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Bromelain

Refreshing life starts with regular exercise, eating healthy fruits and vegetables. Fruits help us not only to maintain our energy levels on a tired and exhausted day; it can also be used in enhancing our metabolism and improving our immune system by their enzyme constituents.

One such good example can be seen in pineapple fruit (Ananas comosus), containing BROMELAIN. Bromelain an enzyme complex containing proteinase is mainly extracted from the stem of pineapple. Using bromelain as a therapeutic component dates back since 1957 for its ability to be easily absorbed in the body without losing its proteolytic activity.

Bromelain is categorized as fruit bromelain and stem bromelain depending upon the sources. [1] Small amount of bromelain is also found in pineapple waste such as core, peels, crown and leaves. Pineapple tissues are said to contain least 4 proteases:

  1. Stem bromelain
  2. Fruit bromelain
  3. Ananain [1]
  4. Comosain [1]

The bromelain is applied to any protease from any plant member of the family Bromeliaceae. Bromelain was first isolated by the Venezuelan chemist Vicente Marcano in 1891. Later further analysis was done by Chittenden, assisted by Joslin and Meara. It was first called as - bromelain. Recent studies have shown that bromelain concentration remains highest after one hour of administration. Experimental studies show that the half life of bromelain is 6-9hrs and plasma concentrations 2.5-4ng /ml of bromelain after oral administration of 8.6gm each day. As a proteolytic enzyme, Bromelain has 8 different chemical constituents which help in digestion of proteins. [2]

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Importance of Bromelain

Traditional folk medicine included intake of pineapple since ancient times. Nowadays bromelain is widely used in many parts of world for its effective therapeutic properties.

The various health issues addressed by bromelain

  • Anti-cancer activity

    Regression of tumor has been achieved by bromelain supplements on combining with chemotherapeutic agents. [4]

  • Wound debridement

    Process of removal of dead tissues from the wound is called debridement. Proteases from bromelain hydrolyze the fibrin clot deposited on the wound during the first phase of healing to avoid the bleeding and promote wound healing. It is effectively used in 2ndand 3rddegree burns and also debridement of necrotic tissues. [5]

  • Effectiveness in immunogeneticity

    Using bromelain as an adjuvant therapeutic agent in chronic inflammatory conditions, malignancy and Auto-immune conditions has proven effective in many clinical studies. It induces the secretion of IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).

  • Effectiveness in Blood Coagulation and Fibiolysis

    It influences blood coagulation by increasing the serum fibrinolytic ability and by inhibiting the synthesis of fibrin, a protein involved in blood clotting.

  • Platelet aggregation

    Bromelain is considered to be effectively improving cardiovascular diseases such as Angina pectoris, rheumatic heart diseases, hypertension as it is an inhibitor of blood platelet aggregation thus reducing the risk of developing thrombosis or embolism.

  • In osteoarthritis and sinusitis

    Recent studies have shown that Bromelain has been effectively used in improving cases of osteoarthritis and sinusitis conditions. It has been used as an alternative treatment in osteoarthritis by replacing the NSAIDS.

  • Effectiveness in respiratory conditions

    Clinical applications of bromelain have resulted in reducing the purulence and volume of sputum in lower respiratory tract diseases including pneumonia, COPD, and pulmonary abscess.

  • Bromelain and Peyronie's diseases

    Peyronie's Disease is a clinical condition characterized by a severe curvature of the erect penis caused by plaque or a hard lump that forms on the appendage. Bromelain is most effective at stimulating collagenase, the enzyme that breaks down collagen by dissolving the peptide bonds that hold their proteins together.

  • Erectile dysfunction and bromelain

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve and maintain a penile erection adequate for satisfactory sexual intercourse affecting 150 million men worldwide. 

    Erectile dysfunction can be due to psychogenic or organic factors. Penile erection is a complex neurovascular event. Relaxation of the cavernous smooth muscle is the key to penile erection. [3]

    Recent studies have shown that using bromelain in cases of erectile dysfunction has resulted in relaxation of erectile tissues. Research articles have concluded that consumption of bromelain and its supplements might be particularly useful to diabetic men whose ED is caused by heightened inflammation. [6]. It was determined that any or all of these forms of bromelain could trigger relaxation in erectile tissue in which contraction had been evoked with the introduction of phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor.

    Thereby using bromelain has been considered to be a safe and effective therapeutic agent due to its proteolytic enzyme activity and is mostly used by individuals for its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous and anti-microbial effects.

References:

  1. Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review
  2. Bromelain A Wonder Supplement: A Review article.
  3. Physiology of penile erection and pathophysiology of erectile dysfunction ppt by Roc McCarthy, DO.
  4. Antibacterial and Anticancer Property of Bromelain: A Plant Protease Enzyme from Pineapples (Ananas comosus) by Jermen Mamo* and Fassil Assefa, Department of Microbial, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  5. Debridement Applications of Bromelain: A Complex of Cysteine Proteases from Pineapple Raquel Elisa da Silva López*
  6. Journal of sexual medicine April issue 2019
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Bromelain

Struggling with kidney and vascular issues? Try this enzyme that works wonders for your body in many different ways.

Useful in

    Anti-inflammatory
    Antiviral / Vascular Health
    Kidney / Urinary health
    Enzymes / Bioflavanoides
    Anti-cancer
    Joint health
    Men's health
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