Protease (BROMELAIN) Overview Information
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem. People use it for medicine.
Bromelain is used for reducing swelling (inflammation), especially of the nose and sinuses, after surgery or injury. It is also used for hay fever, treating a bowel condition that includes swelling and ulcers (ulcerative colitis), removing dead and damaged tissue after a burn (debridement), preventing the collection of water in the lung (pulmonary edema), relaxing muscles, stimulating muscle contractions, slowing clotting, improving the absorption of antibiotics, preventing cancer, shortening labor, and helping the body get rid of fat.
It is also used for preventing muscle soreness after intense exercise. This use has been studied, and the evidence suggests bromelain doesn’t work for this.
Some people use a product (Phlogenzym) for arthritis (osteoarthritis) that combines bromelain with trypsin (a protein) and rutin (a substance found in buckwheat). Bromelain used in this way seems to reduce pain and improve knee function in people with arthritis.
There isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not bromelain is effective for any of its other uses.
How does it work?
Bromelain seems to cause the body to produce substances that fight pain and swelling (inflammation).
Bromelain also contains chemicals that interfere with the growth of tumor cells and slow blood clotting.
Possibly Effective for:
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis) when used in combination with trypsin and rutin.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis). Taking bromelain alone doesn’t seem to help arthritis pain. However, a specific combination of bromelain, trypsin and rutin (Phlogenzym) might help about as well as the prescription anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac.
- Arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis). Some research suggests that bromelain might help reduce joint swelling in rheumatoid arthritis; however this research is not very reliable.
- Knee pain. There's some evidence that taking bromelain by mouth might reduce mild acute knee pain that’s lasted for less than three months in otherwise healthy people.
- Severe burns. There’s some evidence that using a bromelain-derived product called Debridase under a dressing helps to remove the dead tissue from burns.
- Improving antibiotic absorption.
- Hay fever.
- Preventing cancer.
- Shortening of labor.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Other conditions.
Protease (BROMELAIN) Side Effects & Safety
Bromelain is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken in appropriate amounts. Bromelain may cause some side effects, such as diarrhea and stomach and intestinal discomfort. Bromelain may also cause allergic reactions, especially in people who have other allergies. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking bromelain.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of bromelain during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Allergies: If you are allergic to pineapple, latex, wheat, celery, papain, carrot, fennel, cypress pollen, or grass pollen, you might have an allergic reaction to bromelain.
Surgery: Bromelain might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using bromelain at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox) interacts with BROMELAIN
Taking bromelain might increase how much amoxicillin is in the body. Taking bromelain along with amoxicillin might increase effects and side effects of amoxicillin.
- Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics) interacts with BROMELAIN
Taking bromelain might increase how much antibiotic the body absorbs. Taking bromelain along with some antibiotics might increase effects and side effects of some antibiotics called tetracyclines.
Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with BROMELAIN
Bromelain might slow blood clotting. Taking bromelain along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Protease (BROMELAIN) Dosing
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For osteoarthritis: a combination product (Phlogenzym), which contains rutin 100 mg, trypsin 48 mg, and bromelain 90 mg, given as 2 tablets 3 times daily has been used.