Bromelain is an all-natural protein extract that’s derived from the stems of pineapples. This powerful enzyme has been used in alternative medicine for centuries – starting with native tribespeople in South and Central America.
Though it was known in the western medicine by 1876, Bromelain did not become a popular treatment until 1957, when Ralph Heinicke began using pineapple stems to create super-concentrated bromelain extracts.
The primary component of bromelain is a sulfhydryl proteolytic fraction, though it also contains other active ingredients such as several protease inhibitors and acid phosphatase.
Together, these ingredients create a powerful proteolytic effect – that is, they work together to break down proteins into smaller peptides and amino acids. This proteolytic effect has many treatment applications for pain, inflammation, and improving the immune system.
What Does Bromelain Do?
Bromelain is a powerful natural substance – and it’s readily bioavailable to humans, and exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory effects, as well as analgesic pain-relieving properties. A study performed on rats in 2005 indicated that bromelain was one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory drugs available – perhaps stronger than pharmaceutical medicines such as Prednisone that work by inhibiting prostaglandins.
In addition to its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects, bromelain is thought to have an effect on many other parts of the body. According to a study performed in 2001, bromelain induces a higher level of T-cells and B-cells in mice – and has been confirmed as a powerful immunomodulatory agent that can help boost the immune system.
Bromelain has also been certified for medicinal use – commercially available bromelain compounds are used by medical professionals for the debridement of wounds, due to bromelain’s powerful ability to denature proteins.
What Is Bromelain Used For?
In alternative research, bromelain compounds have been shown to have a wide variety of uses. From treatment of diseases and chronic health issues, to its use as a supplement for everyday health, bromelain has a huge variety of uses.
- Potentiation Of Antibiotics – A study conducted in 2016 identified bromelain as a powerful potentiator of antibiotics. Patients who were administered a high dose of bromelain alongside antibiotics had a much higher ability to fight back against infection. This makes bromelain a fantastic treatment for infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis, and pneumonia.
- Treatment Of Musculoskeletal Injuries – The powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic power of bromelain makes it a powerful treatment for athletic injuries caused by trauma, or for postoperative muscular recovery after surgery.
- Digestive Aid – Enzymes such as bromelain have been proven to aid in digestive health. By assisting in the breakdown of proteins, bromelain encourages absorption of critical nutrients, and a healthier digestive system.
- Cardiovascular Health – Bromelain has well-documented anti-clotting properties, which can help prevent the buildup of potentially dangerous blood clots, and encourage a higher level of cardiovascular health.
- Arthritis Treatment – The powerful anti-inflammatory effects of bromelain make it a fantastic choice for arthritis treatment. And because it’s all-natural, there are none of the nasty side-effects that are so common with corticosteroid arthritis treatments like Prednisone.
- Cancer Treatment – Bromelain has been recognized for chemopreventive capabilities, and is an effective anticancer agent which can help reduce the size of tumors. A study performed on 4 human subjects showed that bromelain attacks a protein known as “MUC1” – which heavily impaired the ability of cancer cells to survive and reproduce. In animals studies Bromelain has been shown to reduce and inhibit metastasis.
Who Should Take Bromelain Supplements?
Bromelain is a powerful, all-natural supplement – and in reasonable doses, it’s safe for everyone to use. Whether or not you have a chronic condition such as those listed above, bromelain is a safe supplement that can aid in digestion, encourage better cardiovascular health, and reduce pain and inflammation.