Molecule of Love
The Same Compound Found in Chocolate, Phenylethylamine Demonstrates Positive Effects on Mood, Depression, ADHD, Runners’ High, and Love & Monogamy
AFA/PEA: Blue Green Algae Supercharged with Phenylethylamine
AFA/PEA is a concentrated liquid blue green algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), that has been found to have very high levels of phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA is the same compound that is found in chocolate and thought to produce chocolate’s pleasurable effects on mood, however AFA/PEA contains many times more PEA than chocolate. Studies demonstrate phenylethylamine’s efficacy as an anti-depressant, and its effectiveness for ADHD, as well as being involved with “runner’s high” and even the chemicals responsible for romantic love.
What Is PEA?
Phenylethylamine is an alkaloid and a mono amine. In the human brain, it is believed to function as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter. It has pharmacological properties similar to those of amphetamine. A colorless liquid that forms a solid carbonate salt with carbon dioxide upon exposure to air, phenylethylamine in nature is synthesized from the amino acid phenylalanine by enzymatic decarboxylation. It is also found in many foods, especially in chocolate. It has been suggested that phenylethylamine from chocolate in sufficient quantities may have psychoactive effects. The phenylethylamine structure can also be found as part of a more complex ring of systems such as the ergoline system of LSD or the morphinan system of morphine. Phenylethylamine is commonly referred to as the “Love Molecule.”
Researchers at Rush University and the Center for Creative Development in Chicago conducted a study demonstrating PEA’s anti-depressant effects: “Phenylethylamine, an endogenous neuroamine, increases attention and activity in animals and has been shown to relieve depression in 60% of depressed patients. It has been proposed that PEA deficit may be the cause of a common form of depressive illness. Fourteen patients with major depressive episodes that responded to PEA treatment (10-60 mg orally per day, with 10 mg/day selegiline to prevent rapid PEA destruction) were reexamined 20 to 50 weeks later. The antidepressant response had been maintained in 12 out of 14 patients. Effective dosage did not change with time, and there were no apparent side effects. PEA produces sustained relief of depression in a significant number of patients, including some unresponsive to standard treatments. PEA improves mood as rapidly as amphetamine but does not produce tolerance.”1
In the book Natural Remedies for Depression by Donald Brown, N.D., Alan R. Gaby, M.D., and Ronald Reichert, N.D., the conversion of phenylalanine and tyrosine into PEA, and the use of PEA for depression is discussed:
“L-phenylalanine, the naturally occurring form of phenylalanine, is converted in the body to L-tyrosine. D-phenylalanine, is metabolized to phenylethylamine, an amphetamine-like compound that occurs normally in the human brain and has been shown to have mood-elevating effects. Decreased urinary levels of PEA (suggesting a deficiency) have been found in some depressed patients. Although PEA can be synthesized from L-phenylalanine, a large proportion of this amino acid is preferentially converted to L-tyrosine.<