Bromelain is a protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzyme complex primarily found in pineapple (Ananas comosus). Although bromelain is found in every part of the pineapple, it's most plentiful in the pineapple's core and stem. Bromelain is a versatile group of enzymes that are used by the body for a wide variety of physiological purposes. Bromelain is also available as a cost effective supplement.
Bromelain aids digestion by enhancing the effects of the digestive enzymes trypsin and pepin. Eight different chemicals within bromelain help digest proteins. Bromelain works in these capacities due to its ability to separate the peptide bonds that build amino acids into proteins. These individual amino acids are crucial for your body's production of muscle, neurotransmitters, and other protein-based molecules that your body produces. Bromelain is used for bloating, gas and other digestive symptoms and for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. It is often used alone or in combination with other enzymes such as lipase, which digests fats, and amylase, which digests starch.
Helps Balance pH
The enzymatic activities of bromelain comprise a wide spectrum with pH range of 5.5 to 8.0. Research shows that Bromelain can help balance the acidity of the stomach, as well as the alkalinity of the small intestine.
Bromelain is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, so strong that it can replace the use of conventional NSAIDs like ibuprofen in treating painful inflammation. This makes it ideal for combating pain from or arthritis, injury, hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease or menstrual cramps. It appears to work by blocking the metabolites that are responsible for controlling the body's inflammatory response. Bromelain is one of the most popular supplements in
where it is approved by the Commission E for the treatment of inflammation and
swelling due to surgery or injury.
Blood Thinning & AntiCoagulant
Bromelain is a natural anticoagulant that works by breaking down the blood-clotting protein fibrin. Thinner blood is associated with lower chances of stroke, heart attack, and other heart and circulatory issues. Administration of Bromelain is also used to control the symptoms of diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesteromia. As well as thinning the blood, bromelain also thins mucus, and thus maybe of benefit to asthmatics and people suffering from chronic bronchitis.
Heals Skin Problems
Bromelain benefits your skin with its anti-inflammatory properties by curing intense itching sensations like in pruritis, reducing redness and rashes and getting rid of dead skin cells to aid with burnt skin recovery. It has also been implicated in the improvement of certain inflammatory skin conditions. This could include acne, rosacea, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
Insect Bites and Stings
Bromelain may be applied topically to lower swelling and reduce pain associated with insect bites and stings.
Repairs Bone & Ligaments
It repairs joints by increasing absorption of sulphur and glucosamine and quicken the process your body takes to heal torn ligaments by significantly reducing pain and swelling. This can be beneficial for people suffering from Osteoporosis.
Boosts Immune System
There is also evidence that bromelain can trigger beneficial changes in white blood cells. German research has shown that bromelain oral supplements enhance the immune system. Other research indicates that cytokine hormones manufactured in white blood cells are boosted by bromelain as well.
Since cancer cells are protected from the immune system's white "killer" cells by a protein wall, any cancer treatment can be augmented by adding bromelain supplements. In an experiment conducted by Beez et al chemically induced mouse skin papillomas were treated with bromelain and they observed that it reduced tumor formation, tumor volume and caused apoptotic cell death.
Some research indicates bromelain is also effective as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent.
Therapeutic bromelain doses range from 300 to 1500 mgs per day. When we use Bromelain as a digestive aid it’s best to take it with a meal. When used for inflammatory conditions doctors will generally recommend taking the enzyme between meals on an empty stomach to maximize absorption.
Safety & Precautions
- Bromelain is a very safe substance generally, but can thin the blood. Bromelain should be avoided by people who are taking warafin or other anticoagulants, since it may slightly increase the risk of bleeding.
- Bromelain is not recommended for people with active gastric or duodenal ulcers.
- Anyone who is allergic to pineapples should also avoid bromelain.
- Bromelain is not recommended for use by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers.
Always consult your health care provider before starting a supplement therapy