Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme complex obtained from the pineapple plant’s stem, fruit, and juice. It has been used to cure medical illnesses for years, mainly in Central and South America. It is currently classified as a dietary supplement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is generally regarded as safe (GRAS). For centuries, healers have utilized this in a variety of ways. Bromelain is now often sold in stores as a health supplement, and even as a skin lotion.
Bromelain is an enzyme complex that has activating effects on the human body. Proteinases and proteases, which are enzymes that break down proteins, are active constituents in bromelain.
Bromelain is often used as a natural therapy for a variety of health conditions. However, there is no high-quality scientific research to back up many of its applications. Bromelain is applied locally to remove dead skin from burns, and it is taken orally to decrease swelling and inflammation, specifically in the respiratory tract. Bromelain is also used as a digestive aid, to treat osteoarthritis, and to relieve muscle pain.
Forms and dosage
Bromelain is available in pill or tablet form for oral use. It is also available as a topical lotion. Despite the fact that it is obtained from pineapple, eating pineapple or drinking its juice does not provide a sufficient amount to be beneficial.
Bromelain can be taken on its own or in combination with other drugs. When consuming bromelain, it is critical to consult with your doctor and follow the dosing instructions provided.
Dosages vary from 80 to 400 mg per serving, taken two to three times per day. Your doctor may advise you to take bromelain alongside meals to help digestion or on an empty stomach to minimize inflammation. Bromelain may usually be absorbed safely by the body in large amounts. Bromelain can be consumed at a rate of 12 grams per day without causing any negative side effects.
Yet, neither doctors nor scientists have specified a certain quantity of bromelain that an individual should take in order to maximize the beneficial effects on the body. The dosage will differ based on whether the bromelain is extracted from the stem or the fruit, how it is processed, and the manufacturer’s instructions.
Potential health advantages
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple stems that breaks down protein molecules. Bromelain inhibited blood clotting and reduced inflammation in laboratory trials. Human studies are limited.
It aids in the removal of dead and damaged tissue from burns when applied topically in clinical practice. Although bromelain is commonly administered orally to aid digestion and absorption, research is limited. It has also not been investigated in humans for its impact on cancer.
Some antibiotics may be absorbed more easily with the help of bromelain.
1.) Relieving sinusitis: Bromelain may be useful as a supportive therapy for sinusitis and other disorders that impact breathing and the nasal passages.
According to a 2016 review of studies, bromelain could shorten the duration of sinusitis symptoms in children, enhance breathing, and minimize nasal inflammation. Bromelain supplements were found to be useful in reducing inflammation, congestion, and other symptoms linked to chronic sinusitis in a research study. Participants in the study were administered bromelain every day for three months.
2.) Curing osteoarthritis: Bromelain supplements are often used to alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
According to a 2004 review of clinical data, bromelain is a beneficial treatment for osteoarthritis, probably due to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to the researchers, more research on the usefulness and appropriate dosages is required. Another analysis of clinical research discovered that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities make it a good therapy for osteoarthritis pain, soft-tissue inflammation, and joint stiffness. More research, however, is required.
3.) Treatment of skin burns: A review of studies indicated that when applied as a topical cream, bromelain was highly successful at safely eliminating damaged tissue from wounds and second or third degree burns. According to preliminary study, administering a gel containing bromelain enzymes under a wound dressing aids in the removal of dead tissue from burns. Human studies back up this application in clinical practice.
4.) Prevention and treatment of cancer: Although bromelain has anti-inflammatory characteristics, it has not been proven to treat or prevent cancer.
5.) Anti-inflammatory properties: Bromelain may help reduce inflammation, according to small clinical research. In addition to lowering nasal inflammation in sinusitis, it may also decrease inflammation anywhere else in the body. Bromelain may also stimulate a stronger immune system to release anti-inflammatory chemicals. According to the review, bromelain can also lower transforming growth factor beta, a molecule linked to inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis as well as osteomyelofibrosis.
However, because most of these studies were performed on mice or in a cell-based laboratory environment, researchers do not presently know the anti-inflammatory effects of bromelain in human body.
6.) Cardiovascular disorders: According to an analysis, bromelain is useful in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders such as peripheral artery disease, stroke, cardiac arrest, and hypertension.
Bromelain prevents blood platelets from adhering or clumping together. This may assist to minimize the production of clots and cardiovascular events. Although laboratory research suggest that bromelain helps prevent blood clots, clinical trials have found only little evidence that it can cure cardiovascular diseases.
Bromelain and cancer
Although laboratory research suggest that bromelain possesses anticancer properties, these benefits have not been explored in humans. According to a 2010 review published in the journal Cancer Letters, bromelain may have anticancer activity on cancer cells as well as by alleviating inflammation in the body and strengthening the immune system.
According to a 2010 study, bromelain may be useful in the treatment of cancer. Bromelain may have the ability to influence cancer cell proliferation and affect the main pathways that support malignancy.
A 2016 systematic review found that bromelain can lower specific chemicals related with cancer inflammation and tumor growth in cellular and animal systems.
Nevertheless, according to the National Institutes of Health(NIH), there is currently insufficient evidence to demonstrate that bromelain would have any effect on cancer. Preclinical research suggests that bromelain may have chemo-preventive and antitumorigenic properties, however, human trials are still insufficient.
Risks and adverse effects
Bromelain, like all supplements, should be discussed with your doctor before use. Bromelain may induce moderate adverse effects in some individuals, especially when consumed in large doses. These are some examples:
- Menstrual bleeding that is heavier than usual
If you use a blood thinner, such as Warfarin, Pradaxa, or another, avoid using bromelain. Bromelain has an antiplatelet impact on the blood, which increases the risk of excessive bleeding. As a result, it is critical to avoid using bromelain pre and post surgery.
If you are using tetracycline antibiotics, avoid using bromelain since it may raise the levels of these medications in your blood and urine.
Bromelain should be avoided by anyone who have pineapple sensitivity or allergies. It can induce mild to severe allergic reactions, and in severe situations, it might result in anaphylaxis.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is insufficient concrete evidence to determine if bromelain is safe to use while pregnant or breast-feeding. To be on the safer side, avoid using it in this case.
- Anticoagulants: Bromelain decreases blood clotting, therefore if you are taking a blood thinner (anticoagulant), which also slows blood clotting, you may develop bruising or increased bleeding. Inform your doctor if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Antibiotics: Bromelain has the potential to influence how your body processes antibiotics. It can, for example, raise the amount of amoxicillin or tetracycline absorbed into the bloodstream. Taking bromelain at the same time as amoxicillin or tetracycline can enhance their effects, but more precisely, their side effects.
- Sedatives: Bromelain may increase the potency of sedative medications such as anti-seizure medicines, insomnia medications, tricyclic antidepressants, and alcohol.
Bromelain is an enzyme complex obtained from the pineapple fruit or stem. When taken as a supplement, bromelain may provide health benefits such as lowering inflammation and aiding in wound healing, according to research.
However, no large-scale human research studies have been conducted to support its efficacy. Bromelain has a few minor adverse effects as well.
This supplement may be added to a person’s diet, but it should not be used in place of medical therapy. Consult your doctor before using bromelain, especially if you use prescription drugs.