Try Bromelain for Inflammation & Digestion

Also known as pineapple enzyme or pineapple extract, bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme mixture derived from the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant.

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› What is it?

Bromelain is promoted as a dietary supplement for reducing pain and swelling, especially of the nose and sinuses, gums and other body parts after surgery or injury. It is also promoted for osteoarthritis, digestive problems and muscle soreness. Topical bromelain is promoted for burn treatment.

› Health benefits


A number of small studies show the use of bromelain to reduce inflammation and nasal swelling, and to reduce soreness in aching muscles. But there are conflicting research results on whether bromelain, alone or in combination with other ingredients, is helpful for osteoarthritis, or for muscle soreness and injury after exercise. Results are also conflicting as to its efficacy in treating pain, swelling and jaw range of motion after wisdom tooth surgery.


Bromelain has been used as a digestive aid, but more research is needed to determine effectiveness. Burn treatment Several studies have looked at the use of topical bromelain to remove dead skin from burns. Whether bromelain treatment is better than standard treatment for scarring over the long term still needs to be examined.

› How much do I need?

Bromelain is measured in gelatin digesting units (GDUs) per gram. Doses range from 80 to 400 milligrams per serving, two to three times daily. The appropriate dose depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health and several other conditions. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

› In food

Even though bromelain is extracted from pineapple, eating pineapple or drinking its juice doesn’t supply a large enough dose to be effective.

› Dietary supplements

Bromelain can be purchased in pill or tablet form for oral ingestion. It’s also available as a cream for topical use.

Sources: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, Healthline

Please consult your health care provider before making changes to your vitamin/supplement regimen.

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