaluation of fatty acid amides in the carrageenan-induced paw edema model. Neuropharmacology. 2008 Jan;54(1):181-8. Epub 2007 Jun 22.

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