Health Benefits of Bromelain
Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory enzyme that is found in pineapples. This natural enzyme has been used for centuries in Central and South America to treat indigestion and reduce inflammation. It is found in the juice and stems of pineapples.
This enzyme helps to break down proteins, which in turn helps to digest proteins. This is why eating pineapples can help to digest a protein rich meal. Research has found that bromelain is not fully broken down in the digestive tract. This means that this enzyme can work throughout the body. Bromelain has many health benefits and is frequently prescribed by doctors throughout many parts of Europe.
Digestive Aid. Bromelain can help in breaking down proteins, which can help the digestive process. This enzyme is usually a component of Digestive Enzymes that are produced by many nutritional companies. Bromelain, along with lipase, amylase and papian helps to break down food into nutrients that the body can use for energy and other health processes. A lack of these enzymes can lead to undigested food passing through to the large intestine which causes fermentation. This leads to undesirable and often embarrassing effects of bloating, flatulence and diarrhoea.
Anti-inflammatory. This natural enzyme can help to reduce inflammation following an injury, post surgery or from arthritis. Bromelain has been found to be as effective as many conventional ant-inflammatory medications in various small clinical trials. Although the test groups have been relatively small, the results are encouraging, and deserve a larger testing platform. Bromelain has been found to be effective in reducing the pain and swelling from sports injuries. Some studies have found this enzyme to speed up healing time after surgery and injuries.
Sinusitis. Studies have shown that Bromelain may help in reducing sinus pain, congestion and improve breathing. The German Commission E (a guide for the safe prescribing herbal of herbs) approves the use of Bromelain for the treatment of sinusitis and nasal swelling following ear, nose and throat surgery.
Asthma / Bronchitis. Bromelain has been found to be effective in the reducing the symptoms of asthma and chronic bronchitis. This enzyme has been found to reduce the thickness of mucus, which can be helpful in clearing the airways, which in turn can aid the flow of oxygen during respiration. Bromelain can also help to reduce the sensitivity to irritants, which can often trigger asthma symptoms.
There have also been some initial studies conducted on the use of Bromelain in the treatment of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Researchers have found that this enzyme reduced inflammation and improved the general symptoms associated with these conditions. Although these findings are very encouraging, more research is required to back up these results.
Bromelain can help to improve circulation and cardiovascular function by helping to reduce the stickiness of blood platelets. This can help to prevent blood clots and blockages in arteries, which can cause angina. More studies are required to back these findings.
The recommended dosage is between 500mg – 1000mg three times a day. Bromelain should be taken on an empty stomach for injuries, arthritis and sinusitis. For aiding digestion, this enzyme should be taken with meals.
There are unfortunately some possible (and rare) side effects with this supplement. People who are allergic to pineapples should avoid bromelain. If you are taking blood thinning medication such as warfarin, please check with your pharmacist before taking this supplement.
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