Bromelain Benefits and Side Effects

Bromelain is a natural enzyme that can be used for many different health ailments. It’s not just about digestive issues but also inflammation, arthritis, and cancer.

Bromelain is a natural enzyme found in pineapple, papaya, and apple. It is used to treat inflammation and swelling. However, it has been shown to have many other benefits as well.


With its spiky leaves and thick skin, the pineapple may be as frightening as a porcupine. This fruit, however, is equally enticing due to its luscious, sweet golden flesh, as well as its hidden weapon: Bromelain.

However, the majority of people are unaware that pineapples are much more valuable to humans than merely as a garnish for tropical cocktails. This delectable fruit may also be used as a medication because of the potent enzymes found in pineapples, particularly the protein-digesting enzyme bromelain; this delicious fruit may also be used as medication!

What Is Bromelain?

Pineapple, a South American native and a beloved component of traditional Hawaiian medicine, is one of the most abundant sources of the enzyme bromelain globally. Phosphatase, glucosidase, peroxidase, cellulase, escharase, and protease inhibitors are the endopeptidases and chemicals found in them. The enzymes derived from pineapple stems or cores, rather than the fruit’s meat, are usually referred to as “bromelain” in extract or supplement form.

Pineapple is high in this enzyme and vitamin C, vitamin B1, potassium, manganese, and phytonutrients and is commonly used as a natural cure for anything from indigestion to allergies. While pineapple offers numerous health advantages, Bromelain is the key to its therapeutic properties.

What is the purpose of Bromelain? This intriguing molecule has long been utilized in medicine as a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling agent. However, research also contains fibrinolytic, anti edematous, and antithrombotic qualities, which help prevent blood clots, edema, and swelling.

This enzyme was formerly utilized as a meat tenderizer because it soothes and relaxes stiff, inflammatory muscles and connective tissue. Furthermore, new research has shown that this enzyme inhibits lung metastasis, suggesting that Bromelain might be utilized to treat a broad range of disorders, including cancer.

According to the scientific literature, Bromelain has been used to treat a wide variety of health conditions, which contains over 1,600 papers examining its medical advantages.

  • ACL tears and other connective tissue injuries
  • Ankle sprains
  • Tendonitis
  • Allergies
  • Osteoarthritis, arthritis, and joint discomfort
  • Heartburn or diarrhea are examples of digestive problems.
  • Heart and circulatory problems
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune illnesses are a kind of autoimmune disease.
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a kind of bowel illness that
  • Infections of the nose and sinuses, such as bronchitis and sinusitis
  • Surgical trauma and wounds or burns that take a long time to heal
  • Poor drug absorption, particularly antibiotics, and side effects from taking pharmaceuticals

Benefits and Applications

1. It has the potential to help prevent cancer

Bromelain has been shown in tests to have natural anti-cancer properties, such as triggering apoptotic cell death and inhibiting tumor development. In addition, it has been demonstrated in animal tests that it may start the production of specific cytokines, has antimetastatic properties, and prevents metastasis by lowering platelet aggregation.

Bromelain has been associated with more excellent protection against breast and lung cancer in studies. Data from a clinical study published in the journal Anticancer Drugs recently revealed that it might influence malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. According to the research, “the inclusion of bromelain greatly boosted the die-off of cancer cells (cytotoxicity)” Bromelain has the potential to be used as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of cancer.”

2. Aids in the treatment of digestive disorders

If you have indigestion or gastrointestinal disease, why is Bromelain beneficial? Because it’s a protein-digesting enzyme that’s also been shown to help your body absorb nutrients and drugs more effectively. Studies seem to diminish colonic inflammation and the generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines that harm the gut lining. Bromelain is suitable for patients with GI ailments since it is mighty at repairing tissues inside the gastrointestinal tract.

3. Assists in a quicker recovery from surgery and injury

Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory characteristics make it an excellent natural alternative to pain relievers like aspirin. According to one research, Bromelain improved wound healing and helped reduce discomfort and swelling in individuals who had their impacted third molars pulled.

Antibiotics and painkillers are not always efficient in preventing infections or discomfort during the healing process, and most patients who have this procedure endure substantial postoperative symptoms. However, those given Bromelain had “much less” postoperative pain, edema, and even redness than those given a generic painkiller, according to the 80 patients who took part in the research.

4. Asthma and allergy relief

The findings of research that looked at how Bromelain affects mice with asthma were published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Bromelain, for example, decreases allergy sensitization and prevents the development of other inflammatory reactions affecting the airways, according to the findings.

These data imply that this enzyme has a role in immune system modulation. It may help avoid allergies by treating the underlying problem, which is an overactive, oversensitive immune system. When CD11c (+) dendritic cells and DC44 antigen-presenting cells were supplemented with Bromelain, they were held at bay, indicating that this enzyme is capable of addressing the underlying cause of asthma and allergies. This is why it helps most individuals who have symptoms, including a stuffy/runny nose, itchy eyes, enlarged lymph nodes, congestion, and difficulty breathing.

5. Aids in the prevention and treatment of sinus infections 

Researchers at the University of Cologne in Germany tested whether a daily dose of Bromelain (300 FIP units, 600-milligram tablets) could help people with chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses). They took 12 patients who had already had sinus surgery and treated them with Bromelain for three months. They observed the following advantages of Bromelain: Overall symptom ratings improved, total rhinoscopy scores improved, overall quality of life improved, and no side effects were noted.

Because surgery is generally ineffectual in treating sinusitis, this discovery gives those who suffer from persistent sinus infections a lot of hope.

6. Assists in the reduction of joint pain

Bromelain is great for relieving acute or chronic joint pain because of its significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. A study experiment including 42 osteoarthritis patients with degenerative spine or painful joint disorders was published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.

The patients were given two 650-milligram bromelain capsules on an empty stomach two to three times each day (depending on whether they had acute or chronic pain). According to the researchers, the pain was shown to be reduced by up to 60% in those with acute pain and more than 50% in those with chronic diseases. “Bromelain has been proved to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic characteristics and may offer a safer alternative or complementary therapy for osteoarthritis,” the researchers concluded.

7. May help you lose weight

Is there any evidence of a relationship between Bromelain and weight loss? Its effects on weight management and fat cells are still being studied. Still, there’s reason to assume that its anti-inflammatory properties, capacity to alleviate pain, and ability to improve physical capabilities and digestion might aid weight reduction.

“Stem bromelain (SBM) is employed as an anti-obesity alternative therapy,” according to a 2017 paper published in PLOS One. In several investigations, Bromelain has been shown to help downregulate adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein, fatty acid synthase, and lipoprotein lipase. In addition, it may also lower triglyceride buildup by inhibiting adipogenesis (cell differentiation that contributes to fat cell production).

Sources and Foods

Are there any other fruits that contain Bromelain than pineapple, and are there any other methods to get it other than eating particular foods?

Bromelain may be included in your natural health routine in three ways:

1. The Pineapple Center

Of course, the fiber-rich core of a juicy, ripe pineapple comes first. Although pineapple is occasionally eaten with immature, green papaya to boost absorption and supply the helpful enzyme papain, Bromelain is not present in large amounts in other fruits.

The easiest method to get natural Bromelain is to eat pineapple (fresh or frozen). It may be found throughout the pineapple, although it is most concentrated in the core. Remember that the softer the heart is, the riper the fruit is. So, let your pineapple out on the counter for an additional day or two so you don’t end up chewing on a rough stem. The flesh of a pineapple is likewise nutritious, although it lacks the high bromelain level found in the core. The maximum concentration is located in the core.

2. Pineapple Juice

Bromelain may be easily consumed by juicing the pineapple core or blending it with other vegetables like cucumber in a smoothie. In addition, fresh pineapple juice has been touted as an effective treatment for inflammatory illnesses. To avoid digestive difficulties, drink four ounces per day and up to eight ounces to treat ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or constipation.

3. Bromelain Extract/Supplements

Bromelain supplements are often sold as a dry yellow powder isolated from pineapple juice after centrifugation, ultrafiltration, and lyophilization. If you’re treating a particular inflammatory or chronic condition, using a natural bromelain supplement or a proteolytic enzyme supplement containing Bromelain may be pretty helpful. Bromelain supplements should be taken with meals if you’re seeking to help your digestion, but they should be taken on an empty stomach for all other health issues.

Dosage and Supplements

How much Bromelain should you consume daily? The most generally given dose is 200–2,000 mg per day (typically 500–800 milligrams). Many doctors, however, may suggest different amounts for different diseases. Bromelain doses are indicated below, depending on the condition you’re treating:

  • 400 mg used 1–2 times daily to treat arthritis
  • Bromelain and quercetin, 1,000 mg every day, to aid with allergies
  • 2,000 milligrams per day, preferably with additional proteolytic enzymes, to help prevent cancer
  • To aid digestion, take 500 mg three times a day with meals; other individuals prefer to dissolve bromelain powder in water and consume it before meals.
  • For post-surgery recuperation assistance — 1,000 mg three times a day, in between meals

Unless you’re taking it to help with digestion, Bromelain should be taken on an empty stomach. If you’re taking it to aid digestion, take it with meals.

The FDA does not control Bromelain since it is a natural supplement rather than a drug. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, on the other hand, enables the marketing of bromelain-containing dietary supplements, particularly for the treatment of skin lesions and burns.

Bromelain may be found in health food shops or on the internet, depending on where you live. Some of the most effective bromelain pills mix with other digestive enzymes to boost their effectiveness. For example, amylase (an enzyme required for effective glucose digestion) may be found in a general digestive enzyme supplement containing other critical digestive enzymes. Look for a full-spectrum enzyme combination for overall digestion improvement and other advantages.


Pineapple has a long usage history in Hawaii, South America, and Asia, among other locations. “Bromelain was originally isolated from pineapple juice in 1891 and marketed as a medicinal supplement in 1957,” according to the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine.

Applying pineapple dressings to wounds and skin injuries to decrease swelling and facilitate healing and drinking pineapple juice to cure stomachaches and improve digestion were among the first therapeutic applications of pineapple. Bromelain has been used successfully in Germany for decades to treat connective tissue injuries, swelling after surgery, and blood clots. When used in modest dosages, it is thought to be relatively safe, and further studies are being undertaken to see whether it has any additional advantages.

Side Effects and Risks

Bromelain is generally well tolerated and has few adverse effects. However, there are times when using this enzyme is dangerous. For example, if you’re using blood-thinning medicine, you should be particularly cautious while ingesting more pineapple or bromelain supplements since it helps avoid blood clots. The same is true after surgery: don’t take it unless you’ve spoken with your doctor beforehand since it might raise your risk of bleeding.

Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, feces changes, and increased gas have all been reported as side effects of this enzyme. In addition, itchy tongue or skin, a rash, difficulty breathing, nasal congestion, and watery eyes are all potential Bomelain allergy symptoms.

Last Thoughts

  • Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme derived from the pineapple plant’s flesh and stem.
  • Bromelain has several health benefits, including lowering inflammation and swelling, boosting wound healing, easing digestion, reducing muscle or joint discomfort, improving heart health, and alleviating allergies or asthma.
  • It may be gotten by eating pineapple (particularly the stem/core), drinking pineapple juice, or taking a supplement containing it. Doses vary from 200 to 2,000 mg per day (often 500–800 milligrams per day).
  • This enzyme is well tolerated. However, it should not be used by those on blood thinners, have bleeding problems, or are allergic to pineapple.

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