Pineapple enzyme providing natural anti-inflammatory and digestive support


Pineapple has been used as a medicinal plant in several native cultures and bromelain has been known chemically since 1876. Bromelain is a digestive enzyme found in the stem and fruit of the pineapple plant (Ananas comosus). It is best known as a digestive aid and for its anti-inflammatory effects in traumatic injuries and after surgery. Bromelain has also been used successfully to treat a number of disorders, including heart disease, arthritis, upper respiratory tract infection, and Peyronie's disease (a condition that affects the genitourinary tract and can cause sexual dysfunction in men). Bromelain has also been used successfully to heal wounds caused by burns and to increase the actions of antibiotics. Bromelain is extensively employed in the Protocols section of the Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia.


Bromelain's anti-inflammatory activity appears to be due to a variety of physiological actions. Evidence indicates that bromelain's action is in part a result of inhibiting the generation of bradykinin at the site of inflammation via depletion of the plasma kallikrein system, as well as limiting the formation of fibrin by reduction of clotting cascade intermediates. Bromelain has also been shown to stimulate the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin, resulting in increased fibrinolysis.


TABLE 1: Key agents in Bromelain.


Perhaps the strongest evidence for benefits of bromelain enzyme supplements come from numerous European studies showing various blends to be effective in accelerating recovery from exercise and injury in sportsmen as well as tissue repair in patients following surgery. In one study of footballers suffering from ankle injuries, proteolytic enzyme supplements accelerated healing and got players back on the field about 50% faster than athletes assigned to receive a placebo tablet. A handful of other small trials in athletes have shown enzymes can help reduce inflammation, speed healing of bruises and other tissue injuries (including fractures) and reduce overall recovery time when compared to athletes taking a placebo. In patients recovering from facial and various reconstructive surgeries, treatment with bromelain enzymes significantly reduced swelling, bruising and stiffness compared to placebo groups.

Combined bromelain and antibiotic therapy has been shown to be more effective than antibiotics alone in a variety of conditions including pneumonia, bronchitis, cutaneous staphylococcus infection, thrombophlebitis, cellulitis, pyelonephritis, perirectal and rectal abscesses and sinusitis. In a clinical study of 124 patients hospitalized with chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, bronchiectasis, or pulmonary abscess, those receiving bromelain orally showed a decrease in the volume and purulence of the sputum.

Bromelain has been used successfully as a digestive enzyme following pancreatectomy, in cases pancreas insufficiency, and in other intestinal disorders. In a study involving 73 patients with acute thrombophlebitis, bromelain, in addition to analgesics, was shown to decrease all symptoms of inflammation; including, pain, edema, tenderness, skin temperature, and disability.


For use as a digestive aid, 500 mg with meals is the recommended dosage. For other uses, the following dosages are recommended. • Traumatic injuries—500 mg four times a day on an empty stomach. Cardiovascular disease—500 to 750 mg three times a day on an empty stomach. Joint inflammation—500 to 2,000 mg a day in two doses. Antitumor activity—1,000 mg a day.


This product was introduced by NAP in 2002 after first being specifically designed for use in The D’Adamo Clinic.


  1. Bromelain. Alternative Medicine Review. August 1998;3:302–305.
  2. Desser L, Rehberger A, Kokron E, Paukovits W. Cytokine synthesis in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells after oral administration of polyenzyme preparations. Oncology. 1993;50:403–407.
  3. Haas EM. Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. Berkeley, Calif: Celestial Arts; 1992:257–258.
  4. Harborne J, Baxter H, eds. Phytochemical Dictionary: A Handbook of Bioactive Compounds from Plants. London, England: Taylor & Francis; 1993:376.
  5. Masson M. Bromelain in blunt injuries of the locomotor system. A study of observed applications in general practice. Fortschr Med. 1995;113:303–306.
  6. Murray MT. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. Rocklin, Calif: Prima Publishing; 1996:429.
  7. Murray MT, Pizzorno JE. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. 2nd ed. Rocklin, Calif: Prima Publishing; 1998:208,297–298,568,807,829–830.
  8. Reynolds JEF, ed. Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia. 31st ed. London, England: Royal Pharmaceutical Society; 1996:1681.
  9. Taussig SJ, Batkin S. Bromelain, the enzyme complex of pineapple (Ananas comosus) and its clinical application. An update. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998;22:191–203.
  10. Uhlig G, Seifert J. The effect of proteolytic enzymes (traumanase) on posttraumatic edema. Fortschr Med. 1981;99:554–556.
  11. Walker JA, Cerny FJ, Cotter JR, Burton HW. Attentuation of contraction-induced skeletal muscle injury by bromelain. Med Sc Sports Exerc. 1992;24:20–25.
  12. Werbach MR. Nutritional Influences on Illness: A Sourcebook of Clinical Research. New Canaan, Conn: Keats Publishing; 1987:64–65,268–269,386.

Copyright © 1995-2023 North American Pharmacal Inc ™ , Datapunk Informatics™, LLC. and Dr. Peter D'Adamo™ All rights reserved.