Do you enjoy pineapple, papaya, asparagus or buckwheat in your diet?
Did you know that these foods contain enzymes that, particularly when taken in supplemental form, are far superior to NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in their anti-inflammatory powers? This is a fact!
Many of my clients suffer from seasonal allergies, asthma, or the pain and immobility of arthritic joints. Many others are weekend warriors or peak athletes, depending on their bodies to adjust to the rigours and demands of physical activity, and inevitably, injury. They, like endless sporting groups in the world are thankful for proteolytic enzymes, which have pride of place in their remedy cupboard or first aid kit.
How does this work?
Life would be impossible without enzymes. The human body reportedly has 50,000 different enzymes that are continually orchestrating countless biochemical reactions within us. Enzymes support our digestive process btu they are also key players in the role of inflammation and other immune related systems.
Our body uses inflammation to protect itself against danger (for example when you’re bitten by an insect, twist an ankle or experience swollen lymph glands at the onset of a cold. This function of redness, heat, swelling, pain and restricted movement happens as the body sends more blood and defence fighters to the area in question, for repair.
Of the many enzymes that abound, those that are essential regulators and modulators of this inflammatory response are:
bromelain, papain, pancreatin, trypsin, chymotryspin and rutin.
They may sound innocent enough but these guys increase the “appetite” of our natural killer cells (NK) to degrade pathogenic complexes that inhibit our normal immune function. The evidence shows that trypsin, papain, and other proteolytic enzymes are able to degrade pathogenic immune complexes, even preventing their formation from the outset, optimising our lymphatic drainage.
Proteolytic enzymes will reduce the swelling of mucous membranes, decrease capillary permeability, and dissolve blood clot-forming fibrin deposits and microthrombi.
By reducing the viscosity (thickness) of the blood, enzymes improve circulation. This increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to and the transport of harmful waste products away from injured/damaged tissue thereby resulting in more rapid resolution of swelling, with the consequent relief of pain and discomfort.
Proteolytic Enzymes versus Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Here’s the research:
“Italian researchers have shown that the ability of proteolytic enzymes to reduce inflammation is equal to or superior to four powerful steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Phenylbutazone, Hydrocortisone, Indomethacin, and Acetylsalicylic Acid.
Although individual proteolytic enzymes are useful, the extraordinary combination of these enzymes yields a combination greater than its sum. Systemic multi-enzyme therapy has proved helpful in cases of arthritis and related diseases, offering a wide range of benefits relative to anti-inflammatory, vasculoprotective, and immuno-modulatory effects”
While I often dispense enzymes for clients who need support in digestion, when using enzymes in the way explored here I suggest they take them away from meals, or between meals, and we can discuss the doses and formulas best suited to their needs.
For more information on this exciting topic, particularly if you are struggling with inflammatory processes right now, or seasonally, I encourage you to PM/email me.