Surprisingly, the delicious and juicy Pineapple is known to contain Bromelain. Whereby, test-tube and animal studies suggest that bromelain may help protect against cancer and tumor growth.
Especially, being among the tropical fruits, pineapple is a nutrition superstar. One cup (237 ml) of pineapple provides 131% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin C. And also, 76% of the RDI for manganese.
The body is usually able to absorb a significant amount of bromelain safely. People can consume about 12 grams per day of bromelain without it producing any unwanted side effects.
However, neither doctors nor researchers have established a specific amount of bromelain that a person should take to see health benefits. The dose may depend on what type of bromelain a person is taking (from the stem or the fruit), how it is prepared, and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
What is Bromelain?
To enumerate, Bromelain is an enzyme mixture that people can extract from the stem or fruit of the pineapple plant Ananas comosus. Healers have used these enzymes for hundreds of years in many ways. Now, retailers tend to sell bromelain either as a health supplement or skin cream.
Therefore, Bromelain is an enzyme mixture present in the pineapple. It’s a mixture of enzymes that have active effects in the body. The active ingredients in bromelain include proteinases and proteases. Above all, which are enzymes that break down proteins in the body.
Bromelain seems to cause the body to produce substances that fight pain and swelling (inflammation). Not to mention, it also contains chemicals that interfere with the growth of tumor cells and slow blood clotting.
What are the Sources of Bromelain?
Bromelain is naturally present in a pineapple’s stem and yellow fruit. Manufacturers may sell bromelain as a capsule, cream, powder, or tablet. Manufacturers may also package bromelain along with other supplements, such as conjugated linoleic acid, which is a compound that may help with weight loss.
In general, Pineapple nutrients and compounds have been linked to various impressive health benefits. Including improved digestion, a lower risk of cancer, improved immunity, and relief of arthritis symptoms. As well as improved recovery after surgery and strenuous exercise.
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is an incredibly delicious and healthy tropical fruit. It originated in South America, where early European explorers named it after its resemblance to a pinecone.
Here are more beneficial elements of a pineapple;
It aids in the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones. In fact, it plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function.
People use it for medicine. Bromelain is used for reducing swelling (inflammation). Especially of the nose and sinuses, after surgery or injury. Also, Bromelain used in this way seems to reduce pain and improve knee function in people with arthritis.
Read more about the Health Benefits of Pineapple
How is Bromelain used?
Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes derived from the pineapple fruit or stem. Research suggests that it can have various health benefits. Such as reducing inflammation and helping heal wounds, when a person uses it as a supplement.
However, there are no large-scale human research studies to back up its effectiveness. There are few side effects associated with bromelain. A person may wish to add this supplement to their diet, but it should not replace medical treatment.
Since its an enzyme found in pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem, people use it for medicine. As an example, it’s used for reducing swelling (inflammation). Especially of the nose and sinuses, after surgery or injury.
People tend to use bromelain as a supplement for various health benefits. Including relieving sinus problems, reducing inflammation, and improving digestion. There is varied scientific evidence surrounding the effectiveness of using bromelain for these purposes.
It is also used for;
- hay fever,
- treating a bowel condition that includes swelling and ulcers (ulcerative colitis),
- removing dead and damaged tissue after a burn (debridement),
- preventing the collection of water in the lung (pulmonary edema),
- relaxing muscles,
- stimulating muscle contractions,
- slowing clotting,
- improving the absorption of antibiotics,
- preventing cancer,
- shortening labor, and
- helping the body get rid of fat.
Additionally, it’s also used for preventing muscle soreness after intense exercise. However, this use has been studied, and the evidence suggests bromelain doesn’t work for this.
What are the Benefits of Bromelain?
Some people use a product (Phlogenzym) for arthritis (osteoarthritis) that combines bromelain with trypsin (a protein) and rutin (a substance found in buckwheat). Bromelain used in this way seems to reduce pain and improve knee function in people with arthritis.
There is little quality scientific research to support many of its use, however. With this in mind, allow me to discuss the possible benefits of its supplements.
1. Relieving Sinusitis
Bromelain may be helpful as supportive therapy to reduce the symptoms of sinusitis and related conditions that affect breathing and the nasal passages. A 2016 review of studies suggests that it may reduce the duration of sinusitis symptoms in children. Improving breathing, and reducing nasal inflammation.
A 2006 systematic review reports that bromelain, when a person uses it alongside standard medications, can help relieve inflammation in the sinuses. This study provides high-quality evidence, as it looked at 10 randomized control trials.
2. Treating Osteoarthritis
People commonly use bromelain supplements to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. A 2004 review of clinical studies found that bromelain is a useful treatment for osteoarthritis. Possibly, due to its anti-inflammatory effects. The researchers say that further research is needed into the effectiveness and suitable dosages.
However, this is an older study, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that the research to date is mixed about whether bromelain, alone or with other medications, is effective in treating osteoarthritis.
3. Anti-inflammatory Effects
Along with reducing nasal inflammation in sinusitis, it may also reduce inflammation elsewhere in the body. According to a 2016 review of studies, research in cell and animal models has suggested that it can reduce certain compounds associated with cancer inflammation and tumor growth.
Bromelain also may help stimulate a healthy immune system to release inflammation-fighting immune system compounds. The review also suggests that it can reduce transforming growth factor-beta, which is a compound associated with inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and osteomyelofibrosis.
However, scientists had conducted many of these studies on mice or in a cell-based laboratory setting, so researchers do not currently know the effects that bromelain has on humans.
4. Anticancer Effects
Bromelain may have anticancer effects both on cancer cells and by improving inflammation in the body and boosting the immune system, according to a 2010 review in the journal Cancer Letters.
However, the NIH says that there is currently not enough evidence to suggest that it has any effects on cancer.
5. Enhancing Digestion
Some people take bromelain to relieve stomach upset and the symptoms of digestive disorders. Due to its inflammation-reducing properties, some people use it as an adjunct therapy to treat inflammatory bowel disorders.
The NIH state that there is not enough evidence for using bromelain to aid digestion. Equally important, animal studies have suggested that it can reduce the effects of some bacteria. Particularly, that affect the intestine, such as Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholera. These are both common causes of diarrhea.
6. Weight loss
Some supplement manufacturers are marketing it as a weight loss aid. They state that the enzymes in bromelain can increase the speed at which the body digests fats.
However, there is little research to suggest that it could help a person lose weight.
Risks, side effects, and interactions
While bromelain is a natural substance, it can have some side effects. These include:
- stomach upset
- an increased heart rate
- menstrual problems
If a person experiences these side effects, they should stop using it and talk to their doctor about other possible treatments.
People with sensitivities or allergies to pineapples should avoid taking it. For one thing, it can cause allergic reactions that range from mild to severe. And also, in extreme cases, it can result in anaphylaxis.
A person should seek emergency medical attention if they experience any of the following after taking or applying bromelain:
- difficulty breathing
- severely red or swollen skin
- a weak, rapid pulse
People who wish to try its supplements can find them in drug stores, some grocery stores, and online.
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