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Bromelain – Pineapple’s Better Half

By Tim Chrisman
anti-arthritis | Anti-inflammation | blended supplement | herbs | swelling

Bromelain is a natural substance derived from pineapples. It has been studied extensively and may have significant, positive effects on multiple health conditions, including burns, osteoarthritis, and cancer.

The Basics

Not to get too technical too fast, but bromelain is a protein enzyme mixture found in pineapples. What does that mean? Well, for starters it means that unlike most herbal supplements, it isn’t actually an herb. Second, because bromelain is an enzyme it is much easier for the body to absorb when compared to other herbal compounds.

Bromelain is measured in gelatin digesting units (GDUs) per gram. Doses range from 80–400 milligrams of at least 1,200 GDUs per serving, two to three times daily. Your doctor may recommend that you take bromelain with meals in order to aid digestion, or on an empty stomach to reduce inflammation.

The body can absorb a significant amount of bromelain – about 12 grams per day of bromelain can be consumed without any major side effects.

Bromelain’s Uses

Herbalists have used bromelain for hundreds of years in many ways, but all generally revolve around reducing chronic inflammation. Here are a few of the more researched uses of bromelain.

Osteoarthritis

A review of clinical studies found that bromelain’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it an effective treatment for the pain, soft-tissue swelling, and joint stiffness associated with osteoarthritis.

The review focused on bromelain’s effectiveness in treating arthritis of the knee and shoulder. The studies analyzed varied significantly in terms of dosage, but patients reported improvements at doses above 400 milligrams of bromelain, taken twice daily.

After six weeks, a regime of bromelain treatments resulted in significant reduction in pain and inflammation.

Heart Disease

An abstract reported that bromelain was effective at treating cardiovascular diseases, such as peripheral artery disease, stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure.

Bromelain inhibits the ability of blood platelets to stick or clump together (aggregation). This may help reduce clot formation and cardiovascular events.

Sinus Swelling

A 3 month pilot study found that bromelain tablets were effective at alleviating swelling, congestion, and other symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis.

Colitis

An animal study found that purified fruit bromelain reduced inflammation and healed mucosal ulcers caused by inflammatory bowel disease in rats.

Burns

study review found that bromelain, when used as a topical cream, was highly effective at safely removing damaged tissue from wounds and from second- and third-degree burns.

Cancer

A 2010 study indicated that bromelain shows promise in combating cancer. Bromelain may have the ability to positively impact cancer cell growth, and it may help to control the key pathways supporting malignancy.

The Bad Stuff

As with all supplements, it’s important to discuss bromelain with your doctor prior to using it. Bromelain may cause mild side effects in some people, particularly when taken in high doses. These include:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding

Avoid using bromelain if you take a blood thinner, such as Warfarin, Pradaxa, and others. Bromelain may have an antiplatelet effect on the blood, increasing the potential for excessive bleeding. For this reason, it’s also important to avoid bromelain use before and after surgery.

Bromelain should not be used by people who are allergic to pineapple or to other substances that may elicit an allergic reaction in those allergic to pineapple (cross-reactivity). These substances include:

  • grass pollen
  • latex
  • celery
  • fennel
  • carrots
  • wheat (not gluten)

What Does Fully Human Use?

We use a potent version of bromelain, extracted to 2,400 GDU’s, blended with seven other pain relieving and anti-inflammatory herbs. This combination serves to amplify the results of bromelain by attacking multiple sources of inflammation simultaneously. Try our powerful blend, Freedom, risk free today.

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