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The benefits of bromelain, an excellent enzyme obtained from pineapples

Derived from pineapple, bromelain is an invaluable enzyme complex. Discover how to gain maximum benefit from its properties.

Cut pineapple, rich in bromelain, on a blue background

What exactly is bromelain?

Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme (one which is able to break down proteins), or more specifically, a cysteine protease. It is extracted from pineapples (1).

Bromelain has long been used in certain traditional pharmacopoeia, including those of Hawaii, Central America and the Philippines (2). Now many of today’s scientists are also investigating its benefits.

Bromelain’s benefits: excellent for alleviating acid reflux, joint discomfort, etc.

Substances which naturally break down proteins may prove to be highly beneficial for health. Bromelain in particular, could help support the pancreas and reduce acid reflux (3).

Shooting pains, difficulty moving, stiffness... Joint discomfort is a blight on many people’s lives (4). According to some scientists, bromelain may help to moderate such problems. In particular, it’s believed to play a part in improving joint mobility (5) and inhibiting the production of prostaglandins. It is also thought to accelerate wound-healing and promote the elimination of arterial plaque and blood clots (6-8).

Where exactly in the pineapple is this enzyme found?

Small amounts of bromelain are present in the pulp of the pineapple: be sure, though, to eat the fruit in its fresh state, as the enzymes are heat-sensitive, and canned pineapple is subject to high temperature sterilisation. But it is primarily the pineapple stem and roots that contain bromelain, yet these parts of the fruit are never eaten.

So to benefit fully from the fruit’s properties, it’s best to take a dietary supplement such as Bromelain. What’s more, this product comes in gastro-resistant capsules, which make it particularly absorbable by the body. A perfect way in which to benefit from bromelain’s virtues!

References

  1. Emerging roles for cysteine proteases in human biology - Harold A. Chapman,, Richard J. Riese, and, and Guo-Ping Shi - Annual Review of Physiology 1997 59:1, 63-88
  2. Muhammad ZA, Ahmad T. Therapeutic uses of pineapple-extracted bromelain in surgical care - A review. J Pak Med Assoc. 2017;67(1):121-125.
  3. Bhattacharyya, B. K.. “Bromelain: An Overview.” (2008).
  4. Dossier INSERM - 1 Français sur 2 souffre de douleurs articulaires – Mis à jour en oct 2016 – Consulté en sept 2020.
  5. Brien S, Lewith G, Walker A, Hicks SM, Middleton D. Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : Ecam. 2004 Dec;1(3):251-257. 
  6. Mataro I, Delli Santi G, Palombo P, D'Alessio R, Vestita M. Spontaneous healing and scar control following enzymatic debridement of deep second-degree burns. Ann Burns Fire Disasters. 2017;30(4):313-316.
  7. Tochi, B. N., Wang, Z., Xu, S. Y., & Zhang, W. (2008). Therapeutic application of pineapple protease (bromelain): a review. Pakistan journal of nutrition7(4), 513-520.
  8. Pavan R, Jain S, Shraddha, Kumar A. Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: a review. Biotechnol Res Int. 2012;2012:976203. doi:10.1155/2012/976203

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