What is Bromelain?
Bromelain is a group of enzymes extracted from pineapple plants (Ananas comosus). It is an
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory with protein-digesting properties that may aid digestion. It also has
immunomodulatory properties that may support several areas of health and well-being.
Unfortunately, consuming pineapples isn’t a reliable way to reap the benefits of bromelain. The stem of the
fruit contains the highest concentrations of this pineapple enzyme. The stems are tough and difficult to eat
without a powerful blender. Additionally, individuals would have to consume a significant amount of
pineapple to accrue a meaningful amount of bromelain. Eating that much pineapple can cause canker sores and
tongue pain. Taking bromelain supplements allows individuals to know exactly how much bromelain they’re
getting without the side effects of eating large quantities of pineapple.
Potential Bromelain Benefits
Bromelain and Digestive Health
Bromelain enzymes help break down proteins into amino acids and small peptides. These proteolytic properties
improve nutrient absorption and promote smoother digestion.
Bromelain as an Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic
Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties that may support joint health. Bromelain enzymes facilitate and
modulate signaling molecules that trigger inflammation, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines. Numerous
scientific studies found that bromelain helped improve joint stiffness and pain due to its anti-inflammatory
and analgesic properties.
Bromelain and the Immune System
Bromelain has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that may enhance the immune system by bolstering the
body's natural defenses against common pathogens. It also activates natural killer cells that protect
against and rapidly respond to invading infections. Bromelain may provide relief from respiratory and sinus
issues by attenuating mucosal inflammation and thinning mucus.
Potential Quercetin with Bromelain Benefits
Taking quercetin with bromelain may
offer several health benefits. Both supplements are antioxidants that combat free
radicals. Unstable radical molecules are highly reactive and can cause oxidative stress and cellular damage.
Quercetin and bromelain are also potent anti-inflammatories and immunomodulators that synergize to enhance
each other’s properties. Additionally, taking quercetin with bromelain can improve the body’s ability to
Potential Bromelain Side Effects
Bromelain’s safety profile is generally favorable. Some individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal side
effects, particularly if they take large doses. These include nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Taking
bromelain supplements with food can reduce the likelihood of side effects. Individuals with a pineapple
allergy or sensitivity to the fruit should not take bromelain supplements. Individuals taking anticoagulants
or antibiotics should consult a medical professional before taking bromelain supplements, as bromelain may
interact with these medications.
References and Research
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