Bromelain is an enzyme found in the mouth as well as in the digestive tract. As a digestive enzyme, its job is to help break down foods by causing a chemical reaction. This in turn leaves them ready for digestion and allows the crucial nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Bromelain is just one of many enzymes and only contributes in part to this process. However, it is one of the primary digestive enzymes found in the saliva and it plays a particularly important role as we’re chewing – the first stage of digestion. Specifically, it helps us to transform the food we’re eating into the mass known as ‘bolus’ ready to be swallowed.
Bromelain for Digestion
Bromelain can also be found in our diet, with pineapples being one of the best sources. Alternatively, it can be used as a supplement for combating heartburn. Using either is a good way to aid digestion and to potentially improve the absorption of essential nutrients from the diet. However, it’s important to note that the effects are mild; remember that this is only one of many enzymes used in the digestive process and as such, a healthy patient is unlikely to notice much different from using this in supplement form.
Other ways to achieve similar effects include chewing your food for longer (thus producing a greater ratio of enzymes to sustenance) and drinking more water which will also stimulant saliva and help to dissolve the food.
Bromelain as an Anti-Inflammatory
Bromelain also has other health benefits beyond simply being a digestive enzyme. This is because bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme, meaning that it can help to reduce inflammation and especially inflammation that might affect the tissues and organs of the body. It also aids to reduce blood clotting and has antibacterial properties.
It achieves all this thanks to its action against ‘kinnins’ and ‘fibrins’. Kinnins are substances that contribute to inflammation, whereas fibrins are sugar complexes that can lead to blood clots. And on top of all this, it can also enhance the action of T-cells, which are a crucial components in our immune defense.
For all these reasons, getting more pineapple in your diet can be no bad thing, and bromelain may just be one of the most overlooked health supplements.