In 2007, researchers published a groundbreaking article in the Planta Medica journal about a certain enzyme being found to be far more effective than the traditional chemo-agent used in the treatment of cancer. That enzyme was bromelain, and its main natural source is pineapple.
In tests treating cancer in animals, bromelain was found to be more effective than 5-fluoracil (5-FU) when compared to an untreated control group. 5-FU has been used in the treatment of cancer for over 40 years, but its main problem is that it kills or irreversibly damages healthy cells and tissue as well as cancerous ones. Bromelain was not only found to be more effective but was also many times safer than 5-FU.
Natural compounds, such as bromelain have selective cytotoxity and they are able to kill cancerous cells in a self-disassembly process called apoptosis while leaving healthy cells unharmed. No FDA approved cancer-treating drug on the market can yet emulate this process as chemo-toxic agents such as 5-FU do not behave like natural compounds.
What is Bromelain?
Bromelain is a protease enzyme that is found in the stem and fruit of pineapples. This natural extract has been found to speed healing, acts as an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and helps dissipate bruising. Applied topically, it aids the healing of cuts, burns, insect bites and other skin problems.
Bromelain has been used for decades to fight inflammation naturally. It is useful for those suffering from arthritis and can speed up healing associated with surgical procedures. It is very useful for treating sporting injuries including sprains and can help counter pain as it acts as an analgesic.
For digestion, bromelain is a powerful aid to breaking down proteins into peptides and amino acids. It can ease the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and helps the general digestive processes. Studies conducted in Japan showed that taking bromelain helped those who had a wheat allergy.
Another powerful use of bromelain is that it fights blood clotting and is nature’s answer to those taking an aspirin a day to lower the risk of heart attack. Bromelain has been shown to stop blood platelets from sticking together or building up along the walls of blood vessels – both known causes of heart attacks or strokes. More information about bromelain as an anti-coagulant can be found on the draxe.com report [here].
The discovery of bromelain’s efficacy in the treatment of cancer may yet make it an even more important natural medicine.
Why Pineapples will Never be Used to Treat Cancer in Mainstream Medicine
It is a sad fact of life that medicine research is ruled by profits. It does not benefit Big Pharma to plough money into developing a natural substance, such as bromelain in pineapples, as the resulting therapy would be non-patentable. Even if the treatment is found to be safe and affordable, these complementary treatments are of no interest to medical giants. Unless the government decides to back research and development into such research, bromelain will never become part of the conventional medical establishment. However, there is nothing to prevent individuals from using freely available open research and reports to discover possible natural cancer treatments such as bromelain so that they can make their own informed decisions about their treatment.
Another reason why eating lots of fresh juicy pineapples will not effectively provide a sufficient dose of treatment is that most of the bromelain is found in the core and stem of the pineapple. These are the parts of the fruit that are the most inedible, so these enzymes are used to make homeopathic supplements of bromelain instead.
Bromelain supplements can be found in many forms, including tablets, capsules, powders and topical creams. Taking between 80 and 320mg a day is considered a safe and effective dose. My favorite source of Bromelain is found in Wobenzym by Garden of Life. In the meantime, there is no reason not to enjoy a sweet juicy pineapple in your diet alongside a bromelain supplement. Pineapples are packed with other vitamins and nutrients to ensure a wholesome healthy lifestyle.