Bromelain Benefits To Our Digestion
Bromelain is the collective name for a complex group of enzymes and cofactors, extracted from the stems of pineapple. But I should point out that bromelain benefits can be found in all parts of the pineapple. Even the leaves!
Unlike other plant enzymes, bromelain actually remains active in the human body rather than being digested as food. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
Alongside its friend papain (from papaya), it’s one of the few plant enzymes known to exert a proven and swift effect once ingested.
Bromelain is an exciting and well-studied compound, famous for its ability to break down protein - yet it’s so much more than a simple stomach aid.
Bromelain benefits us in many ways, with far-reaching positive effects for the human body.
Think of it as nature’s own anti-inflammatory, breaking down and clearing away problematic molecules, invaders and debris before they can do any damage.
It has been used for a variety of ailments in folk medicine for centuries. Recently, a concentrate of proteolytic enzymes enriched in bromelain was approved in Europe for the debridement (removal of dead tissue) of severe burn wounds.
Native Americans were well acquainted with the power of pineapple, using it as a meat-tenderiser, digestive-enhancer and general health tonic.
Bromelain is most widely known for its digestive enhancing effects and is sold in many health food stores and even some pharmacies.
It has been used for aiding digestion in many cultures for many years. Given its application as a meat-tenderiser and digestive-enhancer, it’s no surprise that pineapple is served as one of the dishes at traditional Brazilian “Churrasco” BBQ - a meal that revolves around a lot of meat.
Some restaurants even add cinnamon to any pineapple served, for extra blood sugar support on top of the digestive benefits, or possibly just because it tastes delicious!
Even though it had been used instinctively to break down meat proteins in the kitchen, it wasn’t until 1891 that chemist Vicente Marcano isolated the mysterious (and seemingly magical) bromelain enzyme by fermenting a pineapple. Though it was not officially named ‘bromelin’ until 1892.
Breaking Down Bromelain Benefits
So bromelain benefits our bodies in many ways, but how exactly?
Thanks to bromelain’s ability to break down proteins (which are actually tightly-wound chains of amino acids), it assists with many conditions involving inflammation and infection.
Now to get a little technical here, this is known as proteolytic activity.
Cytokines (made of protein) are released by cells in our immune systems to trigger and sustain inflammation; which is all very well in short bursts to protect targeted areas, but this can become problematic over time.
Bromelain helps to digest and ‘clear’ these inflammatory molecules. It can also ‘strip’ the protective, protein-rich coating that viruses and other invaders use to defend themselves, making them easier for the immune system to attack.
As well as that, bromelain ‘digests’ fibrin (which plays a role in healthy blood clotting), facilitates healthy wound-healing and generally boosts the circulation.
Bromelain Benefits For The Relief And Treatment Of Ailments
All of this means bromelain may be useful for everything from digestion, allergic rhinitis and arthritis to cardiovascular function, as it:
✔ Aids protein digestion in the stomach and relieves dyspepsia.
✔ Acts as a decongestant in rhinitis and allergies by reducing inflammatory proteins.
✔ Attacks viruses, unhealthy cells and other invaders that ‘cloak’ themselves in a protein coating.
✔ Enhances the body’s ability to heal and repair, by breaking down unhealthy tissue.
✔ Reduces inflammation by breaking down protein-based inflammatory cytokines.
Bromelain may also:
→ Act as an antioxidant
→ Enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics
→ Enhance immune function
→ Interfere with the growth of unhealthy cells that lead to cancer
→ Interact with fat cells, improving weight loss
→ Reduce muscle soreness
→ Assist in cases of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
→ Assist in Type 1 Diabetes by reducing pancreatic inflammation
→ Improve cardiovascular health by stimulating circulation and reducing the risk of clotting
→ Protect the brain (more evidence required)
Getting Bromelain Benefits Into Our Bodies
Most evidence supports the use of bromelain for managing the symptoms of dyspepsia (indigestion), osteoarthritis and allergic rhinitis.
Second to that list of scientifically backed benefits, there is emerging, and exciting research that suggests bromelain could play a positive role in cancer treatment, cardiovascular health, Type 1 Diabetes, weight loss and other inflammatory states, too.
Inflammatory states like toothache! I think we all know the pain of this one.
When it comes to the removal of impacted teeth, the medical profession will immediately prescribe a slew of post operative treatments with a host of possible and nasty side effects.
Fortunately, according to a recent study, it looks as though bromelain may provide a natural answer for that aching inflamed pain, and no adverse effects have been recorded.
However, the prescribed daily dosage of bromelain varies depending on individual needs and the condition requiring treatment.
For enhancing the digestion, most sources recommend doses of 500 - 1000 mg, three times daily with meals.
For inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and rhinitis, up to 2000 mg per day can be consumed if the doses are divided between meals.
Because of the ways bromelain benefits our bodies, it has been included in Athletic Greens. Most people do not consume pineapple on a daily basis, and even fewer of us consume the core of the pineapple, which has the largest concentration of bromelain.
We could certainly stand to benefit from a boost in our digestive powers while also reaping the anti-inflammatory effects bromelain provides us with in abundance.
So when not chewing on pineapple cores we can instead turn to our Athletic Greens, knowing that the bromelain included works wonders with the papain (the enzyme from papaya) to improve digestion, and with citrus bioflavonoids, ginger rhizome, CoQ10 and omega 3 to reduce inflammation.Then to top it all off bromelain benefits the immune system with the help of astragalus, reishi mushroom, shiitake mushroom, vitamins A,C&E as well as good old, last on the list, zinc. Fortunately these too are included in our Athletic Greens formula.