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Bromelain: Benefits and Side Effects

Bromelain is a collection of enzymes found in the pineapple plant’s fruit and stem. The pineapple is original to the Americas, but it is now cultivated all over the globe in tropical and subtropical climates. Historically, Central and South American people used pineapple to treat a range of illnesses, including digestive problems.

It is presently classified as a dietary supplement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is generally regarded as safe (GRAS).

Bromelain can be taken on its own or in combination with other medicines. Bromelain is used at home to clear dead skin from wounds and orally to reduce inflammation and swelling, especially in the nasal passageways.

Bromelain is also used as a digestive aid, to treat rheumatism, and to relieve muscular pain.


Bromelain is used as an alternative remedy for a variety of health problems. However, there is little high-quality empirical study to back up many of its applications.

Below, we explore the potential advantages of bromelain supplements, as well as the research:

Relieving sinusitis

Bromelain may be useful as a supportive treatment for sinusitis and other diseases that impact breathing and the nasal passages.

According to a 2016 analysis of research, bromelain may shorten the duration of sinusitis symptoms in adolescents, enhance breathing, and decrease nasal inflammation.

A comprehensive analysis published in 2006, stated that when used in conjunction with normal medicines, bromelain can help alleviate sinus inflammation. Because it examined ten randomized control trials, this research offers high-quality data.

Treatment for osteoarthritis

Bromelain pills are frequently used to alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

A clinical study evaluation published in 2004, states that bromelain is an effective therapy for osteoarthritis, probably due to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to the experts, more study into the efficacy and appropriate dosages is required.

However, this is an earlier study, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that the research to date on whether bromelain, alone or in combination with other medicines, is successful in healing osteoarthritis.

Soothing Effect 

Bromelain may reduce inflammation elsewhere in the body in addition to decreasing nasal irritation in sinusitis.

A 2016 review of studies found that bromelain can decrease certain compounds linked with cancer inflammation and tumor development in cell and animal models.

Bromelain may also encourage a robust immune system to produce anti-inflammatory immune system compounds.

According to the study, bromelain can also decrease transforming growth factor beta, a compound linked to inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and osteomyelofibrosis.

However, because many of these studies were performed on mice or in a cell-based laboratory environment, researchers do not presently know the effects of bromelain in people.

Aids Digestion 

Bromelain is used by some individuals to treat stomach distress and the signs of digestive illnesses. Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, some individuals use it as an adjunct treatment to manage inflammatory bowel disease.

According to the NIH, there is insufficient proof to support the use of bromelain to assist digestion.

Weight Loss

Some supplement companies promote bromelain as a weight reduction supplement. They claim that the enzymes in bromelain can speed up the body’s digestion of lipids.

However, there is little evidence that bromelain can help people reduce weight.

Side-effects & Risks 

Bromelain, like all vitamins, should be discussed with your doctor before use. Some individuals may experience mild adverse effects when taking bromelain at high dosages. These are some examples:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding

If you take a blood anticoagulant, such as Warfarin or Pradaxa, avoid using bromelain. Bromelain has an antiplatelet impact on the blood, which increases the risk of heavy bleeding. As a result, it’s critical to prevent using bromelain before and after operation.

People who are allergic to pineapple or other compounds that might trigger allergic reactions should not use bromelain (cross-reactivity). 

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