If you’ve never even heard of bromelain before reading this article, don’t worry – chances are you’re not alone! However, well it is not well-known (at least not in most of the United States), this enzyme does have a long history of medicinal use and a proven track record for treating a number of ailments.
Bromelain is actually one of the active enzymes in pineapples; while most Americans see this mostly as a delicious fruit or garnish, it has been used by native Hawaiians and by some South Americans for hundreds of years as part of their healing traditions. Pineapple is a rich source of Vitamins B1 and C, potassium and manganese – but most researchers believe it is the bromelain which makes pineapples into such powerful medicine.
Read on to find out more about this amazing enzyme’s health benefits!
One of the most amazing benefits of bromelain is its ability to fight certain forms of cancer. Earlier this year, a study was published in the journal Anticancer Drugs which sought to look at the benefits of this enzyme for possible treatment of a rare cancer called malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM), a form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It was found that bromelain significant increased the rates of cancer cell death and hope to continue the research with a view to developing a new anti-cancer treatment.
Bromelain is an enzyme specifically designed to digest proteins, so it is not surprising that it can greatly aid the digestive tract in breaking down food more efficiently – and absorbing nutrients from that food more efficiently as well. This, plus bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties, make it a good remedy for a number of digestive disorders, including Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis, and dyspepsia, just to name a few.
Speeds Post-Op Recovery Time
Earlier in the year, researchers looking at the effects of bromelain on recovery time after surgery treated participants in the study with this enzyme. The participants had just gone through molar extraction, an oral surgery which can normally bring with it pain, swelling and the chance for infection. However, it was found that the participants who were treated with bromelain experienced less edema, redness and discomfort than the control group. The researcher believe this is largely due to bromelain amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
Treats Allergies and Asthma
In an issue of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine last year, a study was published which sought to discover what health benefits could be derived from bromelain for respiratory problems like allergies and asthma. It was found that, when mice with these problems were studied, treatment with bromelain helped reduced sensitivity to allergens (which can trigger an asthma attack) and significant improved the immune response.
Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
With its well-established anti-inflammatory properties, it is not surprising that bromelain has proven to treat arthritis effectively as well. In a study this past winter, participants with osteoarthritis were given two 650-mg tablets of bromelain 2-3 times a day. Pain decreased between 50-60%!
So from now on, don’t worry about indulging in some fresh pineapple for dessert: between the vitamins, minerals and the amazing bromelain, this is a dessert that’s actually good for you!
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