Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.
The Many Benefits of Bromelain – InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode 536
Hosted by Melissa Bistricer, MS, RDN/DPD
InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed healthcare professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that InViteⓇ Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code PODCAST at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started!
Melissa Bistricer, RDN:
[00:00:40] Welcome to another podcast at InViteⓇ Health. Today we’ll be talking about bromelain and the numerous benefits this supplement has been studied to have. My name is Melissa Bistricer and I am a registered dietitian. I am so excited to bring to you the nutritional aspect of the nutrients here at InViteⓇ Health. Nutrition food for thought: Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding or fighting a disease. Remember, having a healthy, balanced diet does matter. InViteⓇ Health promotes an integrative approach in providing vitamins into your daily life to increase your quality of life. In conjunction with nutrients, it is also important to learn and include other lifestyle modifications like nutrition, exercise and sleep. These practices, with the use of vitamins, will promote optimal benefits in your daily life.† [00:01:30]
[00:01:31] Now let’s get onto the topic of bromelain and why we should have a bottle on hand at all times. Don’t forget that bromelain is naturally found in pineapple. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme generally found in the stems of pineapple. Though pineapple does contain citric acid, which may contribute to discomfort, the acid is not the main culprit here, though. Pineapple is the only fruit that contains bromelain, which helps to digest proteins. Do you ever feel like when you’re eating raw pineapple it hurts to eat? Well, that is simply because the bromelain is digesting the tender skin inside your mouth. Pineapple is known to be a great tenderizer for meats due to the enzyme bromelain has, which softens the muscle fibers. The protein in the meat is broken down and increases meat’s potential to absorb moisture. This is the reason why pineapple is the preferred method to tenderize meat. Don’t think just because you eat some pineapple on pizza, you will get all the benefits because there’s so little on it, it won’t be effective enough. Wait. Isn’t this a controversial topic? Do you eat your pizza with pineapple? Well, I personally don’t like it, but who’s asking me anyways? Now, let’s not get into politics of pizza and pineapple. Let’s get back to the scientific part.† [00:02:46]
[00:02:47] In the body, the proteolytic enzyme stimulates the body’s digestive process to support digestion by breaking down proteins into smaller components. The proteolytic enzymes are called cysteine proteinase, which is the breakdown of protein to help digest foods. It can also help combat diarrhea. The thought is this that it can counteract the effects of intestinal pathogens such as Vibrio or E Coli. Ever having a really, really heavy meal? Like imagine on Thanksgiving when you feast over that turkey, the gravy, the stuffing. Oh, and sweet potato pie, too. You may feel slightly bloated. Therefore, just taking 1 to 2 capsules of the bromelain can help break down the proteins and the heavy feeling in your stomach.† [00:03:31]
[00:03:32] Bromelain also has other beneficial components, such as helping acute inflammation, headaches, or even if you twist your ankle and need some relief. Instead of taking the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories called NSAIDs, which can cause potential liver and kidney damage in the future. Unfortunately, Americans generally turn to NSAIDs or prescription drugs as they are the only effective remedies for common disorders. Although studies have been showing that natural therapies, rather than medications for arthritis have been effective, there has been evidence to prove that the drugs for arthritis, so Vioxx and Bextra, were later withdrawn due to lethal adverse reaction. In hindsight, NSAIDs have a warning about potential to increase risks for heart attacks and stroke with their use. Medical history has been advancing, and several natural alternatives have been seen to work with no side effects. Bromelain has been one of those anti-inflammatory nutrients that have been overlooked in the past. Bromelain-based formulations have been clinically studied to show more effective benefits than anti-inflammatory prescription drugs, to relieve pain and inflammation. A general over-all beneficial supplement to have always in your medicine cabinet to turn to rather than Advil, Motrin or Aleve is bromelain. Pain reliever drugs, either prescribed or brought over-the-counter, that can lead to other chronic complications such as gastric ulcers or liver kidney damage. Bromelain has powerful proteolytic enzymes, which again benefits digestive enhancement.† [00:05:18]
[00:05:19] Athletes have used bromelain as well to help manage joint injuries. Those undergoing surgery used to speed recovery time. Bromelain has a powerful proteolytic enzyme which, again, benefits digestive enhancement. Athletes have used bromelain as well to help manage joint injuries and those undergoing surgery use it to speed recovery time. The use of bromelain on reducing the pain of osteoarthritis… Recent studies from, from Germany on 90 patients who suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip. The study is a randomized controlled trial, with half the participants receiving a bromelain supplement and other receiving an anti-inflammatory drug called diclofenac. The results indicated that the use of bromelain may be beneficial in treatment of patients with osteoarthritis of the hip with the signs of inflammation to help with high pain levels. Other studies have resulted in the same outcome, comparing bromelain with the, with diclofenac. The patient also reported decreased joint tenderness, pain, swelling and improvement of motion at the end of the day.† [00:06:23]
[00:06:24] In another research study from the United Kingdom, from a three-month study, looked at the effectiveness of the dose of bromelain. There was one group that was receiving 200mg of bromelain and one group that was receiving 400mg of bromelain. The participants had mild acute pain. When they were given 200mg, there was a 41% decrease of pain. And when given 400mg of bromelain, there was a 59% decrease in pain. With the higher dose of 400mg of bromelain, it was observed to help the stiffness and physical function, though the study also indicated that bromelain is also effective in improving general well-being in healthy individuals who suffer from mild knee pain. Evidence-based complementary alternative medicine demonstrates that bromelain supports joint health.† [00:07:14]
[00:07:15] Bromelain has been shown to have numerous therapeutic benefits to support lungs and joint. It also regulates prostaglandin levels, the sign of chronic inflammation, therefore helping to provide comfort and joint modulation of certain immune cells to support respiratory health. Bromelain has also been helpful in healing minor injuries such as sprains, strains and other traumas. Bromelain has also helped to speed up surgical help to support pain relief. A study was completed with a combination of bromelain, trypsin and rutoside on individuals taking the supplements two weeks following surgery for a fixed fracture. The group that received the bromelain has positive reduction in post-operative swelling.† [00:07:58]
[00:07:59] At Mount Sinai, they have completed research as well, determining that bromelain has a multitude of benefits, such as treating indigestion and reducing inflammation. There even has been evidence that bromelain has helped with inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis, which can be caused by cramping, pain, diarrhea and weight loss. The Annals of Internal Medicine has published reports on two individuals who suffered from ulcerative colitis, which have not yet benefited from any conventional therapy but have benefited from bromelain supplementation. Bromelain helps relieve symptoms such as frequent diarrhea. Further investigation on the use of bromelain on inflammatory bowel disorders, according to North Carolina’s Duke University needs to be studied to fully understand and assess the use of bromelain on inflammatory bowel disorders. Biomedical reports that bromine is safe and successful for therapeutic use worldwide for conditions such as bronchitis, sinusitis, arthritis and inflammation. Sinusitis is the painful inflammation of the sinuses cavities that cause bacterial, fungal or viral infections. A recent study showed that bromelain has multiple benefits on sinuses health by thinning the nasal secretions and inhibiting the production of inflammatory prostaglandins. The German commission E actually approved bromelain to treat swelling and inflammation after surgery, specifically sinus surgeries.† [00:09:26]
[00:09:27] Bromelain has also been effective for skin disorders called pityriasis lichenoid chronica, which is a skin disease that is caused by the development of small scaling raised spots on the skin. This disorder has no clinically proven treatment, but a study was completed on several individuals given a bromelain supplement, with complete recovery and no adverse effects. It has properties of immunomodulatory and anti-neoplastic effects to help with anti-inflammation and antimicrobial effects.† [00:09:59]
[00:10:00] Lastly, probably the most exciting news that research has been coming out with suggesting that the use of bromelain and the effects it has on anti-cancer therapeutic agents. A recent study was conducted on mice to assess the use of bromelain on anti-cancer effects. Further research still has to be completed to see the use of bromelain in anti-cancer therapy. The bromelain can work through several mechanisms, though, including inhibiting the tumor growth, decreasing tumor growth and boosting the immune systems and anti-cancer activity.† [00:10:31]
[00:10:32] With all the benefits, it is also important to note that there are some safety cautions to be aware of. If you have an allergy to pineapple or pineapple juice, bromelain should not be taken. Be aware certain prescribed medications may interact with taking bromelain. Make sure to talk to a healthcare provider if taking any prescribed medications. Well lastly, bromelain, as mentioned, does come from pineapples, but don’t think you can eat an entire pineapple, as it will not be enough to be effective. That’s why I have the bromelain supplements sold at invitehealth.com, so go check it out.† [00:11:07]
[00:11:07] Take charge of your health today and talk with one of our healthcare providers about any complementary health approaches to use. Together, we can make a shared, well-informed decision for you. If you have any further questions, you are always welcome to chat with me as a nutritionist or any of our other healthcare providers to assist you at invitehealth.com. Or you can email me directly at [email protected]. That’s m-b as in boy-i-s-t-r-i-c-e-r at invitehealth.com. I am Melissa Bistricer, RDN, ready to share the knowledge to help you modify your lifestyle to live a happier, more successful life. I am looking forward to continuing to provide you with educational podcasts and blog posts. Again, nutrition food for thought: Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding or fighting the disease. Remember, having a healthy, balanced diet does matter. Have a great day and tune in for the next podcast, coming to you soon.† [00:11:07]
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sprains sprains sprains sprains sprains sprains sprains sprains sprains
Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.
Ideal Nutrients for Sprains and Strains – InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode 487
Hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed healthcare professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that InViteⓇ Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code PODCAST at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started.†
Amanda Williams, MPH: [00:00:40] When it comes to common soft tissue injuries, we have to really analyze the difference between a strain and a sprain. And these are both incredibly common, and we know that inflammation is a key driver in both of these. But I want to talk a little bit about what you can be doing to target that inflammation in the event that you unfortunately get a sprain or a strain.†
[00:01:05] So I’m Amanda Williams, MD, MPH and when we think about the difference between a strain and a sprain, the sprain itself is an overstretching or a tearing. You can even have like a a very fine tear within a ligament. Now the ligaments are bands of tissue that connect two bones together within a joint. Now, think about the most common area for a sprain to occur is your ankle. So say, for example, you’re playing a sport. We’ve all heard about someone spraining their ankle, but this can also happen if you step a little funny off of a sidewalk. So we know that sprains in the ankle are the most common area to which we can have this problem.†
[00:01:54] Now we can look at a strain. A strain occurs when there is an over-stretching or even a small tearing within the muscle or within a tendon. Now, tendons are the fibrous tissue that connect bones to muscles. Now, the most common location for muscle strains are going to be in our back. So many people have, you know, maybe you go to reach for something and then you feel all of a sudden this sharp and intense pain in your back. Now this can then drive up muscle spasms because we know that that’s a very common symptom of a strain.†
[00:02:37] So let’s kind of break down symptomatically what we’re dealing with. If you sprain your ankle, for example, you will likely have a significant amount of swelling within that area. You will have a difficult time when it comes to the movement within that area. You oftentimes have bruising. Now, when we look at some of the common symptoms of a strain, this is when we’re dealing once again with swelling. So we know we have this inflammatory response that occurs. There’s usually a significant amount of pain around that muscle. We also can have muscle spasms, so they’re, they’re very similar in nature. It’s just how exactly they are presenting.†
[00:03:29] Now, seeing that both of these are very common, and when someone is dealing with this, it can be definitely problematic because I’ve strained my back before, and I know that that is not a fun experience. You know, you’re trying to find a comfortable position and you feel like the muscles start to go into a spasm mode, and that is never a pleasant experience. So what are some things that we can be doing? We know that the common thought process when it comes to treatment of a sprain or a strain comes down to resting and icing, you know, limited movement within the area of injury. But we also have to consider the other component, which is targeting the inflammation now standard treatment would be to use an NSAID, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, to target that pain and to target the inflammation.†
[00:04:38] But what if you’re not exactly a big fan of taking an NSAID and you’re looking for something that comes from nature? And you said there’s got to be another alternative out there and indeed there is. So I oftentimes when someone is experiencing whether it be a sprain or a strain is three different nutrients to really help to support the healing process and to ease the inflammation, as well as to ease the discomfort. So those nutrients are bromelain, which we know is very targeted towards that inflammation, horse chestnut extract and magnesium, because we know the magnesium is going to help to support the relaxation of the muscles in the area around the injury. It also helps to optimize the adequate blood flow because remember, magnesium helps with that vasodilation. So we’re going to get better blood flow to the site of the injury. Then we have bromelain, which we know is targeting inflammation in a very specified way. And then we add in the horse chestnut.†
[00:05:59] Now horse chestnut is really quite interesting because oftentimes we think of this in that setting of the vascular support. So when someone is dealing with something like peripheral artery disease or chronic venous insufficiency. But we also recognize that the horse chestnut does a wonderful job when it comes to easing inflammation. And there are studies out there showing that the active constituent, the, the plant sterols that are contained within the chestnut itself, do a wonderful job in terms of enhancing the body’s ability to down regulate that inflammation. So if someone is dealing with something like hemorrhoids, for example, obviously we want to be looking at the Veins HxⓇ formulation because we know we’re getting that vascular support. At the same time, we’re easing inflammation. So when we think about an injury, such as a sprain, then it would be incredibly advantageous to have those nutrients from the Veins HxⓇ, including that horse chestnut, to really help to enhance the healing process. And then we look at bromelain, and certainly we understand that bromelain has been shown in multiple clinical trials to enhance, once again, our body’s ability to heal.†
[00:07:27] We see this in the setting of plastic surgery. Many plastic surgeons now are advising their patients to take bromelain both before and after surgery because it can really promote and accelerate that wound healing process. In the Journal of Medical Science and Sports Exercise, they were looking at how bromelain, which is this proteolytic enzyme derived from the pineapple, has these therapeutic effects on inflammation of soft tissue injuries. So they wanted to really set up a series of tests where they could determine how it was that the bromelain itself was working and they could see how that proteolytic enzymatic property of the bromelain was working within those muscle fibers, really allowing for the proper healing of those muscles. Now there have been studies where they have compared bromelain to diclofenac, a very commonly prescribed NSAID. They have compared bromelain to just over-the-counter ibuprofen when it comes to targeting muscle soreness. Remember when I mentioned like a muscle strain such as in your back or your hamstring. They have found that bromelain does a really phenomenal job at easing the discomfort.†
[00:09:00] So this is an area where we know that muscle strains and ankle injuries, such as sprains, are incredibly common, and we want to do everything in our power to make sure that we are enhancing the way that our body can manage that injury. So in this combination of utilizing bromelain, and I always advise taking it on an empty stomach, generally two capsules, which would be 1000mg, and you can take that maybe two to three times per day. So, you know, either before meals or after meals. And then we add in that Veins HxⓇ, especially if we have a sprain or we have that the ligament component to that where we drive up all of that inflammation and the bruising and the swelling, then that Veins HxⓇ can really be incredibly supportive. And then we have that magnesium to allow the muscle and the blood support that we need during an injury.†
[00:10:07] So that is all that I have for you for today. I want to thank you so much for tuning in to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. Remember, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting invitehealth.com/podcast. Now, do make sure that you subscribe and you leave us a review. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @invitehealth and we will see you next time for another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast.†