Bromelain, a group of enzymes derived from pineapples, has been studied extensively since the late 1950s and is the subject of hundreds of scientific papers written about its health effects.
Native to the Americas, pineapple (Ananas comosus) has been used for centuries by Central and South Americans for a variety of purposes, including as a digestive aide. Now it is grown in tropical and subtropical regions across the globe and harvested for its delicious fruit, while the bromelain derived from its stems, juice and fruit is gaining increased recognition for its beneficial properties.
What does bromelain do?
Bromelain works in several ways and in multiple body systems, with support for the respiratory system, immune system, and circulatory system.
Support for the respiratory system includes its mucolytic properties, referring to bromelain’s ability to reduce the viscosity of mucus. It increases the fluidity of mucus and helps to decrease secretions in the bronchial region. One clinical evaluation determined that 87% of participants receiving bromelain experienced “good to excellent” results in sinus health.
Bromelain supports the activity of plasmin, which breaks down fibrin. Fibrin is important when it is helping blood to clot and seal a wound, but this tough protein in long, fibrous chains can create issues internally. It can build up in places it shouldn’t, and it can create a matrix that impedes tissue drainage and contributes to other issues.
As a digestive enzyme, bromelain (particularly its proteinases and proteases) helps to break proteins down.
Bromelain is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food & Drug Administration, including for chronic use. Current it is used support healthy sinuses and promote good digestion, as well as in treatment of injuries. Extremely high doses may result in mild side effects, though, and it’s always best to check with your health care professional before using a new dietary supplement.
Bromelain is included in Redd Remedies’ Adult Sinus Support, Children’s Sinus Support and Sinuzyme.
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