Bromelain is an enzyme naturally present only in pineapple. A daily dose of 400-500 mg may relieve joint pain in athletes and patients because bromelain:
- reduces swelling
- fights inflammation
- has analgesic properties
- reduces joint stiffness
- speeds up muscle recovery
- promotes wound healing
What is bromelain?
Bromelain is an enzyme naturally present only in pineapple. It has powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Also, bromelain can help the body burn more fat. That’s a key reason why pineapple is good for weight loss!
How much bromelain in pineapple?
Actually, pineapple is the only dietary source of bromelain. Every part of the pineapple plant has bromelain. The stem is the richest part of pineapple in bromelain, though.
Therefore, you shouldn’t throw away the core. You can use a juicer to extract the liquid from the core, or add a small piece into your favorite smoothie.
Moreover, athletes could drink a glass of pineapple juice before/after exercise. Sugars in pineapple juice help muscle recover faster, while bromelain can prevent joint pain.
How much bromelain do I need a day?
In fact, there isn’t a recommended daily intake for bromelain. Most bromelain supplements contain 500 mg of bromelain per capsule. You’ll find a wide variety of bromelain supplements on iHerb.
Prefer bromelain supplements with at least 2,400 GDU. GDU (Gelatin Digesting Unit) is a measure of activity for bromelain. The greater, the better.
Bromelain is good for athletes
Bromelain may help athletes and patients recover faster from an injury or surgery. Mainly due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In fact, bromelain can be used instead of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. So, consuming pineapple may be a healthy alternative to drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. It has no side effects (2).
Also, bromelain may prevent swelling. If you get injured, small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues, causing swelling. Bromelain reduces the swelling and speed up recovery. Also, bromelain can reduce the pain, improve circulation, and speed up wound healing (2,3).
Furthermore, athletes and active people should regularly eat pineapple, as bromelain is beneficial for fighting inflammation. Strenuous exercise produces free radicals in your body. Thus, eating foods high in antioxidant promotes muscle recovery. Consuming foods with omega-3s is also beneficial for athletes.
In fact, bromelain could be useful in the treatment of several chronic inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, or many musculoskeletal disorders (1,2).
Bromelain in pineapple for joint pain
Studies have shown that bromelain can help reduce soft tissue swelling, and joint stiffness. Knee and shoulder pain or stiffness is common among athletes. Also, bromelain can help athletes and patients move the knee or shoulder through its full range of motion.
Moreover, bromelain has analgesic properties. It may influence pain mediators, such as bradykinin. Bradykinin is a compound released in the blood and plays an important role in chronic pain. Moreover, bromelain reduces pain as it can reduce swelling. It can reduce pain in patients by 80%.
As a rule of thumb, a daily dose of 400 mg is enough for athletes and patients with joint pain. In most studies, patients consumed 60-1,890 mg of bromelain daily with great results.
Bromelain speeds up wound healing
Moreover, bromelain seems to be beneficial for wound healing. Bromelain cream can be used on damaged tissue, and on second/third degree burns. Bromelain cream can speed up the healing process. Prefer creams with at least 35% bromelain (4).
Additionally, you’ll benefit from consuming food high in vitamin C and vitamin A. These vitamins are vital for collagen synthesis. Collagen is found in abundant in the connective and soft tissue. Pineapple is particularly rich in vitamin C.
Is it good to eat pineapple every day?
Bromelain intake is safe for daily consumption. In studies, patients consumed huge dosages with no adverse effects. You should consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement or changing your diet, though.
Certainly, eating a serving of pineapple every day is beneficial for you. For instance, athletes could prepare a post-workout fruit salad with pineapple.
- Efficacy of proteolytic enzyme bromelain on health outcomes after third molar surgery. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials
- University of Southampton: Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies
- Biomedical Reports: Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications
- Institute of Biomedical Education and Research: Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review.