The natural compound bromelain is found in the human body and in some vegetation and fruits, namely the pineapple. Bromelain benefits range from digestive support to anti-inflammatory actions which help reduce swelling and pain associated with many joint disorders, like arthritis. The main enzyme in bromelain is protease, which accounts for the bromelain benefits often experienced by those who supplement with the enzyme. Protease is an enzyme which the human body produces to digest proteins in the diet, and aids in the proper breakdown of the macronutrient.
Many people supplement with bromelain to capture the powerful effects of the protease enzyme which helps in protein digestion. As the body ages, digestive enzymes often decrease in production making supplementing with digestive enzymes important for digestive support. Even though there are other enzymes needed by the body to digest carbohydrates and fats, protease is one of the most important, as the body takes more time to digest protein than the other macronutrients. People often find that bromelain benefits the digestive system, which in turn aids in providing the body with the appropriate nutrients needed for appropriate functioning.
There is some evidence to suggest that bromelain benefits those suffering from inflammatory ailments and diseases, as it provides anti-inflammatory properties to the body. Supplementing with bromelain has been shown in some research to decrease swelling and pain in arthritis sufferers, making it a popular natural arthritis supplement. Although this research shows that bromelain benefits in decreasing inflammatory factors within the body, it is always important to discuss supplementing with bromelain to see if it would interfere with other current medications. Most people who suffer from arthritis can seek additional support and relief from pain and swelling by taking bromelain, but there is a small chance that an interference with other health issues may occur.
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Bromelain may also act as a blood thinning compound, helping to decrease clots and plaques in the arteries and blood vessels. It is unknown whether this would aid in helping to decrease heart disease or heart attacks, making it a desirable supplement to research for future heart disease treatment and preventive plans. It is theorized that bromelain helps reduce heart attacks due to its anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning properties, but it is strongly advised to not use it as a sole form of treatment, especially without a doctor's approval. There are no known upper daily limits for supplementing with bromelain, as clinical studies have not pinpointed any toxicity symptoms associated with high intakes.