MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Fresh Pineapple Enzyme
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about options that may be available for your specific situation.
SPARKS OF LIFE
The late Dr. Edward Howell, a physician and pioneer in enzyme research, called enzymes the "sparks of life." These energized protein molecules play a necessary role in virtually all of the biochemical activities that go on in the body. They are essential for digesting food, for stimulating the brain, for providing cellular energy, and for repairing all tissues, organs, and cells. Life as we know it could not exist without the action of enzymes, even in the presence of sufficient amounts of vitamins, minerals, water, and other nutrients.
In their primary role, enzymes are catalysts, the substances that accelerate and precipitate the hundreds of thousands of biochemical reactions in the body that control life's processes. If it were not for the catalytic action of enzymes, most of these reactions would take place far too slowly to sustain life. Enzymes are not consumed in the reactions they facilitate.
Each enzyme has a specific function in the body that no other enzyme can fulfill. The chemical shape of each enzyme is specialized so that it can initiate a reaction only in a certain substance, or in a group of closely related chemical substances, and not in others. The substance on which an enzyme acts is called the substrate. Because there must be a different enzyme for every substrate, the body must produce a great number of different enzymes.
THE FUNCTIONS OF ENZYMES
DIGESTIVE & METABOLIC ENZYMES
Enzymes assist in practically all bodily functions. Digestive enzymes break down food particles for energy and for storage in the liver or muscles. This breakdown chemical reaction is called Hydrolysis, and it involves using water to break the chemical bonds to turn food into energy. This stored energy is later converted by other enzymes for use by the body when necessary and as required by the body. Iron is concentrated in the blood by the action of enzymes; other enzymes in the blood help the blood to coagulate in order to stop bleeding. Uricolytic enzymes catalyze the conversion of uric acid into urea. Respiratory enzymes facilitate the elimination of carbon dioxide from the lungs. Enzymes assist the kidneys, liver, colon, and skin in removing wastes and toxins from the body. Enzymes also utilize the nutrients ingested by the body to construct new muscle tissue, nerve cells, bone, skin, and glandular tissue. One enzyme can take dietary phosphorus and convert it into bone. Enzymes prompt the oxidation of glucose, which creates energy for the cells. Enzymes also protect the blood from dangerous waste materials by converting these substances to forms that are easily eliminated by the body. Indeed, the functions of enzymes are so many and so diverse that is would be impossible to name them all.
Enzymes are often divided into two groups: Digestive Enzymes & Metabolic Enzymes.
DIGESTIVE ENZYMES are secreted along the gastrointestinal tract and break down foods, enabling the nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream for use in various bodily functions. There are three main categories of digestive enzymes: Amylase, Protease, and Lipase.
AMYLASE ENZYMES: Amylase is found in saliva and in the pancreatic and intestinal juices and it breaks down carbohydrates. It begins to act as soon as you start chewing (this is why it is important to chew your food well). Different types of Amylase break down specific types of sugars. For example, Lactase breaks down lactose (milk sugar), maltase breaks down maltose (malt sugar), and sucrase breaks down sucrose (cane and beet sugar).
PROTEASE ENZYMES: Protease is found in the stomach juices and also in the pancreatic and intestinal juices and it helps digest proteins.
LIPASE ENZYMES: Lipase is found in the stomach and pancreatic juices, and also present in fats in foods, and aids in fat digestion.
Another component of the digestive process is hydrochloric acid. While not technically an enzyme itself, it interacts with digestive enzymes as they perform their functions.
METABOLIC ENZYMES are those enzymes that catalyze the various chemical reactions within the cells, such as energy production and detoxification. All of the body's organs, tissues, and cells are governed and activities run by the metabolic enzymes. They are the workers that build the body from proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Metabolic enzymes are found in the blood, organs, and tissues doing their specific work. Each body tissue has its own specific set of metabolic enzymes.
Two particularly important metabolic enzymes are Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and its partner, Catalase. SOD is an antioxidant that protects the cells by attacking a common free radical, superoxide.
Catalase breaks down hydrogen peroxide, a metabolic waste product, and liberates oxygen for the body to use.
The body uses most of its enzyme-producing potential to produce about 2 dozen enzymes. These control the breakdown and utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to create the hundreds of metabolic enzymes necessary to maintain the rest of the tissues and organs in their functions.
Enzymes can be found naturally in many different foods, both from plant and animal sources. Avocados, papaya, pineapples, bananas, and mangoes are all high in enzymes. Sprouts are the richest source. Unripe papaya and pineapple are excellent sources of enzymes. The enzymes extracted from papaya and pineapple are Papain and Bromelain, respectively, and are Proteolytic Enzymes, which break down proteins.
Many fat-containing foods also supply Lipase, which breaks down fats. In fact, fat in food exposed only to Pancreatic Lipase (the Lipase produced by the body) in the intestines is not as well digested as fat that is first worked on by the stomach by Food Lipase. Pancreatic Lipase digests fat in a highly alkaline environment (the intestines), whereas Lipase found in food fats works in a more acidic environment (the stomach). The optimal extraction of nutrients from fats depends on the work of different fat-digesting enzymes in successive stages.
Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) comes in several different forms, including Lysine HCl and Betaine HCl. Betaine HCl is derived from sugar beets. When new, HCl capsules and tablets are almost white in color, but sometimes they can turn a deep purple when they age. Supplemental HCl is not sold in powder or liquid form because contact with the teeth can damage tooth enamel. HCl has a sulfur-like odor. Betaine HCl is often combined with Pepsin to aid in stomach function.
Superoxide Dismutase occurs naturally in a variety of food sources, including barley grass, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass, and most green plants.
As powerful as they are, enzymes cannot act alone. They require adequate amounts of other substances, known as coenzymes, to be fully active. Among the most important coenzymes are the B-Complex Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Zinc.
While the body manufactures a supply of enzymes, it can also obtain enzymes from food. In fact, the body's ability to manufacture enzymes is being seriously taxed by our diet of processed and highly cooked food. Unfortunately, enzymes are extremely sensitive to heat. Even low to moderate heat (118°F or above) destroys most enzymes in food. To obtain enzymes from the diet, one must eat raw foods. Eating raw foods or, alternatively, taking enzyme supplements, helps prevent the depletion of the body's own enzymes and thus reduce the stress on the body.
Anyone who has a malabsorption problem, a yeast infection (candidiasis), or is over age 60 and whose digestive process seems to be stalling out, resulting in unpleasant symptoms should take enzyme supplements. Ingredients should include Pancreatin, Lipase, Amylase, and Protease. This combination ensures digestion and absorption of amino acids, fat-soluble nutrients, and carbohydrates. Bromelain, derived from pineapple stems, along with Papain, derived from the papaya fruit, also are welcome. Specific problems can be addressed by the addition of specific enzymes. For instance, people who have trouble with dairy sugars should consider Lactase; people who cannot digest legumes might try Legumase. Hydrochloric Acid supplements also might be necessary in the form of Betaine Hydrochloride taken as capsules at the start of each meal.
The majority of commercially available enzymes are digestive enzymes extracted from various sources. Enzymes are not manufactured synthetically. Most commercial enzyme products are made from animal enzymes, such as pancreatin and pepsin, which help in the digestion of food once it has reached the lower stomach and the intestinal tract. Some companies make their supplements from enzymes extracted from aspergillus, a type of fungus.
These enzymes begin their pre-digestive work in the upper stomach. All of these products are used primarily to aid the digestion of foods and absorption of nutrients especially protein. If proteins are not completely digested, undigested protein particles may make their way into the bloodstream through the intestinal wall with other nutrients. This phenomenon is known as leaky gut syndrome, and it can result in allergic reactions that may be more or less severe, depending upon the strength of the immune system. This is one reason why the proper digestion of proteins is so important.
Any enzyme that acts on protein and prepares it for absorption is called a proteolytic enzyme. Proteolytic enzymes available in supplement form include pepsin, trypsin, rennin, pancreatin, chymotrypsin, bromelain, and papain. In addition to aiding digestion, proteolytic enzymes have been shown to be beneficial as anti-inflammatory agents. Pancreatin, derived from secretions of animal pancreas, is a focus of cancer research, because people with cancer are often deficient in this enzyme. Pancreatin is used in the treatment of digestive problems, viral infections, and sports injuries, as well as pancreatic insufficiency, food allergies, cystic fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, and other chronic illnesses.
Also available in supplement form are the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase.The following table lists some common enzymes and their substrates (the substance acted upon).
Proteins, Adhesions, Fibrin
Lactose (Milk, Sugar)
Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates
Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates
Enzyme supplements may not be for everyone. During pregnancy, it is a rule to be careful with supplements in general. Nursing mothers also should be careful about supplements, to avoid affecting their milk. If you are pregnant or nursing, contact your midwife or health care provider before taking any supplement, formula, or medication of any kind.
People who have hemophilia or who take anticoagulants (blood thinners) should consult with their health care providers before taking large amounts of enzymes. Anyone contemplating surgery where there is high risk of bleeding should as his or her physician for advice before taking any supplement.
BROMELAIN ENZYME DESCRIPTION
THE PINEAPPLE DIGESTIVE ENZYME
Bromelain is a collection of protein-digesting enzymes found in pineapple juice and in the stem of pineapple plants that is primarily produced in Japan, Hawaii, and Taiwan. Even though most of the original research for Bromelain was performed in Japan and Hawaii, by the mid 90s, it had become the thirteenth most common individual herbal product sold in Germany. A researcher named Chittenden was the first to identify the presence of proteolytic enzymes in pineapple juice around 1892 and called it "bromelin". Later the term "Bromelain" was introduced and originally applied to any protease from any plant member of the plant family Bromeliaceae. Bromelain was first introduced as a therapeutic supplement in 1957.
The stump or root portion of the pineapple plant after harvest of the fruit is how Bromelain is prepared. This stump or root portion is collected from the fields, peeled and crushed to extract the juice containing the soluble enzyme Bromelain. The process is carried out in factories that are under great scrutiny to assure microbiological quality and enzyme purity.
An on the side note: Pineapple workers often have their fingerprints almost completely obliterated due to the proteolytic action of Bromelain. These are some hard working harvesters.
Nutrition Basics: Pineapple Herbal Information
BROMELAIN ENZYME USES & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Germany’s Commission E has approved Bromelain for use in reducing swelling in the nose and sinuses caused by injuries and operations. It has also been used for other types of swelling and inflammation even though there is no scientific evidence to support its use outside the nose and sinus areas. In Europe, Bromelain is used to aid in recovery from surgery and athletic injuries, but they also recommend it for the treatment of hemorrhoids, phlebitis, inflammation of the veins of the leg, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain). Bromelain is active both in the acid environment of the stomach and the alkaline environment of the small intestine, which makes it fairly effective as an oral digestive aid as well.
Dr. David H. Rahm, president of the ViataMedica Corporation in Manhattan Beach, California had this to say about Bromelain, "Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory that prevents soft tissue swelling and decreases various markers of pain and inflammation. It also enhances the effectiveness of antibiotics. Bromelain is best administered 72 hours prior to surgery, taken three to four times a day in doses of about 2,000 to 3,000 milk-clotting units a day (MCUs)." These findings were presented to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (2004).
BROMELAIN ENZYME DOSAGE INFORMATION
For use as a digestive aid, the standard dosage of Bromelain is 500 mg 3 times a day with or between meals. Bromelain is measured in MCUs (milk-clotting units). The standard preparation should contain 2,000 MCUs per gram. For treating other conditions, please read and follow product label directions.
Enzymes are available over the counter in tablet, capsule, powder, and liquid forms. They may be sold in combination with each other or as separate items. Some enzyme products also contain Garlic to help digestion. For maximum benefit, any digestive enzyme supplement you choose should contain all of the major enzyme groups - amylase, protease, and lipase. Digestive enzymes should be taken after meals, unless you are eating processed and/or cooked foods, in which case it is best to take them during the meal. You can make your own digestive enzymes by drying papaya seeds, placing them in a pepper grinder, and sprinkling them on your foods. These have a peppery taste.
If you take supplemental Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), make sure to choose a product that is enteric coated - that is, coated with a protective substance that allows the SOD to pass intact through the stomach acid to be absorbed in the small intestine. Do not crush or chew these pills.
All forms of enzymes should be kept in a reasonably cool place to insure potency. Tablets and liquids can be stored in the refrigerator. However, powder and capsule forms should not be refrigerated because they are susceptible to moisture; they should be stored in a cool, dry place.
Research has shown that as we grow older, the body's ability to produce enzymes decreases. At the same time, malabsorption of nutrients, tissue breakdown, and chronic health conditions increase. Taking supplemental enzymes can help to ensure that you continue to get the full nutritional value from your foods. It is commonly believed that enzyme supplementation is vital for elderly persons.
BROMELAIN ENZYME SAFETY & INTERACTION INFORMATION
Bromelain appears to be non-toxic.
However, because it "thins the blood" somewhat, it should not be combined with drugs such as Coumadin (Warfarin) without a health care provider's supervision.
Do not self-treat if you have phlebitis or another leg vein disease.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with liver or kidney disease is not known. Anyone with allergies to pineapple or beestings as well as anyone with a history of heart palpitations should discuss with their Health Care Professional before consuming Bromelain.
BROMELAIN ENZYME SUPPLEMENTS & RELATED PRODUCTS
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BROMELAIN PINEAPPLE ENZYME SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
STARWEST BOTANICALS PRODUCTS
Starwest Botanicals: Bromelain Powder, 1 lb.
LIFE EXTENSION PRODUCTS
LEF: Specially-Coated Bromelain, Life Extension, 60 Enteric Coated Tabs
HerbsPro: Turmeric & Bromelain, Now Foods, 90 VCaps (77496)
HerbsPro: Herbal Bromelain, Eclectic Institute Inc, 90 Caps (66025)
HerbsPro: Quercetin & Bromelain, Doctors Best, 250 mg / 125 mg, 180 Caps (69162)
HerbsPro: Quercetin With Bromelain, Now Foods, 800 mg / 200 mg, 120 VCaps (63653)
HerbsPro: Magnesium Potassium Plus Bromelain, BlueBonnet Nutrition, 200/99/140 mg, 60 VCaps (100682)
HerbsPro: Magnesium Potassium Plus Bromelain, BlueBonnet Nutrition, 200/99/140 mg, 120 VCaps (100683)
HerbsPro: Bromelain & Papain, Natures Life, 250 mg / 250 mg, 100 VCaps (89926)
HerbsPro: Bromelain & Papain, Natures Life, 250 mg / 250 mg, 250 VCaps (89927)
HerbsPro: Mega Bromelain, TwinLab, 600 GDU, 300 mg, 60 Caps (19742)
HerbsPro: Mega Bromelain, TwinLab, 600 GDU, 300 mg, 90 Caps (19741)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Now Foods, 415 mg, 90 Tabs (67831)
HerbsPro: Turmeric & Bromelain, Natural Factors, 450 mg, 90 Caps (84289)
HerbsPro: Turmeric & Bromelain, Natural Factors, 450 mg, 180 Caps (84290)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Thompson Nutritional Products, 500 mg, 30 Caps (35537)
HerbsPro: Super Bromelain, BlueBonnet Nutrition, 500 mg, 30 VCaps (100762)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Solgar, 500 mg, 30 Tabs (36252)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Source Naturals, 2000 GDU, 500 mg, 30 Caps (31655)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Source Naturals, 2000 GDU, 500 mg, 30 Tabs (20929)
HerbsPro: Bromelain 1000, Natural Enzyme From Pineapple, Jarrow Formulas, 500 mg, 30 Tabs (1143)
HerbsPro: Triple Strength Bromelain, 2000 GDU/Gram, Country Life, 500 mg, 30 Tabs (37482)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Source Naturals, 2000 GDU, 500 mg, 60 Tabs (20930)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Source Naturals, 2000 GDU, 500 mg, 60 Caps (31656)
HerbsPro: Super Bromelain, BlueBonnet Nutrition, 500 mg, 60 VCaps (100763)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Pineapple Bio Factor, Vita Plus, 500 mg, 60 Tabs (73883)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Solgar, 500 mg, 60 Tabs (36253)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Life Time Nutritional Specialties, Natural Pineapple Enzyme, 500 mg, 60 Tabs (89876)
HerbsPro: Bromelain 1000, Natural Enzyme From Pineapple, Jarrow Formulas, 500 mg, 60 Tabs (1144)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Source Naturals, 600 GDU, 500 mg, 60 Tabs (6144)
HerbsPro: Triple Strength Bromelain, 2000 GDU/Gram, Country Life, 500 mg, 60 Tabs (37483)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, FoodScience of Vermont, 2400 GDU, 500 mg, 60 VTabs (38508)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Now Foods, 2400 GDU, 500 mg, 60 VCaps (67833)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Natural Factors, 500 mg, 90 Caps (83885)
HerbsPro: Best Bromelain, 3000 GDU/Gram, Doctors Best, 500 mg, 90 VCaps (86512)
HerbsPro: Super Bromelain, BlueBonnet Nutrition, 500 mg, 120 VCaps (100764)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, 2400 GDU, Now Foods, 500 mg, 120 VCaps (67832)
HerbsPro: Quercetin With Bromelain, Now Foods, 120 VCaps (68653)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Source Naturals, 600 GDU, 500 mg, 120 Tabs (6145)
HerbsPro: Bromelain, Natural Factors, 500 mg, 180 Caps (83886)
HerbsPro: Bromelain Plus, Enzymatic Therapy, 750 mg, 90 Caps (12982)
HerbsPro: Bromelain Sinus Ease, Natures Life, 1200 mg, 30 Caps (90412)
HerbsPro: Bromelain Sinus Ease, Natures Life, 1200 mg, 100 Caps (90474)
Kalyx: Bromelain, Thompson Nutritional, 500 mg, 30 Caps: K
Kalyx: Bromelain Powder. 150 GDU, Starwest Botanicals, (25 lbs earns 15% refund), 1 lb: C
Kalyx: Bromelain Powder, 300 GDU, Kalyx Bulk Products, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): EB
Kalyx: Bromelain Powder, 600 GDU, Kalyx Bulk Products, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): EB
Kalyx: Bromelain Powder, 1200 GDU, Kalyx Bulk Products, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): EB
Kalyx: Bromelain Powder, 2400 GDU, Kalyx Bulk Products, 1 kg (2.2 lbs): EB
Amazon: Bromelain Pineapple Enzyme Supplement Products
Amazon: Multi-Enzyme Supplement Products
Nutrition Basics: Bromelain (Pineapple) Enzyme Information Nutrition Basics: Pineapple Herbal Information Nutrition Basics: Multi-Enzymes Supplement Informtion
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