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 it:
- 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.
Bromelain in Raw pineapple
The amount of bromelain in raw pineapple can vary depending on factors such as the pineapple variety, ripeness, and growing conditions. This enzyme may not always be present in large quantities in every pineapple.
On average, a typical cup (about 165 grams) of fresh, raw pineapple contains approximately 40 to 80 mg of bromelain.
Bromelain is often concentrated in the core and stem of the pineapple. So, consuming these parts may provide slightly higher bromelain levels compared to the flesh.
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 to your favorite smoothie.
How much in a cup of pineapple juice?
The exact amount of bromelain in pineapple juice also varies greatly.
Generally, fresh pineapple juice contains more bromelain compared to canned or pasteurized juices. As bromelain is sensitive to heat, it’s partially deactivated during processing.
On average, a cup of fresh pineapple juice contains anywhere from 30 to 120 mg of bromelain.
Some packaged juices list the specific bromelain content on the product label.
If you have a specific need for bromelain, you might consider using bromelain supplements, which provide a standardized amount of the enzyme.
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.
Athletes could drink a glass of pineapple juice before, during, or after exercise. Sugars in pineapple juice help muscle recover faster, while bromelain can prevent joint pain.
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. Most noteworthy, it has no side effects (2).
Also, bromelain reduces swelling and speeds up recovery. If you get injured, small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues, causing swelling. Also, bromelain can reduce 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 antioxidants promotes muscle recovery.
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 are 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 up to 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 second/third-degree burns. Bromelain cream can accelerate the healing process. Prefer creams with at least 35% bromelain (4).
Additionally, you’ll benefit from consuming foods high in vitamin C and vitamin A. These vitamins are vital for collagen synthesis. Collagen is found abundant in the connective and soft tissue.
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.
Certainly, eating a serving of pineapple a day is beneficial for you. For instance, athletes could prepare a post-workout fruit salad with pineapple.
Always consult with a healthcare professional before changing your eating habits or taking any dietary supplement.
- 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.