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Papain and Bromelain - Plant enzymes

Bromelein - Origin

The pineapple (Ananas comosus) comes from the bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae). The pineapple has its origins in South America and is now grown in tropical areas around the world (it requires temperatures of at least. 20°C).

Bromelain is an extract from pineapple, which is mainlya is obtained from the stems because it has a higher enzymatic activity than the bromelain contained in the fruit. The fresh logs are chopped, skinned and pressed. Bromelain is then extracted from the resulting juice. It is important to note that bromelain is contained in fresh pineapple, but not in canned pineapple, because enzymes are destroyed by heating above 50° C.

Bromelain is an enzyme mixture whose most important component is a proteolytic thiol fraction. Other components include a peroxidase, acid phosphatase, several protease inhibitors and calcium.

Both papin and bromelain are enzymes. Enzymes consist of protein chains (amino acids) and are also called biocatalysts because they stimulate many important biochemical reactions within the organism. Bromelain and papain are among the so-called proteases, whose job is to break down proteins. Due to its ability to break down proteins, bromelain is not only used in natural medicine, but also in the food industry, for example, to make meat more tender or in the beverage industry to avoid protein-related clouding.

Use and mode of operation

The therapeutic use of bromelain also lies in its ability to break down proteins: Most injuries caused by trauma are accompanied by painful swelling, which in turn is due to an increased amount of protein within the injured tissue. When injuries occur, the protein components enter the injured tissue from the blood and form the swelling there. This is where the bromelain intervenes and prevents swelling by breaking down the protein components. In addition, bromelain counteracts inflammation and improves blood circulation in the inflamed tissue, so that healing is accelerated.

There is also the following statement in the Deutsche Apotheker-Zeitung:
“Bromelain is suitable for treating swelling after operations and injuries, such as sports injuries that are accompanied by swelling. Bromelain supports the breakdown and removal of proteins that cause swelling. Bromelain has a decongestant effect and therefore relieves pain as it reduces the pressure in the injured area. It also allows bruises to disappear much more quickly." Source:

A study by German scientists from 2012 also suggests a positive effect of bromelain on our immune system. In this study, the effects of two doses of bromelain on inflammatory cytokines were tested in a placebo-controlled 3× crossover randomized single-dose clinical trial. It was shown for the first time that bromelain modulates the cellular responses of lymphocytes after oral administration. The immunomodulatory effect of bromelain observed in this study is believed to be part of its known anti-inflammatory activities. Further research is needed to verify the relevance of these findings to a diseased immune system.

The pineapple is, after the papaya, one of the most alkaline fruits and therefore contributes to regulation of our acid-base balance. Bromelain has an anticoagulant effect by helping to break down a protein in the blood that can reduce blood circulation (fibrin).

According to studies, bromelain has various effects: It has an inhibiting effect on swelling after injuries or operations (edema) and influences blood clotting by, among other things, prolonging the bleeding time and the agglomeration of blood platelets ( platelet aggregation). The enzyme mixture also has anti-inflammatory properties and can support digestion due to its protein-splitting abilities (e.g. in diseases of the pancreas, which normally provides digestive enzymes). Furthermore, the effect of bromelain on various types of cancer and inflammatory changes in the rectum, which represent possible precancerous lesions, was examined, and a positive effect was determined. However, the pineapple active ingredient is not an option as a sole therapy for cancer." Source:

Papain - Origin

The papaya (Carica papaya) belongs to the melon tree family. It originally comes from the American tropics, its name comes from the language of the Arawak Indians, who have always used papaya as a medicinal plant. At the beginning of the 16th century In the 19th century, the Spanish began to relocate the papaya and plant it in the Antilles and the Philippines.

End of the 20th century In the 19th century he succeeded for the first time in extracting the most important enzyme of the papaya tree from its milky sap: papain. Papin are peptidases that are made up of more than 200 amino acids and can cleave peptides. It serves the papaya tree as a defense against microorganisms.

It should be noted that green, unripe papayas contain about 5000% more papain than ripe papayas.

Papain, like bromelain, is used in the food industry to make meat more tender: Papain breaks down the bonds between proteins that hold the connective tissue fibers of the meat together. Papain is also used in the textile industry to prevent wool and silk from matting and shrinking.

Benefits and mode of action

Due to the property of breaking peptide bonds described above, papain facilitates the conversion processes of food proteins into amino acids and thus promotes digestion.

Papain is v.a used for inflammation, sports injuries and insect bites, as it activates and strengthens the wound healing and regeneration processes.

Papain could contribute to the prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases because it works in combination with other proteolytic enzymes such as Bromelain stimulates the formation of interleukins (the body's own messenger substances in the cells of the immune system) and tumor necrosis factor (regulates the activity of various immune cells).

Since papain contributes to the dissolution of fibrin and fibrinogen in the blood, it prevents blood platelets from clumping together and thus counteracts the development of thrombosis and vascular diseases.

Papain can promote the oral bioavailability of curcumin and is only 6 to 10% absorbed by the healthy intestinal lining of an adult, so it should be taken regularly.

Legal consumer information:

German and European case law wants to protect consumers from supposedly misleading claims about effectiveness. The statements made here refer to the original Ayurvedic and TCM texts. This ancient knowledge, which is thousands of years old, is based on experiences that are passed on from generation to generation. It is not intended to claim that the products described here have an effect in the sense of western medicine. All products are nutritional supplements; they are not medications and have no medical effect. If you are sick and need medical care, please contact your doctor or pharmacist.

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