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Formulated palmitoylethanolamide supplementation improves parameters of cognitive function and BDNF levels in young, healthy adults: a randomised cross-over trial

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posted on 2024-03-15, 11:31 authored by Nadia Kim, Brenda Parolin, Derek Renshaw, Sanjoy K Deb, Mohammed Gulrez Zariwala
Background: Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an endocannabinoid-like lipid mediator which is naturally produced in the body and found in certain foods. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a bioavailable formulated form of PEA (Levagen+®) on serum BDNF levels and parameters of cognitive function in healthy adults. Methods: A randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled cross-over trial was implemented to measure the effects of a 6-week 700 mg/day course of formulated PEA supplementation versus a placebo. Participants (n = 39) completed pre- and post-assessments of a lab-based cognitive test. Serum samples were collected to measure BDNF concentrations using an immunoassay. Results: A significant increase in serum BDNF levels was found following PEA supplementation compared with the placebo (p = 0. 0057, d = 0.62). The cognition test battery demonstrated improved memory with PEA supplementation through better first success (p = 0.142, d = 0.54) and fewer errors (p = 0.0287; d = −0.47) on the Paired Associates Learning test. Conclusion: This was the first study to report a direct beneficial effect of Levagen+® PEA supplementation on memory improvement as well as corresponding increases in circulating neurotrophic marker levels. This suggests that formulated PEA holds promise as an innovative and practical intervention for cognitive health enhancement.



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