Is your doctor pushing you to get a colonoscopy, but your instincts are saying don’t do it? If so, it’s time to look towards this spiky fruit to improve colon health. Research is showing that bromelain, a group of multifaceted enzymes found in the flesh and juice of pineapple, has profound effects throughout the gastrointestinal tract.
Bromelain was first identified in the late 1800s and it was then approved to treat swelling and inflammation. It works in part by quieting the molecules that activate the inflammatory process, and it is available as a supplement.
Bromelain Health Benefit #1
In a study published in November, 2014, the efficacy of bromelain and N-acetylcysteine as single agents and in combination were assessed for their ability to treat human gastrointestinal carcinoma cell lines with different phenotypes and characteristics, and mechanisms of action were explored. Researchers found that the positive effects appeared to result from cell cycle arrest, apoptosis (scheduled death of cells), and degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components.
Bromelain Health Benefit #2
Another recent study of bromelain investigated its ability to stop the spread of cancerous cells and make them die as scheduled. Researchers found that bromelain reduced cell proliferation and promoted the timely death of cancerous cells, thereby rendering them harmless. In addition to its powerful antioxidant action, bromelain also downregulated the expression of genes known to promote cancer. In vivo, bromelain reduced the development of induced polyps and tumors.
Bromelain Health Benefit #3
Further, a study investigated the effects of bromelain in four human gastrointestinal cell lines. The researchers found that bromelain had cytotoxic effects in a panel of human gastric and colon carcinoma cells, but left healthy cells untouched. Bromelain works through several mechanisms, including promoting the death of cancerous cells directly, and impairing cancer cell survival by blocking pathways and reducing oncoproteins, which are proteins that can cause the transformation of a healthy cell into a cancerous cell.
Bromelain Health Benefit #4
A study from 2010 found long term dietary supplementation with fresh or unpasteurized frozen pineapple juice decreases inflammation-associated neoplasia in the colon. Neoplasia is the formation or presence of new abnormal tissue growth.
Other research has documented the effectiveness of bromelain to shrink many kinds of tumors through its ability to dissolve fibrin, the protein-based defense material that coats many kinds of tumors. Bromelain was shown to be effective in stopping metastasis and protecting DNA formation.
Bromelain Vs. Big Pharma
Unlike the action of pharmaceutical drugs which target specific spots in the body, natural medicines like bromelain act broadly. When you decide to make pineapple a staple in your diet or add a bromelain supplement to your daily routine, you will get its protection against many types of cancer.
And there’s more to pineapple than cancer. One cup of pineapple chunks provides 131% of the RDA for vitamin C. It’s also a good source of many B vitamins, manganese, magnesium (the mineral most people are deficient in), heart-healthy potassium and beta-carotene. These nutrients aid in blood pressure control and prevention of macular degeneration and asthma.
It’s easy and inexpensive to include pineapple on a regular basis. Pineapple is one of the foods that doesn’t have a high pesticide load, either, according to the Environmental Working Group. It can be bought in a conventional grocery store already cored and ready to eat.
Minimal processing of fruit (peeling, cutting, packaging, chilling) does not significantly affect its nutritional content for up to nine days. This means you can easily pick up a ready-to-eat pineapple each week when you shop, and eat a bit of it each day.
There have been no reports whatsoever of anyone being harmed or killed by pineapple or bromelain.