Phenylethylamine has been one of the most regarded supplements at the present time. This is because it acts by influencing one’s cognition as well as the general state of mind. Despite being a natural compound found in our body, why do we need it for supplementation as well? And why do we refer it as the ‘love drug’?
Following its absorption, PEA can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and from there on, it acts on our brain to produce its cognitive and health benefits. But how does PEA do this? Let us know look and understand how PEA works.
It has been found that PEA has a positive influence on Acetylcholine and increases its levels in the brain. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter responsible for an individual’s memory, learning and mood. Moreover, it also has a vital role on one’s contraction of muscles, the regulation of the endocrine system, and REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep cycles (2). Because PEA increases the levels of Acetylcholine, the result will be an enhanced cognition. This includes increased learning ability, enhanced memory formation, storage and recall, improved attention span and focus, and faster processing speed.
Some PEA reviews state that a number or users also experienced an improvement in their sensory perception such as that of sight and hearing. (1)
Aside from PEA’s influence on Acetylcholine, it also serves to increase Dopamine levels within the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for an individual’s memory and learning capabilities, attention, pleasurable reward, behaviour and cognition, and most especially for mood and sleep (2). With an increased level of this neurotransmitter, there will be a significant improvement in one’s mood and sleeping patterns. This will then translate into a general feeling of wellness and a positive attitude in doing both mental and physical activities. Because of this mechanism, it will also be of great benefit for those people experiencing stress, depression and anxiety.
In addition to PEA’s direct influence on increasing Dopamine levels, it also serves to inhibit the action of the transmitters responsible for the breakdown of Dopamine. Because of this, it will contribute also to an indirect increase of this neurotransmitter. Thus heightening the effects of Phenylethylamine. (1)