The Love Molecule: PEA Phenethylamine
Phenylethylamine, β-phenethylamine or phenethylamine (PEA) is well known as the “love” molecule as it is elevated in the brain during times of joy or when experiencing love or bliss… PEA is an organic compound and a natural monoamine alkaloid, a trace amine, and also the name of a class of chemicals with many members well known for their psychoactive and stimulating effects. Phenylethylamine functions as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system.
It is biosynthesized from the amino acid phenylalanine by enzymatic decarboxylation. In addition to mammals, phenethylamine is found in other organisms and foods, such as algae and chocolate: the same compound that is believed to produce chocolate’s profound effects on mood. The phenylethylamine in chocolate is believed to work by making the brain release b-endorphin, an opioid peptide which is the driving force behind its pleasurable effects.
Exercise Found to Raise PEA Levels. From the book review Is ‘Runners’ High’ a Cure for Depression? by Daniel DeNoon, reviewed By Charlotte Grayson. “…phenylethylamine, or PEA, is a natural stimulant produced by the body. A British research team reports early findings suggesting that moderate exercise increases PEA levels for most people. He states that this increase in PEA causes the euphoric mood often called “runners’ high.”
In a 1996 study, the effects of phenylethylamine (PEA) replacement were studied. It was found that PEA, an endogenous neuroamine, increased attention and activity in animals and has been shown to relieve depression in 60% of depressed patients. It has been proposed that PEA deficit may be the cause of a common form of depressive illness.
There is mounting evidence suggesting that their is a connection between low levels of PEA and depression. Demonstrating PEA’s efficacy as an anti-depressant and it’s effectiveness with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
PEA AS AN ANTI-DEPRESSANT
Researchers at Rush University and the Center for Creative Development in Chicago conducted a study demonstrating PEA’s anti-depressant effects: “Phenylethylamine (PEA), an endogenous neuroamine, increases attention and activity in animals and has been shown to relieve depression in 60% of depressed patients. It has been proposed that PEA deficit may be the cause of a common form of depressive illness. Fourteen patients with major depressive episodes that responded to PEA treatment (10-60 mg orally per day were reexamined 20 to 50 weeks later. The antidepressant response had been maintained in 12 patients. Effective dosage did not change with time. There were no apparent side effects. PEA produces sustained relief of depression in a significant number of patients, including some unresponsive to the standard treatments. 1) Sabelli H; Fink P; Fawcett J; Tom C. Sustained antidepressant effect of PEA replacement. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci, 1996 Spr, 8:2, 168-71.