What is the neurotransmitter PEA? High and low values | Lab results explained

PEA stands for Beta-phenylethylamine and is an excitatory neurotransmitter made from phenylalanine and it modulates neuron voltage potentials to favor glutamate activity and neurotransmitter firing.

PEA Neurotransmitter Beta-phenylethylamine high low meaning treatment symptoms interpretive

PEA promotes energy, elevates mood, regulates attention, aggression, and serves as a biomarker for ADHD.

One of the biochemical abnormalities resulting from phenylketonuria, the absence of the enzyme that helps to synthesize phenylalanine into tyrosine, is an increased production of PEA. This can cause an elevated level of PEA in the urine.

PEA is the only neurotransmitter that crosses the blood brain barrier freely and bidirectionally.

Lower values:

– Low PEA is associated with ADHD [L, L] or thinking clearly, and in depression/low mood. [L]

Furthermore PEA can be low due to:

– Autism

– Bulimia nervosa

– Inattentiveness

– Memory issues

– Parkinson’s disease

– Tourette syndrome [L]

-Weight control difficulties

Possible treatment options – always consult your doctor first:


– Phenylalanine

– Vitamin B6

Food Sources:

– Beans

– Chocolate

– Cocoa nibs

– Natto

– Peas

Higher values:

– High levels are observed in individuals experiencing “mind racing”, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and schizophrenia. [L]

– Increased levels have been found in patients with psychopathic symptoms.

Furthermore PEA can be high due to:

– Amphetamine

– Bipolar disorder [L]

– Exercise [L]

– Postpartum period (=six week period after childbirth) [L]

Possible treatment options – always consult your doctor first:

High PEA can be addressed by supplementing with SAMe, vitamin B2, copper with zinc, or nutritional lithium.


– β-phenylethylamine, a small molecule with a large impact. [L]

– Neurochemical correlates of attention deficit disorder. [L]

– Phenylethylamine, a possible link to the antidepressant effects of exercise? [L]

– Fluctuating high urinary phenylethylamine excretion rates in some bipolar affective disorder patients. [L]

– Phenylethylamine and schizophrenia. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry [L]

– Urinary phenylethylamine and cortisol levels in the early puerperium. [L]

– Phenylethylamine metabolism in Tourette’s syndrome [L]

– Phenylethylamine excretion in depression [L]


The information on is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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