Topics: Protease, Inflammation, Immune system Pages: 3 (795 words) Published: March 9, 2011
According to Alternative Medicine Review (2010), bromelain is a general name for the family of sulfhydryl-containing proteolytic enzymes obtained from the pineapple plant (Ananas comosus). Aside from the primary component of bromelain which is the sulfhydryl proteolytic enzyme, it also contains of different elements that makes it of more beneficial. One of the components includes escharase which is a non-proteolytic substance in bromelain that is essential in the action of topical bromelain. Other components of bromelain are peroxidase, acid phosphatase, several protease inhibitor and organically-bound calcium. With the action of bromelain in the body, it is mainly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract as supported by a rat study conducted that with up to 40 percent of the high molecular weight substances detected in the blood after oral administration. Moreover, the highest concentration of bromelain was found in the blood one hour after administration but the proteolytic activity was rapidly deactivated. It has been shown that a substantial portion of orally administered bromelain is absorbed intact into the bloodstream, thus elevating the proteolytic and fibrinolytic activity of the blood for hours (Taussig, 1980). Mechanisms for bromelain's physiological effects appear to include interactions with inflammatory, immune, cell signaling, and coagulation molecules and pathways. Bromelain also appears to have effects on cell surface antigens. According to Taussig (1980), this pineapple protease inhibits the biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, through direct action. Accompanied with trauma or prolonged exposure to excessive stress inhibits endogenous proteases. This relatively increases the proportions of the prostaglandins responsible for the symptoms of inflammation. In addition, it has been established that bromelain’s specificity is similar to that of endogenous protease plasmin. Bromelain acts on fibrinogen to give products...
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