How Levagen®+, Inulin, Chromium, and Vitamin D boost endurance performance.

By Luke R. Bucci, PhD CCN CNS

Our updated MultiV-PRO formula brings more benefits than the original.  We’ve added new nutrients and increased key ones, making MultiV-PRO an all-in-one product for vitamin and mineral needs, especially for endurance nutrition.

In this blog installment, we’ll look at four final additional ingredients: Levagen®+, Inulin, Chromium, and Vitamin D, starting with the most revolutionary of the four, Levagen®+.

Levagen®+, the Antidote for Exercise Stress

Levagen®+ is the much-easier-to-pronounce tradename for Palmitoylethanolamine (PEA). Simply put, PEA (Levagen®+) is the master antistress regulator in your body; it’s how your body takes care of itself, and it’s especially critical during seriously stressful ultra-endurance exercise and training. You might think of the “plus” part of Levagen®+ as the addition of LipiSperse®, which increases PEA uptake, helping you get the most from the clinically-studied daily dose and making Levagen®+ the ideal form of PEA.

Levagen®+ works with all your cells, tissues, organs, and systems to orchestrate stronger, faster recovery, leading to better performance like nothing else can do. It’s full-body stress-response regulation, because dedicated endurance training is a full-body pursuit.

Levagen®+: Exercise Highlights

Dietary sources of PEA are few and provide low amounts, and your body’s synthesis of PEA is easily blunted by many factors. Thus, an external source of PEA like Levagen®+ can provide a critical boost. Recent and current studies on Levagen®+ are showing serious benefits for turning exercise stress into training adaptations and performance/recovery improvements. 

Here are some of the latest human clinical studies showing the effect on peak performance from Levagen®+:

  • Responsible for the “Runner’s High” during long-duration aerobic exercise and at high altitudes (Bucci 2023);
  • Improved exercise recovery by reducing post-exercise Myoglobin (Mallard 2020);
  • Improved sleep quality, which is critical for recovery (Rao 2021);
  • Musculoskeletal (read: joints and connective tissues) comfort (Briskey 2021; Steels 2019);
  • Improved mood, which your family and friends will appreciate (Briskey 2021);
  • Immune support (Bucci 2023);
  • Documented bioavailability in humans (Briskey 2020);
  • Long half-life (presence) in bloodstream – eight hours – longer than other PEA ingredients (Briskey 2020);
  • Not banned by WADA – PEA is normally made by and found in your body and foods (WADA 2021).

These findings are just the start of human research to illustrate the wide web of benefits from Levagen®+ for exercise adaptation, performance, and recovery. Because of how Levagen®+ works, what you will feel is being better overall – whatever your weakest link is can be improved in minutes, hours, days and weeks.

Levagen®+ is a major component of a body-wide signaling and control system that is basic to life and survival. Levagen®+ gets everywhere, reaching areas the body needs to keep working, coordinating internal antistress responses. By taking Multi V-PRO as directed, you get the clinically-tested amount of PEA that gives your body the oomph to take care of even severe exercise stress – just like your body wants.

Levagen®+: The What, Why, and How

So why haven’t we heard about PEA/Levagen®+ before if it’s so important? How does Levagen®+ do all this?

First, Levagen®+ is like no other nutrient. It’s your body’s critical, natural Endocannabinoid, so called because it activates your Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Levagen®+ and PEA have nothing to do with marijuana. They’re perfectly legal, safe, and have only helpful effects on the body. But Endocannabinoid is a loaded term – unnecessarily and inaccurately, in this case – so let’s break down exactly what the ECS is and how it got that name.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) tells your body what to do when you have stress – a departure from normal function and abilities – by triggering adaptations, repair processes, and resistance to stress. It releases myriad signals from your cells, tissues, and organs in response to all kinds of physical and mental stressors. (Intense, long-lasting exercise absolutely qualifies as a major stressor.)

The ECS and PEA’s effect on it have been hiding from and/or baffling research and science because PEA works in extremely tiny amounts. Until science caught up recently, PEA’s effect on the ECS was so difficult to measure that it was effectively invisible. In the meantime, cannabinoids from marijuana were an item of research interest, and they seemed to work by activating "new" receptors on cells unknown previously. Researchers called these receptors Cannabinoid Receptors, and the name has stuck, even though these receptors don't care about cannabinoids – they want PEA, your ECS’s natural activator.

Science did catch up, and now we know that PEA (and not Cannabis compounds) is the ECS’s master regulator. Cannabis compounds do partially activate (and also damage) the ECS, but only PEA has the keys to the entire system. The effect of THC & CBD is hyper localized: they over-activate your brain's ECS only, doing nothing for the ECS in the rest of your body. PEA helps full-body recovery from physical and mental stress without side effects; THC & CBD only make your brain feel like you're fine when your body is not.

Despite how it functions, PEA is not a stimulant or depressant; rather, it sets off a cascade of restoration to normalcy – health and feeling good. It knows when to go and when to slow, and it works on a deeper level as a signaller to activate ECS receptors everywhere in your body, unleashing other hormones, metabolites, and fuel to be released in a manner appropriate to the stress. Whether it’s a tiny cut or a massive, energy-depleting effort, Levagen®+ activates your body to balance out those stressors and get you back to normal.

The ECS’s effects are tangible – this isn’t like an immune system boost, where it all happens outside of sensory experience (unless you just notice a lack of illness). One relatable way the effects of the ECS’s release of PEA manifest under stress is very familiar to endurance athletes: “Runner’s High.” The ECS also dictates how your body fuels your efforts. Whether you burn more fat or carbs or aminos – that’s under ECS control. PEA is the ECS’s master regulator, and the ECS in turn is like your body’s master regulator.

Levagen®+: Better in MultiV-PRO

Levagen®+ is even more effective as part of a high-powered MVM like MultiV-PRO. By itself, Levagen®+ is an important aid for peak performance and recovery. The full-body support of MultiV-PRO makes sure that PEA signals are heard and acted upon correctly by preventing any deficiencies with the vitamins and minerals that are vital to run all your bodily systems.

Levagen®+ ensures your ECS can send the critical coordinating signals; MultiV-PRO ensures your body can act on them.

Running Your Microbiome on Inulin

As most of you know all too well, your gut determines if you have a good or not so good day, and science has taken notice. The explosion of intel on gut microbiome architectures and differences among individuals argues strongly for making what you have work for you. We took note, engineering MultiV-PRO accordingly.

Using prebiotics instead of probiotics is critical for this. From experience, we know that feeding your gut microbiome with prebiotics, which your gut can use as it sees fit, is better than trying to force it to behave by flooding it with so-called “friendly” probiotics. That’s because probiotics, depending on the unique constitution of your specific microbial fermentation tube, can be unfriendly to your microbiome – unlike prebiotics.

Inulin is a premier prebiotic. It feeds all the good bugs you have now, but not the nastier ones, and if your gut’s inhabitants are misbehaving, prebiotics can convince them to act nice. That’s important because your wee beastie friends actually are a sophisticated factory converting what you eat into not only more calories for you, but also boosting uptake of critical nutrients and powering healthy signaling molecules to help support your ECS. (Told you it’s everywhere.)

We’re not just trusting our gut here. For example, one study of 32 female athletes taking prebiotics with iron supplementation improved iron status compared to a placebo (Sandroni 2022). Another human study followed ultra-endurance runners competing in the 330 km Tor des Géants (Sponsiello 2015). The athletes that used the combination of prebiotics with a multiple vitamin-mineral for a month before and during the race exhibited fewer dropouts and less GI disturbances. These studies offer a glimpse of how treating your microbiome well – in the presence of more vitamins and minerals – can figuratively and literally keep you running.

Even better, polyphenols are the new prebiotics, and MultiV-PRO is loaded with dozens of polyphenols from Green Tea, Ginkgo biloba, and the Spectra Total ORAC5 blend – and even the beta glucans from Immulink act very much like inulin in your microbiome, feeding your friendlier microbes. Because Beta Glucans are a starch indigestible by humans but candy to your microbiome.

So why polyphenols? Your good microbiome friends convert polyphenols into bioactive asset compounds that your gut reabsorbs, regardless of whether polyphenols are absorbed into circulation or not (Sorrenti 2020; Wang 2022). In turn, polyphenols change microbiomes to a more friendly, healthy collection, contributing to the performance gains shown by highly-trained endurance athletes (d’Unienville 2021).

Think of it like this – when inulin and polyphenols are present, the processes inherent in a healthy microbiome are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, energy-triggering manna for the rest of you.

Body by Chromium

Let’s not forget that essential vitamins and minerals occupy metabolic clinch points that can keep you going or hold you back. The chromium in MultiV-PRO is a great example.

Chromium specifically expands insulin actions to utilize glucose, the major fuel during endurance exercise – but the effect doesn’t end when training does. When you are not exercising, this link between chromium and energy signaling pathways shifts to burning fat by slowing down glucose entry when need for glucose is not heightened. This is how chromium can keep you lean, keeping your body composition leaner and more agile to burn carbs and fats instead of depositing them as body fat.

The dose of chromium in MultiV-PRO (400 mcg from Chromax chromium picolinate) has been used successfully in human clinical studies, including with endurance athletes, to keep lean body mass, improve body composition, maximize fat loss via lipid metabolism, and promote blood sugar metabolism (Bulbulian 1996; Kaats 1996, 1998).

The key to success with chromium and body composition is time. It takes 12 weeks to see significant improvements in body fat loss and muscle mass increase (Anderson 2006) – another good reason to take MultiV-PRO continuously year-round.

Don’t Be D-ficient

Vitamin D3 is so much more than just a bone-maintenance vitamin. It is the link for calcium signaling used to control immune cells and liver and muscle functions. It stands to reason that a deficient status would be a detriment to exercise performance, exercise recovery, and general health – not to mention bone mass. Research supports reason.

Since 2013, over 40 reviews of hundreds of human studies on exercising individuals almost unanimously echo the high prevalence of substandard status of vitamin D in all types of athletes. This also means that sun exposure will not save you from a D-ficiency.

Likewise, they found that supplementing with at least 2,000 IU (50 mcg) of vitamin D3 for at least two weeks leads to improvements in immune support, endurance performance and recovery. This is why MultiV-PRO has 4,000 IU (100 mcg) of vitamin D3 per serving.

The complete congruity of many exercise researchers on this topic makes vitamin D one of the top three vitamins/minerals to supplement (magnesium and omega-3s are the other two). There’ll be no references to list here – they are all there for everyone to see.


Anderson RA. Chromium: roles in the regulation of lean body mass and body weight, Ch 11 in Scientific Evidence for Musculoskeletal, Bariatric, and Sports Nutrition, Kohlstadt I, Ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2006, pp.175-89.

Briskey D, Mallard AR, Rao A. Increased absorption of palmitoylethanolamide using a novel dispersion technology system (Lipisperse®). J Nutraceuticals Food Sci. 2020;5(2-3):1-6.

Briskey D, Roche G, Rao A. The effect of dispersible palmitoylethanolamide (Levagen®+) compared to a placebo for reducing joint pain in an adult population – a randomised, double-blind study. Int J Nutr Food Sci. 2021;10(1):9-13.

Bucci LR. MultiV-PRO Endurance Multivitamin. Research Packet. (found in MultiV-PRO webpages at First Endurance:

Bulbulian R, Pringle DD, Liddy MS. Chromium picolinate supplementation in male and female swimmers. J Am Coll Sports Med. 1996 May;28(5):111.

d’Unienville NMA, Blake HT, Coates AM, Hill AM, Nelson MJ, Buckley JD. Effect of food sources of nitrate, polyphenols, L-arginine and L-citrulline on endurance exercise performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 Dec29;18(1):76.

Evans GW. The effect of chromium picolinate on insulin controlled parameters in humans. Int J Biosoc Med Res. 1989; 11(2):163-180.

Kaats GR, Blum K, Fisher JA, Adelman JA. Effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on body composition: a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study. Curr Ther Res. 1996 Oct;57(10):747-56.

Kaats GR, Blum K, Pullin D, Keith SC, Wood R. A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study of the effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on body composition: a replication and extension of a previous study. Curr Ther Res. 1998;59(6):379-388. 

Mallard A, Briskey D, Richards A, Mills D, Rao A. The effect of orally dosed Levagen+™ (palmitoylethanolamide) on exercise recovery in healthy males – a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Nutrients. 2020 Feb25;12(3):596.

Rao A, Ebelt P, Mallard A, Briskey D. Palmitoylethanolamide for sleep disturbance. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled interventional study. Sleep Sci Pract. 2021;5(1):12.

Sandroni A, House E, Howard L, DellaValle DM. Synbiotic supplementation improves response to iron supplementation in female athletes during training. J Diet Suppl. 2022;19(3):366-80.

Sorrenti V, Fortinguerra S, Caudullo G, Buriani A. Deciphering the role of polyphenols in sports performance: from nutritional genomics to the gut microbiota toward phytonutritional epigenomics. Nutrients. 2020 Apr29; 12(5):1265.

Sponsiello N, Belgeri S, Conte R, Carandini D, Salamone M. Prevention of acute GI disturbances with a functional food formulation designed to support and maintain intestinal barrier function during sports performance. Prog Nutr. 2015;17(4):317-23.

Steels Eli, Venkatesh R, Steel Ele, Vitetta G, Vitetta L. A double-blind randomized placebo controlled study assessing the safety, tolerability and efficacy of palmitoylethanolamide for symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Inflammopharmacology. 2019 Jun;27(3):475-85.

WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). International standard prohibited list. 2021. (

Wang X, Qi Y, Zheng H. Dietary polyphenol, gut microbiota, and health benefits. Antioxidants. 2022 Jun20;11(6):1212.

January 18, 2024 — Luke Bucci
Tags: research

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