By guest contributor Barb Swanson
What is PEA?
It is a natural small amine (amino acid) molecule. PEA is a precursor to many important neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine. Our bodies will produce it, but it requires a complex enzymatic action. Therefore, people who are missing micronutrients may not effectively produce PEA.
For disorders that are characterized by low PEA levels (e.g. attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), PEA has been suggested as a ‘safe’ alternative to drugs, such as amphetamine or methylphenidate, which are accompanied by many undesirable side effects. PEA may help with depression and schizophrenia due to complex actions reducing inflammation and incorrect uptake of other brain chemicals, especially dopamine and serotonin.
What Foods Contain PEA?
Microbially fermented foods (fermented with live bacteria & fungi). Raw cheeses contain some PEA. Also, Lactobacillus (acidophilus). Chocolate is known to contain PEA, however it is found only in cooked, fermented chocolate, not raw unprocessed chocolate/cacao nibs.
New PEA Science
From the NCBI/NIH
PEA produced by acidophilus probiotic bacteria is shown to be a potent antimicrobial against certain pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli at sufficient concentrations. During a screen of bacterial nutrients as inhibitors of Escherichia coli O157:H7 biofilm, the Prüß research team made an intriguing observation: among 95 carbon and 95 nitrogen sources tested, β-phenylethylamine (PEA) performed best at reducing bacterial cell counts and biofilm amounts. Annnndd the BEST food source of PEA is…
It’s a microscopic organism, a micro-food, meaning all its nutrients are Earth’s natural source for the highest assimilation. AFA has a significant amount of PEA, bio-available for your brain health.
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