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Bromelain for Joint Health
Bromelain, also known as bromelin, is an enzyme found in pineapples. While it is present in all parts of the pineapple plant, the stems contain the highest concentration of the enzyme.
Pineapple has a long history of traditional use in Central and South America. People native to those regions would apply pineapple dressings to wounds and injuries to help reduce inflammation. And, they drank the juice of the fruit to promote healthy digestion and ease stomach upset. However, the enzyme wasn’t isolated from pineapple juice until the late 1800s. And, it wasn’t available as a therapeutic supplement until 1957.
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme. These types of enzymes break-up proteins into smaller peptides, and eventually into amino acids. Other types of proteolytic enzymes include pancreatin from pigs, papain from papaya, and serratiopeptidase (serrapeptase) from an enzyme isolated from the silk moth.
It is believed that bromelain helps to promote a normal inflammatory response because it breaks up deposits of an insoluble protein called fibrin. When you injure one of your joints, fibrin comes in to repair the damage. Once it does its job, it’s supposed to dissolve. But that doesn’t always happen. Instead, this protein builds up in your joints where it can cause discomfort and limit mobility. Proteolytic enzymes break up the fibrin surrounding damaged areas allowing more oxygen to reach and revive tissue. Excess fluid that has formed around the damaged area is also broken up and reabsorbed, reducing inflammation.
Interestingly it’s this same potent protein-busting quality that makes the enzyme one of the most popular meat tenderizers. Meat contains long strands of protein called collagen. This strong protein holds the steak together. It’s also difficult to chew unless the meat has been properly tenderized. Enter bromelain. Sprinkling the enzyme onto your meat will breakdown the tough collagen and leave you with a juicy, tender steak.
How much bromelain is needed to realize health benefits? More than you would get from eating an entire pineapple. That’s why supplementation is so popular. One study compared the effects of taking 200 mg and 400 mg of the enzyme on knee discomfort. While the 200 mg dose reduced the symptoms somewhat, the 400 mg dose provided more relief. People who received the higher dose did better on knee function tests, and reported that their symptoms of discomfort improved greatly.
Our ArthroZyme Plus contains the full research dosage of 400 mg of bromelain from fresh Thai pineapples, including the stems, to support your mobility and joint function.