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Bromelain (Ananas comosus, Ananas sativus)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Acid phosphatase, Ananas comosus, Ananas sativus, Ananase®, Anansase®100, Ananase Forte®, Bromelain-POS®, bromelainum, Bromeliaceae (family), bromelin, bromeline, bromelins, Extranase®, glycoproteins, organically bound calcium, peroxidase, pineapple, pineapple extract, pineapple plant, plant protease, protease inhibitor, proteolytic digestive enzymes, Traumanase®, Wobenzym®.
  • Combination product examples: AbsorbAid® (Aspergillus niger and bromelain), Anavit-F3® (230mg of bromelain of 1200 gelatin digestion units per gram and 15mg of ascorbic acid), Debridase®, Kimotab™ (bromelain and trypsin), Phlogenzym® (rutin 100mg, trypsin 48mg, and bromelain 90mg), Wobe-Mugos® (pancreatin, papain, bromelain, lipase, amylase, trypsin, chymotripsin, and rutin), Wobenzyme-Phyto® (bromelain, papain, and rutin).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Bromelain is a sulfur-containing proteolytic digestive enzyme that is extracted from the stem and the fruit of the pineapple plant (Ananas comosus, family Bromeliaceae).
  • When taken with meals, bromelain assists in the digestion of proteins; when taken on an empty stomach, it acts medicinally as an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Bromelain was introduced in 1957 and has been used in many clinical trials since then. Its use in inflammation and sinusitis has been substantiated by clinical evidence. The use of bromelain in other indications, including burn debridement, pancreatic insufficiency, osteoarthritis, pityriasis lichenoides chronica (PLC), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, urinary tract infection, rheumatoid arthritis, steatorrhea, advanced cancer, and as a nutritive has been studied. However, results are currently inconclusive.
  • Bromelain is generally regarded as safe, with common adverse effects being allergic and gastrointestinal reactions. Bromelain may inhibit platelet aggregation and cause excessive bleeding when used in patients with coagulation disorders, undergoing surgery, or who are concurrently using anticoagulant/antiplatelet agents. Bromelain may also potentially interact with sedative and chemotherapeutic agents.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.