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Life Extension, Specially-Coated Bromelain, 500 mg, 60 Enteric Coated Tablets
Cost Per Serving : $0.33
Garden of Life FYI Restore, Muscle & Tissue Recovery, 60 Capsules, From Garden of Life
Cost Per Serving : $0.42
Natural Factors Complete Megazymes For Improved Digestion, 90 Tablets, From Natural Factors
Cost Per Serving : $0.08
Natural Factors, Papaya Enzymes with Amylase & Bromelain, 120 Chewable Tablets
Cost Per Serving : $0.08
Natural Factors Quercetin Bioflavonoid Complex, 90 Capsules, From Natural Factors
Cost Per Serving : $0.16
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Bromelain is not a single substance, but rather a collection of enzymes and other compounds. It is a mixture of sulfur-containing protein-digesting enzymes—called proteolytic enzymes or proteases—and several other substances in smaller quantities including: peroxidase, acid phosphatase, protease inhibitors, and calcium. It is primarily produced in Japan and Taiwan.
History of Bromelain
A researcher named Chittenden first identified the presence of proteolytic enzymes in pineapple juice around 1892 and called it 'bromelin'. Later the term 'bromelain' was introduced and originally applied to any protease from any plant member of the plant family Bromeliaceae. Bromelain was first introduced as a therapeutic supplement in 1957. Research on bromelain apparently was first conducted in Hawaii but more recently has been conducted in countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Germany has recently taken a great interest in bromelain research, where bromelain is currently the 13th most widely used herbal medicine.
Bromelain is present in all parts of the pineapple plant (Ananas comosus) but the stem is the most common commercial source, presumably because it readily available after the fruit has been harvested. Pineapples have had a long tradition as a medicinal plant among the natives of South and Central America. However, just eating pineapple will not give you a great deal of extra bromelain, because it is mostly concentrated in the stem, which is not nearly as tasty (albeit still edible).
Along with papain, bromelain is one of the most popular enzymes for meat tenderizing. Historically, meat tenderizing enzymes were often injected into the muscle of a food animal while it is still living. This practice has been largely discontinued, replaced with various postmortem application methods which are acceptable for lesser quality cuts. Today, approximately 90% of meat tenderizer use is in consumer households. Bromelain is sold in a powdered form, which is combined with a marinade or directly sprinkled on the uncooked meat. The enzyme will penetrate the meat, and by a process called forking, cause the meat to be tender and palatable when cooked. If the enzyme is allowed to work for too long, the meat may become too 'mushy' for many consumers' preferences.
Bromelain helps to inhibit pro-inflammatory compounds, similar to non-al, anti-inflammatory drugs reducing swelling & pain without side effects. And unlike aspirin, bromelain doesn't inhibit the production of prostaglandins which can have undesirable side effects. One study of 700 patients - mostly firemen with injuries - the group taking the bromelain reported good or excellent results, healing in half the time as the non-bromelain group. Other trials with oral bromelain over a thirteen month period showed a good response in over 70% of the patients.
Bromelain is a mixture of sulfur-containing protein-digesting enzymes (proteases) from the stem of the pineapple plant. Bromelain has been shown to be effective in the reduction of inflammation and helpful in the reduction of swelling. Bromelain blocks the production of kinins which are produced during inflammation. It is recommended to be taken between or before meals and dosage is typically between 250 to 750 milligrams thrice daily.
Bromelain can be used in a vast array of medical conditions. It was first introduced in this area in 1957, and works by blocking some proinflammatory metabolites that accelerate and worsen the inflammatory process. It is an anti-inflammatory agent, and so can be used for sports injury, trauma, arthritis, and other kinds of swelling. Its main uses are athletic injuries, digestive problems, phlebitis, sinusitis, and aiding healing after surgery. It has also been proposed in the use of arthritis, chronic venous insufficiency, easy bruising, gout, hemorrhoids, menstrual pain, autoimmune disorders, and ulcerative colitis. Studies have shown that bromelain can also be useful in the reduction of platelet clumping and blood clots in the bloodstream, especially in the arteries. It may even be useful in the treatment of AIDS to stop the spread of HIV. Its side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, menorrhagia (excessively heavy menstrual flow) and possible allergic reactions. One study has also associated Bromelain with increased heart rate. Bromelain supplementation up to 460 mg has been shown to have no effect on human heart rate or blood pressure; however, increasing doses up to 1840 mg have been shown to increase the heart rate proportionately.
Bromelain is prepared from the stump or root portion of the pineapple plant after harvest of the fruit. This stump or root portion is collected from the fields, peeled and crushed to extract the juice containing the soluble Bromelain enzyme. Further processing includes precipitation of the enzyme to further purify it. This process is carried out in factories under strictly controlled conditions to assure microbiological quality and enzyme purity. The Bromelain products are all supplied as powders.
Other plant proteases include papain (from the papaya), actinidin (from the kiwi fruit), and ficin (from the fig). These proteases may induce a prickly sensation in the mouth when consumed.
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