We often hear the phrase “food is medicine.” Well, what you are about to read is a fine example of just that. Imagine a fruit that tastes sweet, has sharp leaves, and makes you think of swinging in a hammock on a Hawaiian island? Did a pineapple pop into your mind? Congrats! You have won an article dedicated to pineapple’s hidden power source.
The pineapple is a South American fruit that has been praised for centuries as Hawaiian folk medicine. From indigestion to allergies, pineapples are packed with Vitamin B1, C, manganese, and potassium (draxe). But its healing ingredient resides in the fruit’s protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzyme complex called bromelain (globalhealingcenter).
What does bromelain have to offer?
According to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, bromelain can be used to treat numerous conditions—especially inflammation from injuries and infections. It may reduce swelling, healing time, bruising, and pain after physical injury. Specifically, it is often used to reduce inflammation from strains, sprains, and even tendinitis. Bromelain is proving so effective that in Europe, people use bromelain to treat nasal and sinus swelling, in addition to ear, nose, and throat trauma or surgery (pennstatehershey). Bromelain also relieves mild discomfort related to osteoarthritis, which is why it is a common ingredient in most natural supplement products to treat sore muscles and joints (globalhealingcenter).
Of the 1,600
Dr. Axe did all the hard work for us and listed some of the most important conditions bromelain affects from 1,600+ articles that evaluated its medical benefits. Here is what Dr. Axe found:
- Shorter Recovery Time from Injury or Surgery - A recent study was published testing bromelain’s anti-inflammatory property in treating patients who just had impacted third molars extracted. Most patients who undergo this surgery experience significant post-operative swelling and pain. Since antibiotics and painkillers are typically ineffective and cause negative side effects, bromelain had the chance to prove itself, which it did. Of the 80 subjects in this study, those who were prescribed bromelain reported “significantly lower” post-op pain, redness, and swelling in comparison to control group subjects who were prescribed a generic pain killer (draxe).
- Cancer - The Anticancer Drugs journal recently published the results of a clinical trial examining the effect bromelain has on malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM), which is a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. This study found that the addition of bromelain significantly increased the die off of cancer cells (cytotoxicity). This enzyme clearly has the potential of being developed as a therapeutic agent in treating malignant cancer (draxe).
- Digestive Disorders - Since bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme, it has been found to help the body digest food and absorb nutrients more efficiently. It can also heal gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, constipation, colon cancer, dyspepsia, and Crohn’s disease (draxe). The potential of what can be done with bromelain is surely growing.
- Allergies, Asthma, and Sinus Infections - The journal Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine highlighted the results of a study that evaluated how bromelain interacted with mice who had asthma. This study unveiled that the supplement decreases the development of allergic airway disease and reduces allergic sensitization. These findings are very important because this means bromelain can help regulate the entire immune system. In Dr. Axe’s words, “it was observed in the study that CD11c (+) dendritic cells and DC44 antigen-presenting cells were kept at bay, which proves that bromelain does more than mask the primary immune response that most people suffering from” allergy symptoms (runny/stuffy nose, itchy skin and eyes, etc). Thus, bromelain can impressively prevent allergies by addressing the root cause, which is an over-sensitive, hyperactive immune system. The University of Cologne, Germany studied 12 subjects who had already had sinus surgery. Researchers treated them with bromelain for 3 months, finding that the supplement decreased symptoms of sinus infections (rhinosinusitis), caused no adverse effects, and improved quality of life. This is especially important since surgery can be ineffective in treating sinusitis (draxe).
Pineapple juice has an even higher concentration of bromelain than pineapples themselves. Since bromelain can help alleviate pain and reduce redness, pineapple juice is oftentimes given to post-op patients recovering from surgery. The British Journal of Radiology indicates that “the juice’s manganese content can sharpen the resolution of pancreatic ducts and other organ structures in MRIs.” As a result, patients are often advised to drink pineapple juice before they undergo an MRI (healthfully).
The breakdown of bromelain
To summarize, bromelain breaks down protein. Because it is a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain aids in reducing very complex, very large protein molecules into smaller peptide units or individual amino acids. Its properties are vital for our bodies’ production of neurotransmitters, muscle, and other protein-based molecules (globalhealingcenter). More and more surfacing evidence will continue to prove bromelain’s power. Available in capsule and tablet form, this supplement can be used to improve so many lives. It is truly remarkable what something so natural can do for us.
Perhaps you want to make a supplement that helps athletes heal quicker after spraining an ankle or undergoing ACL surgery. Maybe you are interested in making a difference in the lives of those who suffer from ulcerative colitis. Bromelain has proven itself to help heal many health conditions, and Makers Nutrition can be the one-stop shop provider to get your bromelain product on the shelves in a matter of days. Request a quote today at makersnutrition.com!