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Bromelain Health Benefits, Remedies, Side Effects, Dosage

An extract from the pineapple stem (ananas comosus), Bromelain is a digestive enzyme that has been proven to be highly effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain.

Bromelain is not actually a single substance but rather a collection of protein-digesting enzymes (also called proteolytic enzymes).

Since its introduction in 1957, Bromelain supplements have been tested in several clinical trials and experimental models. It has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions.

Adding to the appeal of Bromelain lies the absence of side effects, even over long-term usage. Trials of Bromelain indicate that it can be consumed in relatively large doses. Long-term usage has not been found to lead to tolerance.

Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory enzyme and blocks the production of compounds that can cause swelling and pain.

It reduces certain immune antigen compounds that can cause arthritis, resulting in reduced pain and improved mobility.

In addition to joint pain treatment, Bromelain is also effective in recovery from surgery and athletic injuries.

Further, it helps treat inflammatory illnesses like sinusitis, ulcerative colitis, chronic venous insufficiency (closely related to varicose veins), hemorrhoids, tendonitis and phlebitis, and other diseases of the veins, bruising, osteoarthritis, gout, and dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain).

Bromelain is known as natural blood thinner because it helps to prevent excessive blood platelet stickiness.

This is better explain in a few clinical trials of Bromelain to decrease symptoms of angina and thrombophlebitis.

Also, Bromelain reduces the thickness of mucus, which may benefit patients with asthma or chronic bronchitis.

Bromelain Dosage and Usage

When using Bromelain, it is recommended to discuss its proper use with your doctor, according to your current health condition.

Bromelain is available in the form of dietary supplements, powder, or cream.

Bromelain is usually prescribed in doses of 80 to 400 mg per day. Studies indicate that results improve on a regular intake of Bromelain supplements.

In research, it is also indicated that Bromelain’s intake after an oral dose is well absorbed by the body and safe for prolonged periods of time.

Bromelain’s action as a digestive enzyme may also help those who cannot digest food properly.

It is active both in the stomach’s acid environment and the alkaline environment of the small intestine.

An important attribute of Bromelain is its ability to enhance the absorption of other drugs that it is taken in combination with. For this reason, it is often combined with antibiotics to increase their effectiveness.

Allergy treatments also combine Bromelain with Quercetin to speed up recovery and alleviate symptoms.

It is also used in a topical cream to treat burns, bruises, and abrasions for its anti-inflammatory and debriding properties.

Bromelain Health Benefits

Anti-Inflammatory

Bromelain derives much of its medicinal benefit due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain blocks the production of kinins, which are produced during inflammation.

It also decreases swelling by activating a chemical in the blood and tissues that break down fibrin, a protein-sugar complex partly responsible for blood clotting.

Fibrin normally prevents injured tissues from draining, so bromelain’s action in breaking it down reduces swelling.

Moreover, recent research has indicated that the intake of bromelain will alleviate ulcerative colitis symptoms in people.

Taking a bromelain supplement or proteolytic enzyme supplement would be quite helpful in treating inflammatory or chronic disease.

Potentiation of Drugs

Bromelain is often prescribed in combination with other medications, such as antibiotics, for its ability to enhance the absorption of drugs that it is combined with.

Treatment of allergies may combine Bromelain with Quercetin to increase the latter’s effectiveness and reduce mucus, swelling, and inflammation.

Digestive Aid

Bromelain is a digestive enzyme, and clinical studies suggest people with impaired digestive function can benefit from its digestive effects.

It has been used successfully as a digestive enzyme following pancreatectomy in exocrine pancreas insufficiency and other intestinal disorders.

Due to rich proteolytic enzymes, Bromelain helps in the digestion of proteins into amino acids.

High Absorption

Most enzymes, if taken orally, are digested with deficient absorption.

But, Bromelain exhibits high absorption from oral doses. It was found up to 40 percent of the high molecular weight substances detected in the blood after administration as per research.

Antitumor

In several studies, the results indicate that Bromelain might have some anti metastatic ability.

Further, the study indicates that if the Bromelain doses of over 1000 mg daily are combined with chemotherapeutic agents such as 5-FU and vincristine, it will result in tumor regression.

Promotion of Healing

Bromelain as a cream can be beneficial in the elimination of burn debris and the acceleration of healing.

As per studies, Bromelain’s non-proteolytic component, referred to as Escharase, is responsible for this effect.

Blood Thinning

By breaking down fibrin in the blood, Bromelain slows down blood clotting.

Its blood-thinning action also minimizes the risk of coronary atherosclerotic disease.

Mucolytic

Bromelain acts to reduce mucus thickness and benefit patients with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and chronic bronchitis.

Boosts Immune Function

Studies indicate Bromelain has a beneficial effect on the immune system and is useful in treating and managing certain immune-system-related diseases like Arthritis.

Low Toxicity and Long-Term Safety

Many people would be thinking, are there any side effects from taking bromelain dietary supplements?

Bromelain is very low in toxicity and side effects.

Studies indicate that long-term usage does not lead to a tolerance being built up. High doses also do not seem to have harmful effects.

Caution is advised for individuals having conditions that would make them sensitive to the treatment.

Bromelain Treatment and Remedies

Clinical studies and experiments involving Bromelain have found evidence that it can be used to treat a great number of conditions.

Arthritis and Joint Illnesses

Arthritis is manifested as inflammation and swelling of the joint. Treatment of Arthritis often focuses on control and management of symptoms.

Bromelain possesses anti-inflammatory properties that make it a valuable supplement in the treatment and pain management of Arthritis and other illnesses caused by inflammation of the joints.

Besides, Bromelain has been found to have positive effects on the immune system.

Allergies

Bromelain, in combination with Quercetin, is often prescribed in the treatment and management of allergies.

Surgical Procedures

Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties make it useful for the treatment of inflammation and to speed up healing. Bromelain is administered pre-surgically to accelerate healing and recovery.

Musculoskeletal Injuries

Bromelain controls inflammation and pain in soft tissue injuries and speeds healing from bruises and hematomas. Swelling and tenderness are also found to be reduced, with a corresponding increase in mobility.

Cardiovascular and Circulatory Conditions

Bromelain alleviates the severity of angina pectoris. It has also proved to be a useful supplement in the treatment of coronary infarct and acute thrombophlebitis.

Atherosclerosis patients have also experienced benefits from these supplements.

Regular intake of Bromelain supplements may affect similar to aspirin usage for people at risk for cardiac conditions.

It inhibits blood platelet aggregation, favorably modulates prostaglandin formation, and minimizes the risk of coronary atherosclerotic disease.

Treatment of Wounds

Topical application of creams containing Bromelain (35% Bromelain in a lipid base) helps eliminate burn debris and accelerates healing.

Incidence of infection is reduced. This is due to the action of a non-proteolytic component of Bromelain, named Escharase.

Respiratory Illnesses

Bromelain acts as a mucolytic to reduce mucus thickness and help treat patients with asthma and chronic bronchitis.

Immunity Disorders

Studies of Bromelain’s effect on the immune system have found it useful in treating many immunity-related disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Tumors

Several studies, both animals and humans, indicate Bromelain might have some ability to cause tumor regression. Research in this field is still at a preliminary stage, however.

Scleroderma

Bromelain is used to treat Scleroderma for its properties in repairing damaged tissue and lessening the pain of inflammation.

Potentiation of Antibiotics

Bromelain helps increase the absorption of antibiotics and other drugs that it is taken in combination with.

Combined Bromelain and antibiotic therapy have been proven to be more effective than antibiotics alone. Bromelain is often prescribed along with other drugs due to its ability to increase absorption.

Reduced Digestive Function

In patients suffering from disorders related to impaired digestive function, Bromelain has been used along with other medications to improve digestive function.

Bromelain Side effects

Clinical tests have largely found Bromelain to be safe and free of side effects. Toxicity is very low, and several tests suggest that long-term usage can be considered safe.

Tests administering high doses have not found any sign of carcinogenic activity.

Caution, however, is advised for users of blood-thinning drugs, as Bromelain displays blood-thinning activity, and the interaction of Bromelain with these drugs has not yet been well studied.

Bromelain may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive menstrual bleeding, but no serious side effects have been reported in humans. Large doses may cause stomach upsets and cramps.

There have not been many studies concerning the use of Bromelain in pregnancy. If you are already having a blood-clotting disorder, liver or kidney disease, or hypertension, you may wish to consult your health care provider before
using Bromelain.

Moreover, Bromelain is advised to individuals with caution who is having hypertension.

Additionally, one research report has indicated that individuals having hypertension might experience tachycardia following high doses of Bromelain.

Since Bromelain is extracted from pineapple (ananas comosus), individuals allergic to the fruit are advised to avoid using Bromelain. Proteolytic enzymes, in general, can cause IgE-mediated respiratory allergies of both the immediate type and the late phase of the immediate type.

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DISCLAIMER: This article is for educational purposes only, always check with your medical doctor before stopping any prescription medications or when implementing any dietary and lifestyle changes.
References

Healthlyious has strict sourcing guidelines, believes in trustworthy and reliable sources, and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, medical journal publications, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

  • Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4998156/
  • Antimetastatic effect of bromelain: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3182910/
  • Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3529416/
  • Bromelain Treatment Decreases Secretion: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2269703/
  • Bromelain: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/bromelain
  • Effect of oral bromelain on blood pressure and heart rate of hypertensive patients: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/659096/

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