What is Bromelain?

The Enzyme from Pineapples

brō-mə-lən , -ˌlān

Bromelain, aka pineapple extract, is a strong enzyme that breaks down certain proteins into amino acids. But as fun as eating pineapple can be, many health benefits can be achieved through oral supplementation of this tropical enzyme – without all the sugar!

In fact, scientific studies have documented that the protein-degrading function of bromelain enhances digestion, supports organ health, and targets inflammatory substances.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these pineapple-enzyme perks!

Enhances Digestion

You may have heard that eating pineapple can aid in digestion, but how?

The enzyme bromelain breaks down proteins into a usable form – amino acids. This process enhances the digestion of protein as well as the activity of other enzymes in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

On the flip side, undigested protein can lead to occasional fatigue and bloating.

In short, bromelain assists your body in getting the greatest benefit from the protein you consume (in the form of amino acids), circumventing the unpleasant side effects caused by the undigested stuff.

Supports Organ Health

Undigested proteins in the body can proliferate health concerns when left undigested. In fact, research has shown that individuals with inflammatory issues and kidney problems have elevated pro-inflammatory protein levels called RAGE (receptor advanced glycation end-products). Naturally, there’s also a counteractive form of these proteins called soluble RAGE (sRAGE), which competes with the inflammatory form.

Bromelain supplementation promotes an increase in the beneficial sRAGE activity, thereby disrupting the production of the pro-inflammatory (RAGE) form. As such, research indicates that bromelain supports organ health, particularly kidney and colon health.

One study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine documented the effects of giving 11 participants with chronic kidney issues 400 mg of bromelain for three days (1200 mg total). The result was a significant increase in sRAGE levels without any side effects.

It is also important to note that when bromelain supplementation stopped,

What is Bromelain?there was an immediate drop in sRAGE levels. The results of this study demonstrate the ability of bromelain to enhance processes that protect organs from elevated levels of inflammation.

Targets Inflammatory Substances

T-cell Triumph

The presence of bromelain has been associated with enhanced beneficial T-cell activity, improving the body’s response to inflammation and assisting in regulating the immune system.

Here’s how it works: Bromelain helps to maintain healthy levels of chemokines, which are proteins that attract white blood cells to the inflammation site. Conversely, when chemokine levels remain elevated, inflammation can worsen. But because of bromelain’s capacity to down-regulate certain cells, healthy levels of chemokines and immune-boosting white blood cells are achieved for a normal response to inflammation.

Pro-inflammatory Prostaglandin Prowess

Acute inflammation in the body is influenced by prostaglandins, substances that mediate pain and vascular pathophyisiology (blood vessel issues). When pro-inflammatory prostaglandins remain at elevated levels for too long, inflammation can worsen.

However, research has shown that the oral supplementation of bromelain decreases pro-inflammatory prostaglandins as well as inflammatory byproducts of the body’s native enzyme at the site of inflammation. It’s true, that little pineapple enzyme promotes a normal response to inflammation, too!

Targeted Task Master

Enzymes can be described as a “lock-and-key” mechanism, meaning that they target a very specific element and are generally harmless beyond their primary purpose. In the case of bromelain, research has shown that beneficial molecules which support the immune system are not negatively affected by its protein-degrading strength.

Likewise, bromelain has the inherent ability to specifically target inflammatory substances better than many traditional remedies. This benefit comes without the nasty side effects that can negatively impact both pro- and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, according to information published in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.

In Summary

Through research, we have discovered bromelain’s amazing ability to break down protein into its usable form – amino acids – keeping your digestive tract happily functioning.

Studies have also shown that the protein-degrading function of bromelain promotes a normal inflammatory response in the body and targets colonic and kidney inflammation to support healthy organs.

All of these anti-inflammatory benefits come without negative side effects or harm done to the body’s natural anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

Aloha bromelain!

Now that you’ve gotten your digital dose of bromelain, check out our products that contain the pineapple enzyme to be on your way to better digestion and reduced inflammation today!