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 Bromelain


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here are many research studies to demonstrate its potential health benefits. It has an excellent safety record and it's protein-digesting ability makes it a versatile enzyme for the body.

If you suffer from arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), it is worth giving bromelain a try. There are very few side effects and it is shown to work as well as some prescription anti-inflammatory drugs.

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Evidence of Benefits (Leaf rating system)

natural remedies leaf benefit side effect Arthritis / Osteoarthritis

Research studies show that it may be as effective as common anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin (ASA), Aleve (naproxen) and Advil (ibuprofen) for treating osteoarthritis.

Click here to see a list of natural remedies for treating osteoarthritis.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effect Sports injuries / Bruises / Burns / Post-surgery Pain

The German Commission E recommends its use to help with sports injuries, bruising, swelling and post-surgery pain control.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effect

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Research studies suggest that this supplement can be helpful in reducing pain from people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

See Natural Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis for a complete list other supplements that work for RA.
 

natural remedies leaf benefit side effect Ulcerative Colitis

There is some evidence that people with ulcerative colitis showed benefits and reduced symptoms by taking this natural supplement.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effect Digestion / Stomach Upset / Heartburn / Stomach Ulcer

Its protein-digesting ability helps with maintaining proper digestion. It seems to speed up the healing of stomach ulcers.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effect Infection

Studies done in laboratory setting suggest that bromelin can kill bacteria and viruses.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effect Cancer Prevention

In animal studies, this supplement stimulates the production of cytokine, a substance that is known to stop the development of cancer cells. More research will be required to find out if this applies to humans.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effect HIV / AIDS

In laboratory settings, bromelin seems to stop an enzyme (protease) that the virus needs to replicate itself to infect healthy T cells. It seems to prevent the virus from attaching to the health T cells as well.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effect Scleroderma

No research studies could be located for using bromelain to treat scleroderma.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effect Warts

No research studies could be located for using bromelain to treat warts.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effect PMS (premenstrual syndrome)

No research studies could be located for using bromelain to treat PMS.
 
natural remedies leaf benefit side effectAsthma

Traditionally, bromelain has been used to treat asthma conditions. It is believed to thin the mucus to help keep the aiways clear.
 
 
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Facts about Bromelain

What other names is it known by?

It is also known as bromelin, pineapple enzyme, pineapple extract or bromelainum in different parts of the world.

What is it?

It is a name describing proteolytic enzymes extracted from the stem and fruit of the pineapple. It was isolated from pineapple in 1876.

Research studies show that it is an enzymes that breaks down protein. It is also shown to stop or slow down the growth of cancer cells and prevent the blood from clotting.

Further studies show that it blocks the formation of fibrin and other chemicals that leads to swelling, inflammation and pain at the injury site.

Many more studies further shows that it can speed up healing of the soft tissues.

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Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

Orally
  • allergies
  • amyloidosis
  • anti-inflammatory benefits
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • atherosclerosis
  • blood clot prevention
  • bronchitis
  • bruises
  • burns
  • bursitis
  • cancer prevention
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Crohn's disease
  • cuts
  • diabetes
  • digestion aid
  • enhanced antibiotic absorption
  • gastric ulcers
  • gastric upset
  • gout
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
  • injured joints
  • muscle soreness
  • nasal and sinus congestion
  • osteoarthritis
  • PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • scleroderma
  • sinusitis (sinus infection)
  • sports injuries
  • ulcerative colitis
  • warts
      
Topically (on the skin)
  • bruises
  • burns
  • inflammation reduction
  • local swelling
  • post-surgery pain
  • soft tissue injuries
  • sports injuries
  • wound healing

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Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

Side effects such as stomach upset and diarrhea has been reported.

It is possible that people with allergies to pineapple could have an allergic reaction to it. If you have a known allergy to pineapple, avoid taking this. This may lead to skin reactions or an asthma attack.

Safety - Research studies conducted showed that it is safe and has few reported side effects at the appropriate dosages.

Pregnancy and Lactation - Avoid taking during pregnancy as there are no information available.

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Common Drug Interactions

warfarin / blood-thinning medications - caution
 
This supplement has antiplatelet activity (preventing blood from clotting), it could increase the risk of bleeding. Have your warfarin levels monitored when starting or stopping bromelin supplement.

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Foods that contain Bromelain

Dietary source of bromelin includes pineapple.
   
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Dosage & How to Take It

The German Commission E suggests dosage from 80 to 320 mg taken two to three times daily.

It is available as tablets, enteric coated tablets, capsules (in many strengths), powder and cream formulations (in strengths up to 35%). When taking the supplement for the first time, it is best to start with a lower dosage and to increase slowly.

Digestion Aid: 500 mg daily (divided into two or three doses).

Traumatic injuries / Bruises: 500 mg four times daily on an empty stomach.

Arthritis/Osteoarthritis: 250 to 1000 mg twice daily.
Other dosages used include:

Knee Pain: 200 to 400 mg daily.

Muscle Soreness: 300 mg three times daily

Asthma: Take 250 to 500 mg up to three times daily.

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Related Articles and Resources

Natural Remedies for Osteoarthritis




Return to Natural Remedies List
Selected References for Bromelain
Revised: September 16, 2011

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