Phenylethylamine (PEA), is a hormone-like chemical composed of the essential amino acid phenylalanine. Phenylethylamine is a trace amine. It occurs naturally in small amounts in the human brain and spinal cord, but it can also be found in some foods and can be synthesized in a laboratory.
Phenylethylamine functions as a neuromodulator and as a neurotransmitter. It promotes increased attention, focus, task-completion, and goal-directed behavior. PEA amplifies the release of the “feel-good” or “happy” hormones, called endorphins. It also increases levels of dopamine, a hormone associated with pleasure, and serotonin, a neurotransmitter thought to also contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness. Additionally, PEA can help decrease stress and bring about an enhanced sense of well-being, elevated mood, increased drive, and optimal cognitive performance.
Phenylethylamine boosts the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and their transmitters. This means that PEA not only helps to enhance the production and release of these powerful chemicals but also reduces the performance of their transmitters (chemicals in the brain that lessen the concentration of neurotransmitters). This results in high levels of stimulation for both dopamine and norepinephrine synaptic receptors.
Phenylethylamine benefits revolve around mood and heightened feelings of happiness which are the result of the increased levels of dopamine. Some of the benefits of PEA include:
- Mood improvement: The increased levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain promotes positive mood which can eventually lead to a greater sense of contentment and well-being.
- Increased focus and alertness: Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that helps regulate attention. Therefore, by increasing the levels of dopamine and adrenaline, Phenylethylamine can increase energy, alertness, and focus.
- It is sometimes called the “love molecule.” The best-known love chemical in the brain is PEA. The ventral tegmental region of the brain contains cells that synthesize dopamine which is a natural stimulant that is sent out to all other brain parts when an individual is “in love.”
- Increases mental performance: Dopamine is a powerful concentration and focus promoter. It also increases productivity and mental drive, which leads to improved mental performance.
PEA is naturally produced in the human body and a number of foods, such as:
- Chocolate: For centuries, chocolate has been a favorite of lovers. Recent research indicates that this tasty treat is rich in phenylethylamine, which explains its popularity.
- Meat, seafood, and poultry: Most of the foods in the seafood, meat and poultry categories contain phenylalanine which is the primary chemical in phenylethylamine.
- Eggs: Eggs contain phenylalanine. Raw egg whites, in particular, contain nearly 700 milligrams of the phenylalanine amino acid per 100 grams.
- Dairy foods: Raw milk, whole milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk (even human milk), and cheese all contain PEA.
- Beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds: These high-protein plant foods, in the raw form, are abundant in phenylalanine, which the body can use to make phenylethylamine.
- Organic Wild Microalgae®: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), a wild-crafted microalgae harvested in Southern Oregon, is a superfood that is rich in PEA and many other vital nutrients.
The human body synthesizes PEA from phenylalanine which is obtained from some of the foods consumed. However, the body needs a dosage of approximately 500 mg three times per day, yet most people do not synthesize enough phenylethylamine from the normal diet. A quick, easy way to boost this dosage is to supplement with New Earth’s Mind.