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If you’ve never heard of bromelain before reading this article, don’t worry – there is a chance that you are not alone! Even if it is not so famous, this enzyme has a long history of usage as a medical product and a proven track record for treatment of various diseases.
Bromelain is actually one of the active enzymes in pineapple. It has been used by native Hawaiians and some South Americans for hundreds of years as part of their healing traditions. Pineapple is a rich source of vitamins B1 and C, potassium and magnesium. But most scientists believe that this enzyme in the pineapple is that makes it such a powerful medicine.
Its natural ability to digest proteins makes it desirable in the menus of people, who like bodybuilding, fitness, and other sports that require a high protein diet.
Read on to find out more about the health benefits of this amazing enzyme!
What are Bromelain main physiological effects?
The main function of bromelain is to catalyze the digestion / decomposition of the proteins. In this feature, the enzyme is very different from the enzymes responsible for these functions in the human digestive system.
The specificity of bromelain consists in that it works equally well both in acidic and in an alkaline environment.
As a second important for athletes, features is the ability to shorten the recovery time from muscle strain. It helps also when treating cramps and other states of muscular discomfort.
- Fights Cancer
One of the most amazing benefits of bromelain is its ability to fight certain cancers. Earlier this year a study published in the journal Anticancer Drugs seeks to test the benefits of this enzyme for the possible treatment of a rare form of lung cancer. It was found that the enzyme significantly increases the rate of dead cancer cells. This research still continues in order to develop a new anti-cancer treatment.
- Improves digestion
Bromelain is an enzyme with a special function to help digestion of proteins. It is not surprising that it can significantly help the digestive tract in the breakdown of food and its absorption. This, plus the anti-inflammatory properties of the enzyme, make it a good remedy for a number of digestive disorders, including Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colitis, and others.
- Accelerates the recovery time
Earlier this year researchers examined the effects of bromelain on the recovery time after surgery. Participants have undergone molar extractions, oral surgery, swelling and the possible infection. However, the study found that the participants who took the enzyme experienced less swelling, redness and discomfort than the other control group. The researcher believes that this is due to the incredible anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain.
- Treat allergies and asthma
In last year’s edition of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine was published a study on the health benefits that can have bromelain with respiratory problems such as allergies and asthma. It has been found that when was tested on mice, the treatment with the enzyme helped to reduce sensitivity to allergens (which may cause an asthma attack) and significantly improves the immune response.
- Reduces symptoms of arthritis
With its anti-inflammatory properties, it is not surprising that bromelain helps to treat arthritis. In a study last winter, participants with osteoarthritis were given two tablets of 650 mg bromelain 2-3 times a day. The pain decreased its levels between 50-60%! So from now on, do not worry snacking fresh pineapple for dessert. It contains vitamins, minerals, and the amazing enzyme. This is a dessert that is actually good for you!
What are the optimal doses?
To determine the dosage of bromelain depends on by its forms of intake and the purpose for which it is taken and on the amount of protein intake. Follow the recommendations of the leaflet of the supplement that you intend to use for achieving your goals.
What are the possible side effects?
Bromelain is nontoxic. In very rare cases may occur allergic reactions.
Because of its ability to dilute the bloodstream, it should be used with other substances with similar action only under medical supervision.
This enzyme greatly increases the absorption rate of certain groups of antibiotics. This can lead to a change of their dosage.
Which products are the main source of bromelain?
Enzyme supplements, protein shakes and other functional foods.
Furthermore, as an accelerator of digestive reactions of the proteins in the stomach and small intestine, bromelain has some other properties associated with the degradation of proteins in the bloodstream and tissues.
It is a highly popular supplement for recovery from injuries of different nature – bumps, bruises, muscle tears, sprains, swelling and more.
Bromelain has a high degree of absorption. Once in the bloodstream, it supports the functions of the immune system involved in the breakdown of unnecessary and external to body proteins.
Another feature of bromelain is cleaning blood vessels from adding lipoproteins to their walls. This relieves the existing varicose veins and is a precaution for the formation of such.
Overall beneficial effect on the digestive tract can relive the existing acute colitis.
What are the foods that contain bromelain in the greatest amount?
Fruits and the stems of pineapples are rich in bromelain. The combination of fresh pineapple juice and protein dishes strongly assists the digestion.
You can obtain foods with bromelain food or to use supplements. The dosage of bromelain in pineapple are much lower than the average concentrations of the substance in popular enzyme complexes on the market of dietary supplements.