What is bromelain?
Bromelain is one of two protease enzymes found in plants of the bromeliad family, or a combination of these enzymes.
The well-known pineapple plant belongs to this plant family (Ananas comosus) and thus contains bromelain. The protein-cleaving (proteolytic) enzyme is mainly found in the stem, but also in the pineapple fruit. It thus performs a similar function like digestive enzymes in our intestines. It digests proteins.
Because of its bromelain content, the pineapple has been used for centuries in Central and South America to treat digestive disorders and to relieve inflammation. Bromelain was first isolated from the pineapple at the end of the 19th century.
Bromelain is now available as an extract in dietary supplements in pill or tablet form, or as an ingredient in creams, due to its reputed health benefits.
Top 5 health benefits of bromelain
- Bromelain can potentially reduce inflammation in the body and aid in wound healing.
- Due to its protein-cleaving activity, it could potentially aid in the digestion of proteins and help make protein-rich foods easier digestible.
- Because of its potential anti-inflammatory properties, some people take bromelain to relieve stomach spain and the symptoms of digestion problems. Bromelain is also used in some cases as an additional therapy to treat inflammatory bowel disease.
- Bromelain is often promoted as a weight loss supplement, but there is no rock-solid research to back this up.
- Bromelain is said to have the ability to reduce the formation of blood clots and is therefore sometimes used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Did you know that our Gut Restore Superfood Mix also contains bromelain? And it comes naturally from pineapple.
In a Nutshell
Bromelain is one of the protein-cleaving enzymes extracted from the pineapple fruit or stem. Research suggests that bromelain as a dietary supplement may have health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and supporting wound healing.
However, there are no reliable human studies that clearly demonstrate its effectiveness. There are few side effects associated with bromelain. Taking bromelain as a dietary supplement can be useful, but it should not replace medical treatment and using it as an additional aid should be discussed with the doctor treating you.