Study findings show that PEA supplementation increased levels of neurotrophic markers and improved memory in young healthy subjects


Results showed that students taking PEA saw increased BDNF levels and improved memory scores.

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A recently published study1 found that palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) supplementation may improve parameters of cognitive function and increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. In the randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled cross-over trial, 39 healthy male and female full-time university students received both 700 mg per day of PEA and placebo for six weeks separated by a washout period. The PEA supplement used was Levagen+ from Gencor (Austin, TX). Participants completed lab-based cognitive tests pre- and post-assessments and had serum samples collected to measure BDNF concentrations. 

Results showed that compared with placebo, subjects taking PEA saw a significant increase in serum BDNF levels, as well as improved memory based on better first success and fewer errors on the Paired Associates Learning test, as part of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). “This is the first study to report a direct beneficial effect of Levagen+ supplementation on memory improvement as well as corresponding increases in circulating neurotrophic marker levels,” said R.V. Venkatesh, co-founder and managing director at Gencor, in a press release. “Levagen+ holds great promise as an innovative and practical intervention for cognitive health enhancement and helps address this growing segment for clinically proven, natural ingredients to support healthy aging and cognitive function.”

“Cognitive function is an area of great importance to society from the perspective of healthy aging. This is an exciting area of research, but there are relatively few clinical studies examining the efficacy of supplements on cognitive function, particularly in young adults,” added Professor M Gulrez Zariwala, corresponding author and director of the Centre for Nutraceuticals at the University of Westminster. “This trial gives us interesting insights into the mechanisms by which supplements containing innovative bioactive ingredients such as Levagen+ may bring about their effects on cognition.”


Kim, N.; Parolin, B.; Renshaw, D.; Deb, S.K.; Zariwala, M.G. Formulated palmitoylethanolamide supplementation improves parameters of cognitive function and BDNF levels in young, healthy adults: A randomised cross-over trial. Nutrients. 2024, 16 (4), 489. DOI: 10.3390/nu16040489

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