What is bromelain exactly and how does it help with my gout?
Pineapple, native to South America can grow up to 12 inches long and weigh up to 10 pounds. It is a fruit that is enjoyed for its’ juiciness but also has a reputation as an herbal medicine and that is what we gout sufferers are interested in here. The pineapple has a sturdy stem and it contains bromelain which is an enzyme or better yet a mix of a number of different protein digesting enzymes. Pineapple is the only fruit that contains natural bromelain and you must always eat it fresh since cooking it causes it to reduce the amount of bromelain. Pineapple is also loaded with vitamin C, a strong antioxidant.
Discovered in 1957 by Ralph Heinicke, who worked as a chemist for the Dole Pineapple Company, first noticed high levels of bromelain in pineapple stems, Dole then encouraged Heinicke to find medicinal uses for the enzyme. What he found was that bromelain is a natural blood thinner and anti-inflammatory; it promotes blood circulation in your body by blocking the production of compounds that can cause swelling and pain. Thus, when inflammation is reduced, blood can move more easily to a traumatized area by relieving the pain and accelerating the healing. Bromelain decreases bruising, swelling, tenderness, redness, sprains that were caused by from muscle aches and pains or from tissue injuries like healing after a surgery.
What is the evidence that pineapple and bromelain is a natural pain killer for so many ailments including gout?
As for treating gout, Heinicke and other studies have found that bromelain is useful in relieving strain-induced gout, when uric acid crystals accumulate in a joint that becomes inflamed by a strain or even normal use. Bromelain causes the uric acid crystals to decompose thus relieving you from the pain associated with gout. Unlike pineapple stems, pineapple fruit does not contain enough bromelain enzyme to provide any provable medicinal effects. If taken regularly, bromelain may also prevent repeated gout attacks. Although there aren’t many studies examining the effects of bromelain on gout patients, a 2001 study published in “Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology” notes that bromelain may decrease production of transforming growth factor-beta, the over- production of which is associated with arthritic-like conditions. In another 2002 study published in “Phytomedicine” also stated that bromelain reduces the physical symptoms of arthritic conditions.
A 1995 study conducted in Germany followed 59 people with torn ligaments and strains; and were given bromelain for three weeks. What the study concluded was the bromelain consumption caused a substantial reduction in swelling, pain and tenderness both during rest and during movement. You could basically compare the results to those people taking NSAIDs. Bromelain does this by helping excess fluid drain from the area of the muscle injury having a strong anti-inflammatory effect on the muscles. It can also alleviate back pain and joint pain linked to arthritis.
Bromelain can even relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, ease chronic bronchitis, sinusitis and other respiratory allergies. It can lessen the symptoms of eczema, reduce the swelling of cuts and scrapes even insect bites and stings! It can aid digestion and reduce your heartburn even urinary tract infections! Furthermore, it is also being studied as a possible cancer treatment for tumors. There you have it! Bromelain is a natural pain killer for so many ailments.
How do I take bromelain?
During a gout attack, take 500mg of bromelain capsules every three hours until the attack subsides. For gout attack prevention, take 500mg twice a day between meals, on an empty stomach and add 500mg of quercentin twice daily. Quercentin is a flavonoid that reduces high uric acid levels that causes the inflammation and pain during a gout attack. Bromelain assists in increasing your body’s absorption and utilization of quercetin, working very well together. You can take bromelain in the form of a tablet, powder or capsule. This is only a guideline and your doctor will be able to advise you on how much to take. Did you know that bromelain is also one of the key ingredients inside my proprietary blend which sells as a dietary supplement on Amazon called NutriGout?
If you are allergic to pineapple/bromelain do not take it. Some people have reported other side effects that include nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Please don’t be a glutton and eat tons of pineapple as a means of obtaining bromelain because it may cause your mouth and cheeks to swell, although bromelain is considered safe even at high doses. There you have it, bromelain is an excellent natural remedy in your battle with gout, I love pineapple and usually buy one every week.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris
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