Bromelain, or bromelin for many, is one of the most well-known anti-inflammatory herbs, which derives from pineapple. Pineapple has traditionally been used to treat indigestion and inflammation in central and south America, actions which still maintain today.
What is bromelain
Bromelain comes from the strain and juice of the pineapple. The substance was isolated for the first time in the late 1800s. The term bromelain essentially refers to a group of enzymes found in the pineapple – Ananas comosus. The enzymes are proteolytic, thus they help in the breakdown and digestion of proteins. The mixture additionally contains thiol endopeptidases and other components such as phosphatase, glucosidase, peroxidase, cellulase and several protease inhibitors.
Its absorption from body is very high, it does not lose its proteolytic activity and does not cause the side effects, like common anti-inflammatory drugs do.
Benefits and actions
Inflammation is a feature of many pathological conditions. The analgesic action of bromelain is due to the inhibition of the activity of bradyκinin, a molecule that triggers pain and creates swealing.
Supplemental administration of bromelain appears to be effective in inhibiting platelet aggregation and formation of thrombosis. In addition, thanks to its fibrinolytic activity, it helps to reduce the formation of atherosclerotic plaques from cholesterol, thus helping to prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of thromboembolism.
Surgical interventions and muscle wounds
Many studies have highlighted bromelain as a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that helps heal wounds, reduce pain and recover after surgery. Bromelain supplementation is particularly effective in treating tendinitis, sprains and muscle injuries. In addition, thanks to its anti-inflammatory action, it reduces swelling of injured tissues, especially after surgery.
Supplementation of bromelain is particularly frequent in cases where there is intense inflammation and pain, such as arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Its intake has analgesic activity and reduces pain, as many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do.
Results of some studies suggest that supplemental administration of bromelain has additional antibiotic and antibacterial properties. However, further studies require to confirm the above action.
Rhinitis and sinusitis
Other actions of bromelain that have been identified but require further study, are sinusitis and allergic rhinitis. It appears that supplemental use help relieve the swelling and inflammation caused by hay fever or reduce cough and nasal mucus associated with sinusitis.
Interactions – Contraindications
Bromelain is not recommended to be taken for more than 8 to 10 days. People who will undergone to surgery, pregnant and lactating women, people with hemorrhagic disorders, hypertension, renal or hepatic insufficiency, people taking anticoagulants, antibiotics or sedatives should not take bromelain. Because bromelain may increase bleeding and affect blood clotting ability, discontinuation prior to surgery should be at least for 2 weeks.
Recommended dosage and forms
Bromelain is available in tablets or capsules. The recommended dose is 80-320 mg, 2-3 times a day. In cases of arthritis the dose may be significantly higher at 500-2000 mg, up to 2 times a day.
In Vita4you you can find a wide variety of dietary supplements with bromelain.