Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme which promotes the breakdown of protein in the food you consume. It reduces protein to smaller units such as amino acids, used in building and repairing muscles and in the production of protein-based chemicals.
But there are many other benefits of bromelain, which can be found in pineapples, for example. That is why adding this fruit to your daily diet can improve the body’s accumulation of protein and prevent inflammatory medical conditions such as heart disease, swollen joints and cancer.
For many years this powerful enzyme has been used for various medical purposes.
- Management of Various GI Tract Problems
Bromelain promotes better digestion and also treats various GI tract issues, such as ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease. The enzyme has shown positive effects in people suffering from bouts of dyspepsia or constipation.
- Prevention of Lung Cancer
Studies have shown that bromelain can prevent and even treat lung cancer due to its ability to speed up the rate of cancer cell death. The enzyme proved beneficial in the treatment of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, which is a rare form of cancer affecting the peritoneum.
- Treatment of Sinus Infections
Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties; that is why the enzyme is considered one of the most effective treatments for sinus infections. A study made at the University of Cologne in Germany showed that patients with chronic sinusitis saw significant improvement in symptoms after three months of treatment with bromelain.
- Remedy for Joint Pain and Inflammation
The enzyme can also ward off swollen and painful joints, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Scientists found that this enzyme can stop the deterioration of cartilages and maintain the joints inflammation. Compared to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs bromelain does not have unfavorable side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
- Inhibition of Blood Clot Formation
It has been proven that bromelain can thin blood helping it effectively flow through the veins. The enzyme can be used to avoid blood clot formation and therefore prevent a stroke or a heart attack.
- Elimination of Parasitic Worms in the Gut
Bromelain wears out the protective substances that are secreted by tapeworms and other intestinal parasites. Destroying their defensive barriers, digestive enzymes can kill the parasites.
- Topical Applications for Burns
Bromelain has shown its benefits in studies made on second- and third-degree burns, being capable of sloughing off dead tissue.
- Insect Bites and Stings
You can apply bromelain to reduce discomfort and swelling associated with insect stings and bites.
- Reduced Swelling After Sports Injuries
An intense sports exercise can end up with an injury, which means swelling, bruises, pain and strains. Bromelain can speed up healing time and reduce swelling and pain.
- Varicose Veins and Hemorrhoids
Bromelain can be used as an alternative treatment for hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
- Boost Overall Immune Strength
Certain studies made in Germany showed that bromelain stimulated the immune function in women suffering from breast cancer. Scientists also believe that the enzyme can boost the amount of cytokines, immune system hormones made in the white blood cells.
With so many benefits, people should definitely consider the amount of bromelain in their diet. For those who do not like pineapple, there is another option: bromelain supplements.