How Does Bromelain Help Reduce Swelling and Inflammation?

old message How Does Bromelain Help Reduce Swelling and Inflammation? Darrell Miller 08/11/11

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Date: August 11, 2011 01:47 PM
Subject: How Does Bromelain Help Reduce Swelling and Inflammation?

The Bromelain Benefit

Bromelain refers to a group of organic compounds that occur naturally in pineapples and related plant species. It is a protease, and thus it acts as an enzyme that breaks down proteins. As such, it is often used in marinating meat. In addition, it displays pharmacological potential in the management of pain. As an approved pain reliever, it is a popular alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Members of the plant family Bromiliaceae have been extensively utilized by indigenous people of the Americas to treat illnesses tied to inflammation, such as open wounds, muscle spasms, and joint pain, among others. Since the first isolation of the organic compound bromelain in the 19th century, a number of studies have been conducted in many different countries regarding its efficacy as a natural analgesic.

Suppresses Pain Chemicals

In addition to its widespread use in meat tenderizing, bromelain is also commonly known as an anti-inflammatory agent, especially in the nutraceutical industry. In fact, it has been approved for the treatment of overall inflammation long before the introduction of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It remains in use in North America, but large scale consumptions take place in Europe.

Studies on bromelain have been largely positive, with preliminary results suggesting pharmacological activity. Its exact mechanisms of action are still under investigation. Researchers have posited that it exerts an inhibitory effect on pain chemicals, such as prostaglandins and other eicosanoid compounds. Indeed it suppresses swelling and redness brought on by these chemicals.

Allays Post-surgery Swelling

Bromelain extracts developed for the management of pain related to inflammation was approved in the 1980s both in North America and Europe. It is often found in health food stores and sold over the counter in the US. It has been used to relieve inflammation following surgery, notably episiotomy, or vaginal incision during childbirth. Its application has been observed to significantly lessen inflammation-induced complications.

Pineapple has had a long association with folk medicine practices of Native Americans. Laboratory studies have shown that every part of the plant contains bromelain, though extracts are obtained from the stem in general. Traditionally, it is topically applied to wounds, cuts, punctures, abrasions, and burns. Today oral administrations have also been noted to produce anti-inflammatory action.

Improves Muscle Soreness

Consumption of pineapples has long been linked to the alleviation of muscle pain, and practitioners of naturopathic medicine have recommended pineapples for the prevention of muscle spasms for years. The bromelain content of pineapples is the reason why it eases muscle soreness, which is caused by pain chemicals and inflammatory agents.

Bromelain are likely to benefit endurance athletes and body builders. Regular intake has suggested that it speeds up muscle recovery after intense exercise. It reduces swelling, bruising, and pain tied to sports injury and physical trauma. It is readily available as a nutritional supplement, and initial studies have supported its safety.

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