May 14, 2024 8 min read

Strom Levagen® is produced using pure Palmitoylethanolamide, at a dose of 300mg per cap, 60 capsules per bottle.
Levagen® is a trademarked name for a supplement ingredient called palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). Palmitoylethanolamide is a fatty acid amide naturally produced in the body and found in various food sources, such as eggs, soybeans, and peanuts. It is believed to interact with certain receptors in the body's endocannabinoid system.
Palmitoylethanolamide has demonstrated functions in supporting pain management, joint and cartilage health, inflammatory response, and immune response.

WHAT IS LEVAGEN AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

  • 99% palmitoylethanolamide, purity guaranteed.
  • Vegetarian, Organic, Non-GMO, Kosher, GRAS Affirmed, Halal,

Picture

The first point of understanding is that Levagen is the standalone compound Palmitoylethanolamide, but manufactured in such a way with the quality assurance that we can always expect a high degree of purity.
This is similar to the ethos of Alzchem's CreaPure, it's just creatine... but a creatine we can always have confidence that it is in fact what it claims to be which we can't say for the wider market right now. Levagen is the same.

The role of quality assured products like this are valuable in the supplement industry as we can use the as a benchmark to compare others against. In this case the wider Palmitoylethanolamide industry appears to suffer quality issues, being poor in performance compared to Levagen, some other branded "Pure" PEA products having as low as 50% yield. See reference [1] for third party research regarding these results. 


What does naturally occurring Palmitoylethanolamide do in the body?
Palmitoylethanolamide is a naturally occurring compound that our body does already produce, synthesized from palmitic acid, which is the most common fatty acid in animals and a product of normal fatty acid synthesis.
It is generally accepted that most tissues in the body will produce Palmitoylethanolamide in increased concentrations in response to inflammatory stress, whereupon it is freely available to act in an anti-inflammatory manner - including the direct activation of PPAR-a and GPR55 receptors and the indirect activation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and TRPV1 channels. This has a valuable role in regulation of inflammatory cytokine response, notable for any source of inflammation but with well documented research around joint inflammation, inflammation related immune disorders, brain inflammation, and influenza related.
 Other research shows functions in sleep modulation.

 PEA is endogenously produced on-demand in most tissues, as a protective response to injury, inflammation and pain.
 

 
What does Supplemental Palmitoylethanolamide do in the body?
When orally consumed Palmitoylethanolamide is able to enter circulation through the digestive tract. Once in circulation, Palmitoylethanolamide acts on out body in the same way as normally produced Palmitoylethanolamide. When pain is protracted, however, PEA ‘exhaustion’ may develop. Chronic inflammatory conditions create lower levels of PEA. The exogenous administration of PEA may in such cases serve to replenish levels of endogenous PEA, restoring its protective, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.” 
As such, we are simply increasing normal Palmitoylethanolamide actions. Note, some studies referenced are that of Levagen+, of which has the exact mechanism of action, just requires lower doses to reach the same palmitoylethanolamide blood concentrations.

Pain Management
One of the absolute best applications for Levagen is certainly pain management and the most consistent feedback we get at Strom. While it won't be as significant analgesic as many prescription medications, for many people dealing with chronic pain from injuries or other issues, it can be just enough to manage without the medications, providing an alternative that doesn't come with such a strong host of side effects. Here we must remind that a supplement cannot be used to treat or diagnose disease or medical ailments. However for non-medical applications of helping live life, Levagen can be a great option. BJJ is a application we work with frequently, where it's common to accumulate a number of minor injuries that may be inhibiting performance. Introducing the Levagen is then reducing the inflammation and pain from those injuries to allow for better freedom of movement. 
Remember: It is a normal physiological response to inflammation for the body to produce more 
Palmitoylethanolamide, so by supplementing with it we are simply elevating the normal levels for greater magnitude of effect.

Likely most relevant mechanism of action is the activation and hence desensitisation of TRPV1 channels. Numerous human clinical trials have shown value for pain management.
  •  350mg Levagen+ has been trailed in a 2-week joint pain study, during which Levagen+ provided a statistically significant reduction in perceived pain scores compared to placebo. [3]
  • 300mg and 600mg Levagen+ has been trailed in a 8-week knee osteoarthritis study, during which Levagen+ provided a statistically significant reduction in perceived pain scores, use of rescue medication, stiffness, and function, compared to placebo.  [9]
  • 525mg Levagen+ has been trialed in a 4-month headache study, during which Levagen+ was comparable to 400mg Ibuprofen for successful resolution in pain and time to reduction. [6]
  • 700mg Levagen+ has been trailed for a 80 person placebo controlled migraine pain study, which provided a statistically statistically significant reduction in perceived pain scores compared to placebo. [5]
  • 1200mg umPEA has been trailed in a paediatric population suffering from migraines, which provided a significant reduction in perceived pain, frequency of migraines, and other medication used to assist. This was an open label pilot study and no placebo was used. [8]

Anti-inflammatory & Tissue Healing for Joint Health
A number of clinical trials have investigated anti-inflammatory effects for Levagen and Palmitoylethanolamide, the general consensus is that the mechanisms by which it exerts its anti-inflammatory actions is via downregulation of mast cell activation and increase the synthesis of endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol to reduce histamine response. It is a normal physiological response to inflammation for the body to produce more Palmitoylethanolamide, so by supplementing with it we are simply elevating the normal levels for greater magnitude of effect. ​As of now, most joint related research is using measures according to pain difference, however functional improvements have also been shown, which is in line with the tissue healing properties demonstrated in animal and cell culture studies.
  •  350mg Levagen+ has been trailed in a 2-week joint pain study, during which Levagen+ provided a statistically significant reduction in perceived pain scores compared to placebo. [3]
  • 300mg and 600mg Levagen+ has been trailed in a 8-week knee osteoarthritis study, during which Levagen+ provided a statistically significant reduction in perceived pain scores, use of rescue medication, stiffness, and function, compared to placebo. [9]

Anti-inflammatory & Tissue Healing for Cognitive Health
A randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled cross-over trial of healthy young university students was implemented to measure the effects of a 6-week 700 mg/day course of formulated PEA supplementation versus a placebo. A significant increase in serum BDNF levels was found following PEA supplementation compared with the placebo. The cognition test battery demonstrated improved memory with PEA supplementation through better first success and fewer errors on the Paired Associates Learning test. [10]

Anti-inflammatory & Tissue Healing for Exercise Recovery
Twenty-eight healthy young male participants were randomized to consume either liquid PEA (167.5 mg Levagen+ with 832.5 mg maltodextrin) or a matched placebo (1 g maltodextrin) drink. Leg press exercise consisted of four sets at 80% of one repetition maximum followed by a performance set. The PEA group showed a statistically significant reduction in myoglobin and increase protein kinase B phosphorylation following exercise.​ [11]

Anti-inflammatory for Immune Function
The first clinical applications of oral PEA formulations in former 1974 Czechoslovakia, of which were specifically for viral defense immune function applications, however since we've also accumulated a body of evidence showing how it can assist in regulating inflammatory auto-immune disorders.
  • The use of PEA as a respiratory infection prophylactic among 1386 volunteers and reported a significant reduction in pain, amount of fever episodes, and incidence of respiratory tract infections. [13]
  • ​A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial in which 108 participants presenting with seasonal Allergic rhinitis were supplemented with either 350 mg of PEA (Levagen+) or a placebo daily for two weeks.  The Levagen+ group had a significant decrease from baseline in histamine, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-α, showing impact on symptoms of Allergic rhinitis for those with higher levels of symptoms, less effective for minor symptoms. [12]
  • A double blind, randomised, placebo controlled clinical trial in which 426 participants consumed either 300 mg of Levagen+ or a placebo (maltodextrin) twice daily for 12 weeks. The Levagen+ group reported fewer Upper respiratory tract infections, and less severe symptoms compared to the placebo group. [15]
  • 60 unvaccinated recent COVID-19 cases were evaluated in a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial for respiratory tract infections, each assigned by coin toss to receive 600 mg Levagen+ twice daily (LEV) or placebo tablets twice daily (CON) for 4 wk. sP-selectin, IL-1β ,and IL-2 concentrations were significantly reduced in the LEV group compared with the CON group demonstrating successful anti-inflammatory function. [14]
Sleep Management
When viewing the impact of Levagen on Sleep it should be evaluated from two related perspectives:
  1. Improving sleep quality via direct sleep promoting mechanisms, including reduction in sleep onset among individuals with delayed sleep onset, and reduced time to feel completely awake and improved cognition in the morning. This was demonstrated in a study of 350mg Levagen+ among 103 adults for 8 weeks. [17]
  2. Preventing sleep disturbance by decreasing sleep detracting mechanisms, particularly by reducing pain in individuals with chronic pain. [16]
While Levagen does indicate some valuable function in improving sleep quality directly, the most promising application does come from preventing sleep disturbance by it's pain management and anti-inflammatory properties. If these are a challenge with your sleep then it's a great fit, however if not - there may be better tools for the job of improving sleep quality. Then why is Levagen so popular for sleep? In our experience near every athlete is under a significant inflammation and pain burden, both from regular training as well as persisting injuries from the sports. Hence Levagen is one of the best sleep supporting ingredients with our sporting customers. 


Picture

HOW SHOULD I DOSE LEVAGEN?

As with any tool, it's always important to ensure correct dosing with your supplement protocol. 
Generally we recommend a starting dose of 300mg Levagen, and then if the need for greater impact is needed then dosing up to 1200mg is supported by research as safe and effective.

F.A.Q.

What's the difference between Levagen and Levagen+?"
Levagen®+ is a cold water dispersible palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) powder, designed to increase bioavailability using LipiSperse® technology developed by Pharmako Biotechnologies, Australia. [18]
In aqueous environments (such as the stomach), the Levagen+ particles will more freely disperse than that of Levagen alone, this net effect translates to increased bioavailability.
HOWEVER, as always this comes at a cost. Levagen+ is reduced to 90% 
palmitoylethanolamide by weight, while Levagen is 100%. Levagen+ also comes at a higher cost than Levagen alone, and so when considering effectiveness per unit of cost, Richard determined Levagen to be a better choice for the Strom range.
Simply put, Levagen+ is theoretically more potent, however the same results will be achieved with either and Levagen+ has a higher cost per effective serve. 

Got a question? Send us an email at thomas@stromsports.co.nz

Study Links
Re: Quality Control
[1] Micronized/ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide displays superior oral efficacy compared to nonmicronized palmitoylethanolamide in a rat model of inflammatory pain (2014), Journal of Neuroinflammation.
Re: Pain
[2] Palmitoylethanolamide: A Potential Alternative to Cannabidiol (2021), Journal of Dietary Supplements
[3] Palmitoylethanolamide in the Treatment of Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trials (2023), Nutrients.
[4] Palmitoylethanolamide: A Natural Compound for Health Management (2021), International Journal of Molecular Sciences
[5] Effectiveness of Palmitoylethanolamide (Levagen+) Compared to a Placebo for Reducing Pain, Duration, and Medication Use during Migraines in Otherwise Healthy Participants—A Double-Blind Randomised Controlled Study (2024), Pharmaceuticals
[6] Efficacy of Palmitoylethanolamide (Levagen+TM) Compared to Ibuprofen for Reducing Headache Pain Severity and Duration in Healthy Adults: A Double-Blind, Parallel, Randomized Clinical Trial (2021) Scientific Research Publishing.
[7]  Activation and desensitization of TRPV1 channels in sensory neurons by the PPARa agonist palmitoylethanolamide (2013), British Journal of Pharmacology.
[8] Tolerability of Palmitoylethanolamide in a Pediatric Population Suffering from Migraine: A Pilot Study (2020), Pain Research and Management
Re: Joint Health
[9] A double-blind randomized placebo controlled study assessing safety, tolerability and efficacy of palmitoylethanolamide for symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (2019), Inflammopharmacology.
Re: Cognitive Health
[10] Formulated Palmitoylethanolamide Supplementation Improves Parameters of Cognitive Function and BDNF Levels in Young, Healthy Adults: A Randomised Cross-Over Trial (2024), Nutrients
Re: Exercise Recovery
[11] The Effect of Orally Dosed Levagen+™ (palmitoylethanolamide) on Exercise Recovery in Healthy Males—A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study
Re: Immune Function
[12] The Effect of Levagen+ (Palmitoylethanolamide) Supplementation on Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis—A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial (2023), Nutrients.
[13] Palmitoylethanolamide: A Natural Body-Own Anti-Inflammatory Agent, Effective and Safe against Influenza and Common Cold ( 2013), International Journal of Inflammation.
[14] Palmitoylethanolamide Reduces Proinflammatory Markers in Unvaccinated Adults Recently Diagnosed with COVID-19:A Randomized Controlled Trial (September 2022), The Journal of Nutrition
[15]  The Efficacy of Palmitoylethanolamide (Levagen+) on the Incidence and Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection—A Double Blind, Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Trial (October 2023), Nutrients
Re: Sleep Management
[16] Ultra-micronized Palmitoylethanolamide Effects on Sleep-wake Rhythm and Neuropathic Pain Phenotypes in Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: An Open-label, Randomized Controlled Study (2018), CSN and Neurological disorders
[17] Palmitoylethanolamide for sleep disturbance. A double‑blind, randomised, placebo‑controlled interventional study (2021), Sleep Science and Practice.
Re: Levagen vs. Levagen+
[18] Increased Absorption of Palmitoylethanolamide Using a Novel Dispersion Technology System (LipiSperse®) (May 2020), Journal Nutraceuticals and Food Science

Leave a comment