Bromelain

pineapple

Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found naturally in the juice and stems of pineapples.  It helps with the digestion of proteins.  Some bromelain appears to be absorbed by the body intact, so it’s also thought to have effects outside the digestive tract. In fact, bromelain is often marketed as a natural anti-inflammatory for conditions such as arthritis. It’s one of the most popular supplements in Germany, where it is approved by the Commission E for the treatment of inflammation and swelling of the nose and sinuses due to surgery or injury.

Health Benefits of Bromelain:

1) Surgery and Injuries

There is some evidence that bromelain supplements may reduce swelling, bruising, inflammation and pain after surgery and injury. In Germany, bromelain has been approved for these uses by the Commission E since 1993. Large, well-designed studies are needed, because not all studies have confirmed these results.

2) Sinusitis

Bromelain has been suggested as a complementary treatment for sinusitis. Preliminary studies suggest that it may help reduce congestion, improve breathing and suppress coughing. It’s approved by the Commission E as a complementary treatment for nasal and sinus swelling and inflammation after ear, nose and throat surgery. A review of three small but well-designed previously published studies found that bromelain may help relieve sinusitis symptoms.

3) Digestion

Bromelain is a popular natural digestive aid due to it’s ability to digest proteins. It’s used for bloating, gas and other digestive symptoms and for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. Bromelain is often used alone or in combination with other enzymes such as lipase, which digests fats, and amylase, which digests starch. There is little research, however, on the safety or effectiveness of bromelain for digestion.

4) Osteoarthritis

Bromelain may help with mild pain associated with osteoarthritis. It’s a common ingredient in nutritional supplements marketed as a natural pain remedy for arthritis.

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