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.
To enumerate, Bromelain is an enzyme mixture that people can extract from the stem or fruit of the Pineapple (Ananas Comosus) plant. The dose amount to consume may depend on what type of Bromelain Extract a person is taking (from the stem or the fruit), how it is prepared, and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
The Main Bromelain Extracts Beneficial Elements
Healers have used the enzymes found in Bromelain Extracts for hundreds of years in many ways. And as of today, most well-renowned retailers tend to sell bromelain either as a health supplement or skin cream. Bromelain is naturally present in a Pineapple’s stem and yellow fruit. So, it’s that enzyme mixture present in the Pineapple fruit.
Perse, it’s a mixture of those enzymes that have active effects on the body. Manufacturers may sell bromelain as a capsule, cream, powder, or tablet. They may also package bromelain along with other supplements. Such as conjugated linoleic acid — which is a compound that may help with weight loss.
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. In general, its nutrients and compounds have been linked to various impressive health benefits. Including improved digestion, a lower risk of cancer, etc.
Pineapples also help in the improvement of our body’s immunity, and relief of arthritis symptoms. As well as in the recovery process improvement after major surgery or even strenuous exercise. Below 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. By the same token, you can also read more about the Health Benefits of Pineapple in detail for more info.
Bromelain Extracts has been known for its vast commercial applications. For example, you can consider its uses in both the food and beverage industries. Such as in meat tenderization, cosmetic industries, as well as in textile industries. Besides its industrial applications, it also possesses multiple therapeutic actions and cardiovascular/circulatory improvement.
Some of its reported actions include inhibition of platelet aggregation, anti-edema, anti-thrombotic, fibrinolytic activity, anti-inflammatory action, etc. As well as anti-tumor action, modulation of cytokines and immunity, skin debridement properties, enhanced absorption of other drugs, mucolytic properties, digestive assistance, enhanced wound healing, etc.
The Key Ways To Obtain The Bromelain Extracts
Besides its clinical applications, Bromelain has been a subject to many other industries due to its enormous benefits. Researchers thereby are trying various conventional as well as latest purification techniques to achieve its extracts in the highest pure form at a little cost. As compared to fruit, bromelain concentration is high in the stem.
And is thus a cheaply available source of Bromelain. Other parts of Pineapple are also investigated for the presence of Bromelain. Including peel, core, crown, etc. Extraction of Bromelain from these parts is attractive not only from an environmental point of view but also economically. It can be easily extracted from the Pineapple juice by ultrafiltration.
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But still, FBM is not commercially available due to being different from SBM. The marketable Bromelain is mostly extracted from the stem of Pineapple through centrifugation, ultrafiltration, lyophilization, and two-step Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC). Today, there is quite an interest increase among scientists toward Bromelain.
For this reason, several new purification techniques have been employed for Bromelain extraction and purification.
- Precipitation method
- Reversed micellar systems
- Aqueous two-phase system (ATPS)
- Purification through membrane filtration
- Different chromatographic techniques
- See other extraction and purification methods in detail
Once extracted, the crude mixture containing the required enzyme is then exposed. Particularly, to numerous purification stages to eradicate impurities that may interfere with Bromelain. Or rather, to hinder its application and reduce the specific activity of the enzyme. Product purity is the key factor to consider whenever extracting the juicy elements.
Since it may constitute a large proportion of the total enzyme production cost. Several conventional isolation and purification techniques are now obsolete. More so, because of their low purification potential. So, the extraction and purification design strategy should be selective for the desired product, cheap, high yielding, and speedy.
The Main Health Benefits To Consider
As we aforementioned, Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes derived from the pineapple fruit or stem. 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 (body inflammation). Not to mention, it also contains chemicals that interfere with the growth of tumor cells and slow blood clotting. Research suggests that; as a supplement, it can have various health benefits. Such as reducing inflammation and healing wounds.
However, there are no large-scale human research studies to back up its effectiveness. But, since it’s 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.
Sometimes, most people tend to use Bromelain as a supplement for various body health and wellness benefits. Including relieving sinus problems, reducing inflammation, and improving digestion. On the contrary, there is varied scientific evidence surrounding the effectiveness of using Bromelain for these purposes.
It’s also used for:
- hay fever control and treatment,
- 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. 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 other possible benefits.
1. Relieving Chronic Rhinosinusitis
Rhinosinusitis results in inflammation of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Whereas Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a more persistent and long-term inflammation that causes disruption of mucus membranes. Bromelain is an effective mucolytic agent and is very efficient in Rhinitis, Rhinosinusitis as well as in Chronic Rhinosinusitis.
A 2006 systematic review reports that; when a person uses it alongside standard medications, can help relieve inflammation in the sinuses. This study provides high-quality evidence, in regards to 10 random control trials. Thus, it may be helpful as supportive therapy to reduce the symptoms of sinusitis and related conditions that affect breathing and the nasal passages.
It decreases the formation of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin and reduces swelling in nasal passages. Additionally, it also decreases mucus production and aids its drainage. A 2016 review of studies suggests that it may reduce the duration of sinusitis symptoms in children. Whilst, improving breathing, reducing nasal inflammation, allergic rhinitis, Edema, etc.
2. Treating Osteoarthritis
People commonly use Bromelain to improve the symptoms of Osteoarthritis as a harmless supplement alternative. Osteoarthritis, the major form of arthritis, is a leading cause of disability these days. Bromelain is a potent analgesic and displays a direct effect on certain mediators of pain like bradykinin.
In this case, according to researchers, it exhibits promising efficacy in both Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. A 2004 review of clinical studies found that it’s a useful treatment alternative for many forms of Arthritis. 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. Luckily, in conjugation with other nutraceuticals such as turmeric, it results in enhanced efficacy in the treatment of degenerative joint pain diseases.
Another review also suggests that it can reduce transforming growth factor-beta — which is a compound associated with inflammation. Especially, in regards to Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteomyelofibrosis. It also helps vary the emission of certain chemokines and thus reduces the prevalence and sternness of spontaneous Colitis.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Notably, it helps reduce the harshness of colonic inflammation. And when taken orally, it significantly reduces the severity of ulcerative colitis. Chiefly, its anti-inflammatory mechanism comes out to be proteolytic in nature. Specifically, by which it eradicates cell surface receptors involved in leukocyte defection and activation.
Along with reducing nasal inflammation in sinusitis, it may also reduce inflammation elsewhere in the body. Uniquely, it also may help stimulate a healthy immune system to release inflammation-fighting immune system compounds. Due to these effective benefits, researchers regard it as a novel treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.
Its pharmacologically active compound is also a potent anti-tumorigenic agent. In mammary carcinoma cells, Bromelain affects MCF-7 cells by slowing down their growth inhibitory response and activating the process of autophagy. Furthermore, it promotes natural cell death (apoptosis) in cancerous cells.
When taken orally, it also encourages the scarce monocytic cytotoxicity in breast cancer patients. Mainly, in mammary cancer cells increased dosage of Bromelain promotes the process of natural cell death (apoptosis). Researchers have also found Bromelain to be useful in healing post-surgical wounds and aiding to lessen their aching and swelling.
4. Anti-Cancer Effects
In healthy cells, autophagy occurs naturally whereas, in tumor cells, this process is deactivated. Cancerous cells metastasize through circulation and transport system to nearby tissues. And, in many types of cancer p53 gene, which induces apoptosis, is inactivated thus apoptotic cell death is evaded in such cancerous cells.
Bromelain may have anticancer effects both on cancer cells and by improving inflammation in the body and boosting the immune system. This is according to a 2010 review in the Cancer Letters journal. It exhibits antimetastatic activity, stimulates several caspases, and promotes apoptosis. Moreover, its use in cancer lessens the size of the cancerous tumor growth.
And it also results in damage reduction to healthy cells and possesses fewer after-effects as compared to chemotherapy. Remarkably, it also results in tumor regression for certain cell lines. Including P-388 Leukemia, Sarcoma (S-37), A-431 Epidermoid Carcinoma, A-375 Melanoma, Lewis Lung Cancer, ADC-755 Breast Cancer, etc.
Furthermore, its use in conjugation with chemotherapeutic medicine improves the efficiency of these drugs to a certain extent. Such as switching off the essential gene signal NF-kappaB, suppression of Cox-2 expression, etc. As well as upregulation of p53 and Bax and by the initiation of autophagy.
However, the NIH says that there is currently not enough evidence to suggest that it has any effects on cancer. Moreover, many of these studies by scientists were on mice or in a cell-based laboratory setting. So, they don’t currently know the effects that it has on humans.
5. Digestion And Dermatological Disorders
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. Unfortunately, the NIH states that there’s not enough evidence that supports using Bromelain to aid digestion yet.
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. Realistically, these are both common causes of diarrhea disorders. Pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC) is a rare cutaneous dermatological disorder and is characterized by various signs.
Such as the development of multiple, scaly, erythematous to brown papules on the trunk and extremities. Bromelain’s use in PLC is a huge success. After treatment, all the victims of PLC were in full recovery with zero side effects — which is a virtue of its immuno-modulatory and antiviral trait. It has also shown promise in treating Scleroderma (abnormal skin).
6. For Asthma & Weight Loss
Asthma refers to the inflammation of air passages resulting in swollen or inflamed airways. Inflammation in asthma is caused mainly due to amplification of eosinophils and T lymphocytes level in the bronchial mucosa and broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Bromelain is an efficient therapeutic agent and is in use for successful allergic airway disease (AAD) control.
It treats asthma by decreasing the level of total BAL leukocytes (eosinophils and lymphocytes) and cellular infiltrates. And also, it notably lessens BAL CD4+, CD8+ T CD4+ and CD25+T cells. It also reduces interleukins IL-4, IL-12, IL-13, IL-17, and IFN-α in the serum. As well as changing the proportion of CD4+/CD8+.
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.
7. Blood Coagulation And Fibrinolysis
Fibrinolysis is a process to prevent fibrin clots from growing and allows the body to clear fragments of clots safely. In regards to this, Bromelain comes in as an effective fibrinolytic agent and it prevents blood from coagulation. More so, by exaggerating the transformation of plasminogen to plasma which in turn inhibits fibrin (blood-clotting protein) synthesis.
Additionally, it also decreases the proportion of fibrinogen in serum and represses ADP-induced platelet aggregation. As well as delaying both prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT). Both extrinsic and intrinsic pathway results in the formation of fibrin. However, sometimes Bromelain is seen to offer limits to its formation.
Perse, by reducing some of the intermediates of clotting cascades (factor X and prothrombin) and increasing fibrinolysis. It also decreases prekallikrein and thus inhibits the generation of bradykinin at the site of inflammation. This results in a reduction of pain and edema as well as increasing more chances of circulation at the site of injury.
Similarly, it has been effective in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases too. Since it promotes the disruption of thrombus, it reduces platelet clumping and blood viscosity. Thus, it reduces the harshness of angina pectoris and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Oftentimes, it’s also recommended for treatment and to reduce the potential risks of acute thrombophlebitis.
8. A Burns Debriding Agent
A dry Scab formed on the skin, especially, an afterburn is known as eschar — which may result in prolonged recovery and also enhance the chance to develop an infection. Debridement refers to the elimination of dead, damaged, or infected tissue from the site of eschar — to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissues.
Debriding the burn eschar surgically is quite challenging and can cause many difficulties. On the other hand, enzymatic debridement can minimize such complications and is a safe alternative. Amongst these, Bromelain is a potential candidate in regard to this. Topical Bromelain is in use these days in debriding necrotic tissues.
For one thing, it encompasses a fraction of Escharase which is a main debriding agent — quite specific in its action. It selectively acts upon the affected tissues without harming the normal ones. In addition, it simplifies the debridement process and offers improved and accelerated healing and quick reepithelialization.
9. A Thrombus Formation Inhibitor
Overall, platelet aggression and thrombus formation are the leading factors of cardiac discomfort. Akt (a protein kinase) controls numerous cellular processes and is a key player in cardiovascular diseases. It is activated upon phosphorylation. Apoptosis is a chief stimulator of several cardiovascular disorders.
Upon its activation, Akt inactivates several proapoptotic genes that cause cessation of apoptosis to some extent resulting in cardioprotective. Bromelain is an effective cardioprotective agent. It possesses antithrombotic and anticoagulant activities and reduces platelet aggregation. It also prohibits the attachment of platelets to endothelial.
Technically, it results in enhanced phosphorylation of Akt which causes inhibition of apoptotic cell death. Then again, it inhibits the clumping of platelets and also puts a stop to thrombus formation. It has a great ability to reduce angina and it also possesses an antihypertensive action.
Risks, Side Effects, And Interactions
There are few side effects to associate with Bromelain. A person may wish to add this supplement to their diet, but it should not replace medical treatment. To some people, though, while bromelain is a natural substance, it can have some side effects. For instance, people with sensitivities or allergies to Pineapples should avoid taking Bromelain extracts.
For one thing, it can cause allergic reactions that range from mild to severe. And also, in extreme cases, it can result in anaphylaxis. Luckily, Pineapple allergy is not very common in medical reports, but it can cause adverse reactions. Hypersensitivity reactions to other fruits are also very common, particularly apples, stone fruits, and bananas.
That said, below are some notable side effects to consider before or even after taking some Bromelain extracts.
- stomach upsets
- 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. A person should seek emergency medical attention if they experience any of the below-mentioned interactions. Or any other similar side effects after taking or applying bromelain.
Consider the following:
- difficulty breathing
- nausea and vomiting
- 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.
Basically, Bromelain is a concoction of several thiol endopeptidases. Whereby, it’s distinguishable as either a stem or a fruit depending upon the site of extraction. It’s one of the extensively proteolytic enzymes under study.
Owing to its astonishing applications in various industries. This necessitates employing a strategy that results in the highest purified bromelain in fewer steps and at the lowest cost. The use of modernistic approaches such as membrane filtration, reverse micellar systems, aqueous two-phase extraction, and chromatographic techniques have shown a huge promise.
That’s it! Everything to know about Bromelain extracts. So, what’s your take on this topic? Have you given its extracts a try yet? If not, why? Well, you know have a reason to try it. And now, for any general additional thoughts, opinions, contributions, suggestions, compliments, or questions (for FAQ Answers) please leave them in our comments section.
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