Influenza and common colds

Influenza and common colds – finally, a natural remedy, proven to be effective and safe: palmitoylethanolamide, the natural substance produced by the body

Preventing and treating influenza is a hot issue. The use of pharmaceutical anti-virals, such as Tamiflu and Relenza, has many side effects and their effectiveness is also in doubt. Much discussion is taking place about the usefulness or uselessness of vaccinating people and even among top experts, there are great differences of opinion. Currently, there is a proven and natural alternative. In the August edition (2013) of the PubMed indexed medical journal International Journal of Inflammation, six clinical double-blind and placebo controlled studies were discussed, which demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of the natural supplement palmitoyethanolamide (PEA). It emerged from studies of more than 3,000 persons that PEA in a dosage between 1,200 and 1,800 mg per day can reduce and prevent influenza and common colds. This also applies to children, even very young ones from the age of four. The studies were published in various English journals, and recently these studies were once again discussed in a qualitative meta-analyse.

The most common symptom for using this supplement is chronic pain. Yet this substance – produced by the body itself – also inhibits infections that have run out of hand. Hence, its effectiveness in cases of influenza and common colds.

Together with experts from the University of Wageningen (NL) – food & pharmacology professor Renger Witkamp, the specialist in regenerative medicine specialist Dr. Tineke de Boer, and pharmacology professor Jan Keppel Hesselink, we have been able to present the knowledge about PEA in cases of influenza and common colds.


40-50% protection against influenza

Six double-blind and placebo controlled clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of PEA in cases of influenza and common colds. 468 volunteers participated in the first study; all are employees in the Skoda automobile factory. The second study consisted of 918 volunteers, army servicemen between the ages of 18 and 20. The first study showed that taking PEA significantly reduces the fever periods and the symptoms of fever and headaches by 45.5%. Taking PEA also significantly reduced the total number of days that these persons had influenza. In the case of the servicemen, it emerged that the substance also had a measurable and significantly beneficial effect in preventing influenza and colds. The results are summarised in the attached table from the article. All the studies indicated to clear-cut protection; only the 6th study was too small and its participants took PEA for a too short period. Most likely, that was the reason that no significant results were obtained.


The studies showed that PEA had a protective effect and reduced the chance of contracting influenza by 30-60%. It also reduced the severity of the symptoms and the sick feeling that always accompanies influenza. Resistance of the influenza virus against PEA was not found. The substance is safe and no side effects were reported. Also children can use this supplement.


PEA as infection inhibitor and painkiller

By now, more than 400 scientific studies have shown that PEA reinforces the body’s own resistance and tackles excessive and uncontrolled infections. PEA is a molecule produced in our own cells; a natural answer to infections and chronic pain. It reduces both chronic pain and infections. In recent years, it has emerged for example that PEA can reduce chronic pain caused by diabetes, hernia, carpal tunnel syndrome and a number of additional disorders. In this sense, PEA is an essential building block that provides our body with natural healing capabilities.


Dosage and use of PEA

At the first signs of influenza or the development of a cold, it is handy to immediately take a relatively high dosage of PEA: taking two capsules of 400 mg twice a day is usually sufficient. Maintain this dosage until the symptoms disappear entirely.

During the influenza season, it is worthwhile to have PEA at home and to take it as a maintenance treatment. The dosage can then be lower: 1 capsule of 400 mg, two times per day.


PEA can be taken with any other medicine or anti-pain medication. It has no undesired influence on the effectiveness of other medications. Recent studies show that it can even increase the effectiveness of other painkillers.


Conclusion and summary

An ever-increasing number of people no longer believe in chemical and pharmaceutical inhibitors of influenza or in vaccinations. A new milestone is being reached as the effectiveness of PEA in cases of influenza and colds is becoming more and more well known. We conclude with an article about PEA in cases of influenza and common colds:


Given the results of 6 clinical trials in flu and the common cold, seen in the context of the serious criticism on the efficacy and safety of oseltamivir and zanamivir, PEA should be reconsidered by clinicians as a new treatment modality for the flu and respiratory infections due to its documented efficacy and more importantly its very benign side effect profile. Furthermore, oseltamivir and zanamivir are known to induce resistance; PEA has a very low likelihood of inducing resistance due to its mechanism of action. Finally, the ease of application of PEA offers the possibility to have a quick therapeutic answer ready in case of a flu epidemic, especially in cases of a mismatch between circulating strains and the recommendations from WHO.


  1. J.M. Keppel Hesselink, Tineke de Boer, Renger F. Witkamp. |  Palmitoylethanolamide: A Natural Body-Own Anti-Inflammatory Agent, Effective and Safe against Influenza and Common Cold. International Journal of Inflammation Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 151028, 8 pages
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