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Bromelain, or proteolytic enzymes, are enzymes produced by the body that help digest the proteins in food.
The primary use of proteolytic enzymes is as a digestive aid for people who have trouble digesting proteins. However, proteolytic enzymes may also be absorbed internally to some extent and may reduce pain and inflammation (symptoms in with those with carpal tunnel syndrome.)
Effect of Bromelain on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Bromelain and other proteolytic enzymes are sometimes recommended for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, but there is no concrete evidence as yet that they are effective. It is thought that this supplement might help through its ability to reduce some inflammation.
Read more details about Bromelain.
Bromelain appears to be essentially nontoxic, and it seldom causes side effects other than occasional mild gastrointestinal distress or allergic reactions. 1 However, because bromelain "thins" the blood to some extent, it shouldn't be combined with drugs such as warfarin (Coumadin) without a doctor's supervision.
According to one small animal study, bromelain might interact with sedative medications, increasing their effect. 2 As noted above, it might also increase blood levels of various antibiotics , which could present risks in some cases. In addition, one trial suggests that doses of bromelain eight times higher than standard recommendations might increase heart rate (but not blood pressure). 3 Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
- If you are taking medications that thin the blood, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or heparin , sedative drugs such as benzodiazepines , or antibiotics : Bromelain might amplify their effect as it can increase the absorption of various drugs.
- Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs, Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 1998:94.
- MOSS JN, FRAZIER CV, MARTIN GJ. BROMELAINS. THE PHARMACOLOGY OF THE ENZYMES. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther. 145():166-89.
- Gutfreund AE, Taussig SJ, Morris AK. Effect of oral bromelain on blood pressure and heart rate of hypertensive patients. Hawaii Med J. 37(5):143-6.
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