Bromelain is one of several compounds known as proteolytic enzymes,
all of which aid in the digestion of protein. Bromelain supplements
are now included in some of the natural hair care products.
The plant enzyme bromelain has yet to get the hair care product
recommendations. But there is more to bromelain than hair care.
The natural plant enzyme bromelain obtained from the pineapple
is known to provide a number of health benefits as discussed
By 1891, researchers identified the proteolytic enzyme bromelain,
which they found in the fleshy part of the fruit. This enzyme
was discovered to break down protein, and as such, is still
used to day as a natural meat tenderizer and digestive aid.
By 1957, bromelain was widely recognized and research also began
into such areas as muscle and tissue inflammation, burn recovery,
infection, and even sinus problems.
The most recognized use for bromelain is as a digestive aid.
This enzyme is commonly used in cases in which an individual’s
own digestive enzymes are deficient, frequently resulting from
pancreatic disorders. In such cases, bromelain supplements can
relieve gastrointestinal symptoms including bloating, gas, pain
and cramps from indigestion and diarrhea. Studies show that
proteolytic enzymes like bromelain may also indirectly relive
food allergies thought to occur from a condition called leaky
gut, in which whole protein molecules from foods leak into the
blood causing an allergic or immune response.
properties are particularly enhanced when used along side other
enzymes such as amylase that digests starch and lipase, necessary
for fat digestion. Some laboratory studies suggest that bromelain
may also be useful for reducing bad intestinal bacteria.
Bromelain is so effective at digesting protein that workers
who frequently cut the fruit often lose their fingerprints to
the active properties of the enzyme. As well as this fruit’s
amazing digestive qualities, it is also an excellent source
of vitamins A and vitamin C, a benefit the Spaniards took advantage
of on their many extended trips out to sea.
The fibrous nature of pineapple however, is also known to relieve
constipation, as well ancient cultures frequently used pineapples
to cure jaundice and kill intestinal parasites. Ripe pineapple
juice is well known as a remedy to induce menstruation and relieve
painful periods. Bromelain’s photolytic properties also make
this enzyme a natural blood thinner. The digestive substance
in the enzyme breaks down the blood clotting protein called
fibrin, which inhibits circulation and prevents tissues from
European studies have consistently shown that bromelain is also
an excellent treatment for those recovering from sports injuries
and in tissue repair necessary after surgery.
Evidence suggests that some supplemental enzymes in particular
can be absorbed directly into the circulatory system in their
active form where they then exhibit anti-inflammatory and pain
Bromelain has proven especially effective when applied directly
to the skin to remove dead tissue resulting from severe burns
that have reached all skin layers. These third-degree burns
as they are known, are extremely susceptible to infection and
swelling. The digestive properties of the bromelain cleanse
the areas and remove the excess dead tissue and as well, its
anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce the pain caused
Countries such as Japan and Taiwan and in the state
of Hawaii where pineapples are abundant, widely recognize bromelain
as a remedy to cleanse wounds. Another interesting use for bromelain
may be as a cough suppressant and nasal decongestant
Commercial Bromelain: Dosage
Commercial bromelain products for treating number of human and
animal disorders are now available in the market. Health professionals
suggest that while choosing a commercial a bromelain product,
choose the enzyme supplement that uses a variety of other enzymes.
It is best to blend enzymes with activity units at various pH
levels to assure maximum effectiveness.
According to experts, in most cases, bromelain should only be
taken for between 8 and 10 days. There are two recognized drug
reactions with bromelain.
is said to enhance antibiotics. One study shows that amoxicillin
blood levels are increased when combined with bromelain. Additional
studies show that the antibiotic tetracycline is better absorbed
when used in conjunction with bromelain, however researchers
say that further investigation is still necessary since studies
in this area are conflicting.
If you are taking the herbs gingko, ginger, vitamin C or garlic
or medications such as aspirin or warfarin, a common blood thinner,
bromelain could potentially increase the risk of bleeding. It
is therefore best to avoid this enzyme. In any case, if you
are taking any type of prescription medication, it is always
best to speak with a health professional prior to adding any
herbs or supplements since interactions are often common.
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