Proteolytic enzymes are a special type of enzyme which work to digest proteins, among other functions. Here is a quick look at the biology of proteolytic enzymes, and the ways you could benefit from supplementing with them.
What Are Proteolytic Enzymes?
Proteolytic enzymes are enzymes which help the body digest the proteins consumed in the foods you eat. Also known as proteases, these enzymes occur in nature, and they are also produced within the human body by the pancreas.
The digestive role of proteolytic enzymes is crucial. The most important task of proteolytic enzymes is to cleave the peptide bonds between amino acids. Amino acids are the substances which proteins are made of. In modern medicine, the consumption of proteolytic enzymes is studied and regarded as a therapeutic mechanism for human health.
There are different types of proteolytic enzymes. Trypsin and chymotrypsin are produced in the pancreas. Other proteases such as bromelain and papain occur naturally in fruits. These and other proteolytic enzymes all perform similar functions in the human digestive system. They can each provide other benefits, as well.
Reasons to Take Proteolytic Enzymes
Although the body produces certain proteolytic enzymes, there are a range of reasons to supplement with them. Here are some of the most recognized benefits you could gain from supplementing with proteolytic enzymes:
Improved digestion is one of the most common reasons for supplementing with proteolytic enzymes. They can best be of help to those experiencing digestive issues, such as those linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease. Studies show that supplementing with proteases can help ease digestive symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, heartburn, and loss of appetite.
Reducing inflammation from arthritis: Research has shown that proteolytic enzymes can help reduce bodily inflammation. For this reason, individuals with inflammatory conditions could benefit from taking them. Bromelain has been shown to reduce osteoarthritis pain. Combined with trypsin, these two enzymes can be especially useful. A complex supplement with these and other proteolytic enzymes is best for reducing inflammation, and relieving symptoms of inflammatory disorders.
Reducing pain: Evidence suggests that proteolytic enzymes could help reduce a few different types of aches and pains. This includes chronic neck and shoulder pain. It also includes delayed-onset muscle soreness, which typically occurs in the days following a hard workout. These benefits are likely due to the anti-inflammatory properties of proteolytic enzymes.
Healing & recovery in the weeks after a surgery could be supported by supplementing with proteolytic enzymes. Studies show that proteolytic enzymes can reduce pain and swelling after cosmetic surgeries, and after dental surgeries as well.
Sinusitis, characterized by sinus inflammation along with cough and the production of mucus, can be relieved by taking bromelain. It could also reduce the same symptoms if they occur due to hay fever.
If you experience any of the bodily conditions discussed above, then supplementing with proteolytic enzymes could be of help. It is recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider about a proteolytic enzyme supplement before doing so.