Bromelain---how pineapple can reduce inflammation
March 7, 2011 at 11:13am
Another one of my favorite supplements is bromelain.
It is a natural anti-inflammatory and a proteolytic enzyme--meaning it eats up proteins.
Bromelain is a mixture of protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzymes found in pineapples (Ananas comosus). Pineapple has been used for centuries in Central and South America to treat indigestion and reduce inflammation. Bromelain, which is derived from the stem and juice of the pineapple, was first isolated from the pineapple plant in the late 1800s. The German Commission E approved bromelain to treat swelling and inflammation following surgery, particularly sinus surgery.
Bromelain can be useful in treating a wide range of conditions, but it is particularly effective in reducing inflammation associated with infection and injuries.
Be sure to read up on contraindications before taking, since bromelain does interfere with some medications:
Here is research from Duke University that shows why Bromelain tamps down inflammation: it's all about decreasing the number of neutrophils that respond to a site of injury. Neutrophils are a special type of white blood cell that is called in after injury to tissue. They kill infectious agents and are defenders, but they also contribute to inflammation, and could potentially lead to restenosis, by leukocyte adhesion to injured blood vessels.
Bromelain, a mixture of proteases derived from pineapple stem, has been reported to have therapeutic benefits in a variety of inflammatory diseases, including murine inflammatory bowel disease. The purpose of this work was to understand potential mechanisms for this anti-inflammatory activity. Exposure to bromelain in vitro has been shown to remove a number of cell surface molecules that are vital to leukocyte trafficking, including CD128a/CXCR1 and CD128b/CXCR2 that serve as receptors for the neutrophil chemoattractant IL-8 and its murine homologues. We hypothesized that specific proteolytic removal of CD128 molecules by bromelain would inhibit neutrophil migration to IL-8 and thus decrease acute responses to inflammatory stimuli. Using an in vitro chemotaxis assay, we demonstrated a 40% reduction in migration of bromelain- vs. sham-treated human neutrophils in response to rhIL-8. Migration to the bacterial peptide analog fMLP was unaffected, indicating that bromelain does not induce a global defect in leukocyte migration. In vivo bromelain treatment generated a 50-85% reduction in neutrophil migration in 3 different murine models of leukocyte migration into the inflamed peritoneal cavity. Intravital microscopy demonstrated that although in vivo bromelain treatment transiently decreased leukocyte rolling, its primary long-term effect was abrogation of firm adhesion of leukocytes to blood vessels at the site of inflammation. These changes in adhesion were correlated with rapid re-expression of the bromelain-sensitive CD62L/L-selectin molecules that mediate rolling following in vivo bromelain treatment and minimal re-expression of CD128 over the time period studied. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that bromelain can effectively decrease neutrophil migration to sites of acute inflammation and support the specific removal of the CD128 chemokine receptor as a potential mechanism of action.
Bromelain is included in the Endothelial Health Program, and Jeff's been taking it for 2 years. My Mom takes it for her sinus congestion and dizziness issues, my father in law takes it for COPD, and they think it's the bees' knees.
Here's the Endothelial Health Program-
I love finding natural healing in medical research papers. It reinforces my deeply held belief that we creatures and this planet were specifically designed for each other.
Post a Comment