Joy, happiness, determination, mental clarity…these feelings may have to do with something called Phenylethylamine.
Phenylethylamine, or PEA, is a molecule that exists throughout nature. Often referred to as a “feel-good” chemical, PEA is naturally produced by the body, and is also found in fungi, bacteria, chocolate, and our own organic Wild Microalgae, a blue-green algae called Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA).
A natural stimulant, PEA is highly soluble in plasma and can cross the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a “structure” composed of capillaries, astrocytes (a type of brain cell), and a permeable membrane that allows certain substances to pass, not only to nourish but also protect the brain. It is very selective as to what may pass.
PEA binds with a trace amino-associated receptor (TAAR-1), which results in both the release and inhibition of the reuptake of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that affect mental processes and emotional and physiological responses. This leads to an increase in these neurotransmitters and the responses they control.
Dopamine plays a role in movement, memory, pleasurable reward, behavior, cognition, attention, sleep, mood and learning. Serotonin’s roles include mental processes, mood, cognition, and physiological responses. When dopamine and serotonin levels are low, attention levels and mood may also be low.
PEA helps to regulate these neurotransmitters and, therefore, the roles they play.
So what does this all mean? Adding PEA to your diet can contribute to elevated mood, pleasure, and mental alertness in an all-natural way.