Enzymes are involved in countless processes that take place in your body each day and help your body function properly. They play many roles, including supporting the conversion of food into energy. Proteolytic enzymes help to break down and digest proteins. You will find them in your body, some foods and supplements.
Proteolytic enzymes are also called proteases, peptidases and proteinases. The body's own reserves of proteases are derived from the pancreas and stomach, where they are produced. The best sources of proteases include papaya (a source of papain) and pineapple (a source of bromelain), but also mango and avocado.
Although proteolytic enzymes are known mainly for their protein digestion function, they also discover other, extremely important, roles for the proper functioning of the body. They correspond, among others for cell division, blood clotting or the immune system.
However, not only humans are dependent on proteolytic enzymes. Plants also produce them for their own use. In them, proteolytic enzymes are responsible for normal growth and development. In addition, they act as a defense mechanism against pests such as insects. In summary, the activities of proteolytic enzymes help plants maintain their health.
Why can this be important to you? Because you can use plant-derived proteolytic enzymes. Many supplements containing proteases come from both animal and plant sources.
However, let's focus on the most popular plant-derived proteolytic enzymes: bromelain and papain.
A 2016 study found that bromelain shortens the time of sinusitis, improves breathing, and reduces nasal inflammation. In turn, analysis of 10 studies from 2006 showed that bromelain enhances the effects of standard treatment and reduces sinus inflammation.
An analysis of 2004 research showed that due to its anti-inflammatory effect, bromelain brings relief in bone and joint pain ...
... but this action does not only involve bones and joints. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory effects on many parts of the body - sinuses, bones, joints, and even the development of tumors that results from inflammation.
Analysis of 2016 research has shown that bromelain can reduce the amount of dangerous ingredients associated with the development of cancerous tumors.
Some people reach for bromelain to relieve abdominal pain. In addition, according to research, bromelain can treat diarrhea caused by E. coli and Vibrio cholera.
Bromelain helps digest food, which reduces the risk of bloating, constipation and general digestive problems. This makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.
Papain may reduce the symptoms of pharyngitis such as swelling, sore throat and redness.
According to research, papain is equally and sometimes even more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs in reducing inflammation.
According to a 2013 study, papain helps with constipation and gas in people with bowel disease.
Research suggests that papain may be a natural remedy for wounds and skin abrasions.
According to a 2010 study, proteases, which also include papain, reduce muscle pain caused by exercise.
According to a 1995 study, a papain supplement was as effective in treating pain, skin lesions, and herpes zoster neuralgia as an antiviral drug containing acyclovir.
While other protease properties are currently the subject of research, digestion support is one of their basic tasks. It is worth reaching for them when you get flatulence, constipation or stomach aches.