Health Benefits of Serrapeptase

Serrapeptase, also known as serratiopeptidase, is produced naturally within the digestive tract of silkworms. It’s a proteolytic enzyme, which means it breaks down nonliving protein tissue into amino acids. Silkworms use this enzyme to break down their cocoons at birth.

Because serrapeptase’s main function is to break down proteins, it is useful for decreasing inflammation and clearing mucus in numerous ways. Clinical studies done in the 1960s began to show its effect in reducing inflammation. 

More recent studies have shown that it is particularly effective for post-traumatic swelling.

Serrapeptase has been used routinely in medical practices in Asia and Europe for over 30 years, and while it’s recently made its way to the United States and Canada, it's mostly found in dietary supplements.

Health Benefits

Serrapeptase is a “super enzyme” and has been used in general surgery, orthopedics, dentistry, and gynecology, among other practices and procedures. It is used because of its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition, other potential health benefits include:

Pain Reliever

Serrapeptase may have the ability to reduce pain. For example, one double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that subjects who had taken it reported a significant reduction in pain compared to those who took the placebo. 

A similar study showed dental patients had less swelling in the cheek and reported minimal pain after surgery when compared to the control group.

Infection Prevention

Over 80% of bacterial infections are caused by biofilms, and serrapeptase has been classified as a biofilm buster. 

Biofilms are dangerous because bacteria use them as a shield against antibodies and your immune system, providing a safe space for bacteria to thrive. Serrapeptase limits the ability of biofilm to form.

Other studies have shown that, when used together with antibiotics, serrapeptase can be very effective, especially against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Reducing Inflammation

Several studies have shown that serrapeptase has qualities that make it an effective anti-inflammatory agent.

One study even touts serrepeptase’s tremendous ability to reduce inflammation.

Specifically, it has been proven to be safe and effective in reducing facial swelling after the removal of an impacted molar and wisdom teeth. 

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Blood Clot Thinner

Serrapeptase may potentially help break down the plaque that builds up inside your arteries, something known as atherosclerosis.

Recent studies have successfully used similar fibrinolytic enzymes produced by microorganisms in the treatment of blood clots, specifically in relation to dissolving fibrin, a common artery-blocking compound.

Chronic Respiratory Diseases

While chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) do not have a known cure, there are ways to alleviate the pain and complications of CRDs and improve the quality of life. Due to the ability of serrapeptase to break down mucus, doctors have used it to assist patients with CRDs.

One study showed that participants who took serrapeptase had significantly fewer bouts of coughing than the participants who took a placebo.

Health Risks

There have been only a few studies done specifically on the risks and side effects of serrapeptase. It is not recommended to take while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Serrapeptase has been shown to thin the blood, therefore it is also not recommended to take it with other blood thinners, fish oil, aspirin, or if you have a blood disorder.

Amount and Dosage

For serrapeptase to be effective, it has to be able to reach your intestine and move on to your bloodstream. If you are going to take it orally, it is important that it is enteric-coated in order to protect it from being destroyed and rendered ineffective by your stomach acid before it can reach the intestine. 

Recommended doses vary depending on the reason it is being taken.

  • For prevention: 10 mg daily
  • For arthritis, sinusitis, fibrocystic breast, bronchitis, and cardiovascular problems: 20 mg daily
  • For general pain: start with 10 mg and work up to 20 mg if needed
  • For injury, trauma, or post-surgery recovery: 30 mg for two days, then 20 mg daily until swelling and pain subside

It is also recommended that serrapeptase be taken on an empty stomach. 

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 14, 2020

Sources

Sources:

BMC Microbiology: “Serratiopeptidase: a well-known metalloprotease with a new non-proteolytic activity against S. aureus biofilm."

International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery: “Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase on swelling, pain, and trismus after surgical extraction of mandibular third molars.”

International Journal of Surgery: “Serratiopeptidase: A systematic review of the existing evidence.”

Journal of Internal Medicine: “Biofilm infections, their resilience to therapy and innovative treatment strategies.”

Journal of International Medical Research: “Evaluation of Serratia Peptidase in Acute or Chronic Inflammation of Otorhinolaryngology Pathology: A Multicentre, Double-Blind, Randomized Trial Versus Placebo.

Journal of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery: “Role of Serratiopeptidase After Surgical Removal of Impacted Molar: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis."

Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis: “Analytical techniques for serratiopeptidase: A review.

National Library of Medicine: “Reduction of postoperative swelling. Objective measurement of swelling of the upper ankle joint in treatment with serrapeptase-- a prospective study.”

National Library of Medicine: “Anti-inflammatory action of a protease, TSP,  produced by Serratia.”

National Library of Medicine: “Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase in patients with chronic airway disease.”

National Library of Medicine: “The biotechnological potential of fibrinolytic enzymes in the dissolution of endogenous blood thrombi.”

Science Direct: “Biofilms busters to improve the detection of Borrelia using PCR."

YouTube: “How Much Serrapeptase Should I Take?” Dr. Jinaan Jawad.

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