Bromelain can speed up muscle recovery and heal soft tissue injuries. Did you know that pineapple is the only source of bromelain?
What is bromelain?
Bromelain is an enzyme extract. Enzymes are biological molecules. They are responsible for chemical reactions in cells. For instance, enzymes are vital for body functions, such as digestion and metabolism.
Bromelain is obtained only from pineapple. Moreover, the stems of pineapples are particularly rich in bromelain.
Most noteworthy, bromelain in pineapple has powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties.
The potent anti-inflammatory action is the reason for fast recovery after an injury.
How much bromelain in pineapple?
Pineapple is the only known good source of bromelain.
Every part of the pineapple plant has bromelain. Certainly the stem is the best source, though.
Therefore, don’t throw away the core of the pineapple. On the contrary, use a juicer to extract the liquid from the core.
Moreover, you can add a small piece of pineapple stem to your smoothies.
In any case, cut the pineapple stem in small pieces with a knife. The core is so hard. It may be difficult for a blender or juicer to cut it, otherwise.
How much bromelain per day?
You’ll see 2 indexes on bromelain supplements, “mg” and “GDU”.
Firstly, bromelain is measured in “mg”. That’s the amount of bromelain in a pill. Usually, bromelain supplements contain 250-1000 mg of bromelain per pill.
Secondly, bromelain supplements have another index, called, GDU. That stands for “Gelatin Digesting Unit”. GDU measures how concentrated the enzymes are in a formula.
In other words, the higher GDU, the better. For instance, enzyme activity of 3000 GDU is better than 2400 GDU.
Speeds up recovery from injuries & surgery
Bromelain may help recover faster from an injury or even from surgery.
The main reason is that bromelain has powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (2).
Most noteworthy, bromelain can be used instead of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (2). So, eating pineapple may be a healthy alternative to drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
Furthermore, bromelain is used for fighting inflammation in tissues, due to sports injuries (2).
Bromelain supplements aren’t a medical product. Although, the health risks are minimal, if you’re on medication, better consult your physician.
On the other hand, pineapple is the only known natural source of bromelain. It’s good for you to eat a few pieces of pineapple daily. Especially, if you’re working out and you want fast muscle recovery.
Other food supplements, that you should consider taking are maca powder, moringa powder, wheatgrass powder, amla powder, and olive leaf extract. They are unique food supplements, as they fight inflammation. Exhaustive exercise generates free radicals to your body. Fast recovery means removing them, as soon as possible. Bromelain, moringa powder, maca, wheatgrass, amla, and olive leaf extract are so effective fighting muscle oxidation.
It seems that bromelain inhibits swelling, as well. In an injury, small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues, causing swelling. Bromelain can reduce the swelling and speed up recovery.
Additionally, bromelain can reduce the pain, improve circulation, and speed up wound healing (2,3).
Helps with knee and shoulder pain & injuries
Studies have shown that bromelain can help to reduce soft tissue swelling, and joint stiffness (2).
Scientists have studied the use of bromelain for the treatment of osteoarthritis for many decades, with good results (2). Especially of 2 joints, such as the knees and the shoulder.
Knee and shoulder pain or stiffness is common among athletes.
Bromelain may reduce symptoms of pain and swelling. Also, bromelain can help you move your knee or shoulder through its full range of motion effortlessly.
Scientists believe that bromelain is so powerful, that it could be used in many musculoskeletal disorders (2).
Finally, bromelain could be useful in the treatment of several chronic inflammatory disorders. For instance, for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (1).
Bromelain in pineapple may relieve us from pain
Moreover, bromelain has analgesic properties (2). It can be used in inflammatory pain.
Bromelain can relieve us from pain, in 2 ways.
Firstly, bromelain may influence pain mediators, such as bradykinin. Bradykinin is a compound released in the blood and plays an important role in chronic pain.
Secondly, bromelain can reduce pain in athletes or elderly patients, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Certainly, the main mechanism that bromelain in pineapple relieves us from pain, is due to the reduction of swelling.
There are reports that the pain reduction was up to 80%.
As a rule of thumb, a dose of 400 mg was enough. Nevertheless, in most studies patients consumed 60-1890 mg of bromelain daily, with great results (2).
Bromelain speeds up wound healing
Another health benefit of bromelain is wound healing.
Bromelain cream can be used on damaged tissue, or on second/third degree burns. Bromelain cream can speed up healing (4).
For better results, use a cream with at least 35% bromelain in a lipid base.
Additionally, better eat lots of food high in vitamin C, vitamin A. These vitamins are so important for natural collagen production. Collagen is found in connective and soft tissue. So, it’s good for you to eat foods that naturally boost its synthesis.
Is it good to eat pineapple every day?
Bromelain is safe for daily consumption.
In studies, people consumed up to 2000 mg of bromelain per kg of body weight, per day. There wasn’t observed any toxicity, even for prolonged periods of time (1).
Moreover, consult your physician, especially if you’re in medication.
Certainly, eating a few slices of pineapple daily is good for you.
- 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.