Proteolytic Enzymes and Inflammation Management


Proteolytic Enzymes and Inflammation Management | DR VitaminsProteolytic enzymes represent a certain category of enzymes that break down proteins. In fact, the word proteolytic means something along the lines of “protein eating”.

They work by breaking the chains of proteins — first into peptides and then into amino acids. Those amino acids can then be used by the body to perform such essential functions as growth, cell repair, and the repair of bodily tissues. 

That last phrase is more than just a function of amino acids, and the proteolytic enzymes that create them, their role in tissue repair could be the key to a whole new avenue for reducing inflammation and pain

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a sort of blanket term for when the body has a reaction to something that it deems harmful. It is a complex process involving the immune system that includes releasing antibodies and proteins to the target area in an attempt to fix the damage of toxins, an injury, or infections. 

Sometimes, as with any natural process, it can get disrupted, causing the immune system to attack the body’s own cells —resulting in auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. 

Inflammation can also be caused by environmental, lifestyle, and dietary factors. For example, smoking and refined carbohydrates have been linked to higher rates of chronic inflammation. 

Proteolytic Enzymes and Inflammation Management | DR VitaminsChronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of diseases including certain kinds of cancer as well as diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). (1) 

Acute inflammation is of shorter duration and in response to an injury or infection. The tissues repair themselves and one of the costs of the immune system doing its job is pain. While not necessarily harmful in the long term, acute inflammation and its pain just isn’t any fun.

If you’re looking for a non-pharmaceutical way to reduce inflammation, and possibly pain, you’re in luck! Here are some of the best proteolytic enzyme supplements for inflammation management:

Seaprose 

U.S. Enzymes Seaxym DR | Seaprose S and Catalase, 93 CapsThere is a lot to be encouraged by in the studies of seaprose, a commonly used proteolytic enzyme. In preclinical studies “seaprose-S significantly reduced the primary and secondary lesions” in arthritis models (2). With venous inflammatory disease, researchers saw a 68% reduction in “spontaneous pain” and concluded that Seaprose is “effective and well tolerated in patients”(3).

In yet another study, researchers found that seaprose had an anti-inflammatory effect on bronchitis patients, with a “beneficial and long lasting effect”(4). 

U.S Enzymes Seaxym DR combines the multi-pupose inflammatory agent of seaprose with an antioxidant enzyme, catalase. Catalase is vital for cell function, as it reduces oxidative damage. 

Bromelain

Derived from the pineapple family, bromelain is a powerful enzyme. In addition to its widespread use as a digestive aid, bromelain in particular seems to have anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties.

The authors of a meta-analysis, after combing through more than 117 papers written on the topic, and selecting those that specifically dealt with bromelain and pain, concluded that the results consistently indicated the effectiveness of bromelain in treating pain and edema (swelling) after wisdom teeth removal. (5)

Bromelain is completely effective when taken orally, is safe, and there are few, if any, undesirable side effects (6). It can increase the absorption of some pharmaceutical drugs, especially antibiotics, so as always, check with your doctor if you are regularly taking prescription medications. 

American Nutriceuticals Nutrizyme harnesses the power of bromelain in its formula, in addition to other enzymes that may help with pain and inflammation. In particular, trypsin and chymotrypsin may assist in healing after surgery. A 2017 study found better wound healing and a “better solution to inflammation” after orthopedic surgery with trypsin and chymotrypsin (7).

Serrapeptase

NutraMedix Serrapeptase, Proteolytic Enzyme Formula, 120 Vegetable Capsules, anti-inflammatorySerrapeptase, also known as serratiopeptidase is a widely used anti-inflammatory agent with decades of evidence-based studies to back up its use. (8) Like bromelain, it has been used to reduce pain and swelling after oral surgery and it seems to work, with patients reporting a “significant” reduction in pain and oral surgeons noting a decrease in swelling (9). 

Nutramedix Serrapeptase formula combines the enzyme action of serrapeptase with Jerusalem artichoke, a prebiotic that may play a role in proper digestion for combined digestive and immune system support.

Do Proteolytic Enzymes Supplements Work to Control Inflammation?

The proliferation of studies finding a correlation between enzyme therapy and a reduction in inflammation and pain is encouraging to those suffering with them on a chronic, or even one time basis.

The evidence and their use by the medical community, especially among oral surgeons, does seem to suggest that proteolytic enzymes play a part in reducing pain and inflammation. There is also considerable evidence that supplementing with proteolytic enzymes reduces the discomfort that is inherent with arthritis (10).

Remember that all enzyme supplements are not created equally. All of the mentioned supplements are high quality, without extraneous fillers, so you can have the potential benefits of proteolytic enzymes without any junk!

 


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References: 

  1. Role of Antioxidants and Natural Products in Inflammation
  2. [Antiinflammatory effects of seaprose-S on various inflammation models
  3. Clinical study of the efficacy of and tolerance to seaprose S in inflammatory venous disease
  4. Effects of seaprose on the rheology of bronchial mucus in patients with chronic bronchitis
  5. Is bromelain effective in controlling the inflammatory parameters of pain, edema, and trismus after lower third molar surgery? A systematic review and meta-analysis
  6. [Bromelain: biochemistry, pharmacology and medical use
  7. A Randomized, Clinical Trial to Evaluate Efficacy and Tolerability of Trypsin:Chymotrypsin
  8. The role of serratiopeptidase in the resolution of inflammation
  9. Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase on swelling, pain and trismus after surgical extraction of mandibular third molars
  10. Reducing pain by oral enzyme therapy in rheumatic diseases

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