8 Amazing Health Benefits of Bromelain

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word “pineapple”?

You might be thinking “pina colada”… or even “hula dancers.”

But for me, when I see a pineapple, the first thing that comes to mind is powerful joint pain relief.

As sweet and refreshing as the fruit is, pineapples are one of the world’s best sources of an all-natural joint relief “medicine” called bromelain.

What is bromelain?

Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found in the pineapple juice (made from the pineapple’s core) and pineapple stem. It has a long history as a natural healer.

Its scientific name, ananas comosus, comes from South America’s Tupi language and means “tufted, excellent fruit.” And make no mistake, they weren’t just talking about its sweet taste!

Western medicine learned of the healing power of pineapples soon after Christopher Columbus landed in the New World — and found pineapple plants — on the island of Guadalupe in 1493.

Even before then, healers in areas where pineapple plants grew recognized it for its numerous health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory effects, its usefulness in aiding indigestion and for overall well-being.

But it wasn’t until the late 1800s that a Venezuelan chemist isolated bromelain as an enzyme.

Now, here’s what I want you to understand…

Here’s why that’s so important…

What are proteolytic enzymes?

First, you should know that proteolytic enzymes are completely safe and natural.

They occur naturally in your body.

They’re protein-digesting enzymes — they break down and eliminate the excess proteins that accumulate at the scene of an injury, irritation or burn.

More to the point, bromelain mops up a specific protein — called Circulating Immune Complex (CIC) — that’s sent by the human immune system to form a protective wall around injured areas.

But after the age of 27, your body stops producing enough proteolytic enzymes to do the heavy lifting.

This leaves you more vulnerable to the inflammation that makes your aches and pains — like crippling joint pain — feel worse as you age.

Inflammation also makes you more vulnerable to strokes, Alzheimer’s and heart attacks as well as just about every other chronic disease known to man.

The research on bromelain is overwhelming: More than 1,600 scientific and clinical studies show it’s a powerful treatment for everything from allergies and asthma to ACL tears and even sprained ankles! (That’s why it’s so popular among practitioners of alternative medicine. )

And not only are proteolytic enzymes effective, they also don’t come with the dangerous side effects of Big Pharma’s pain pills.

I could write about ALL the different things bromelain treats, but it would take me forever! So I’ve narrowed it down to just these eight…

8 Amazing Health Benefits of Bromelain

1. Bromelain for joint pain

I’ve been researching natural ways to relieve joint pain for more than a decade. Here’s what I’ve found…

Modern medicine’s solutions for joint pain relief, like over-the-counter pain pills including acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), all have serious adverse effects.

Did you know acetaminophen is the leading cause of acute liver failure?[1]

And NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen dramatically increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.[2]

Prescription pain meds can be downright deadly, too. Just look at the tragedy of this country’s opioid epidemic.

Bromelain, on the other hand, is safe and effective for both chronic joint pain and acute joint pain.

In a study published in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, researchers gave 42 patients with osteoarthritis a supplement containing bromelain.

The patients reported a 60 percent decrease in pain for acute disorders. And those with chronic pain saw their pain levels cut in half![3]

And yet another study looked at 77 healthy adults with mild acute knee pain. Half received 200 mg of bromelain per day while the other group received 400 mg.

Researchers found that symptoms decreased after just one month on bromelain in both groups. but the group taking the higher dose reported a greater decrease in stiffness and an increase in physical function.[4]

2. Bromelain for wound healing

This is what bromelain is best known for. Lots of athletes use bromelain to speed up healing when they get hurt on the court or field. It’s great for things like sprains, strains and other minor trauma.

In one study, an orthopedist gave bromelain to 59 patients with minor musculoskeletal injuries along with conventional treatments. Bromelain significantly reduced swelling, pain and tenderness.[5]

3. Bromelain for sinusitis

Who would have thought a pineapple could hold the key to relieving stuffy noses?

Studies have shown that bromelain reduces inflammation in the nasal cavity.[6]

And it does it FASTER than standard therapies. It’s also been used to treat allergies and hay fever.

4. Bromelain is good for digestion

Bromelain is an enzyme that breaks down — or digests — proteins.

Because of this, it’s a great digestive aid.

It’s also widely used to treat the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Bromelain not only helps you digest your food more easily, it also helps you get more of the nutrients from your food.

5. Bromelain is anticancer

There’s really exciting research that shows bromelain is a potent weapon in the war on cancer.

One study showed that it was BETTER at killing cancer cells than the chemo drug 5-fluorouracil[7] — a drug that’s been used by cancer doctors for more than 40 years!

What’s even better is that, unlike toxic chemo drugs, bromelain is what they call “selectively cytotoxic.”

That means it kills the cancer cells but it DOESN’T destroy healthy cells in the process.

6. Bromelain is anti-viral

Bromelain has some remarkable antiviral capabilities.

In vitro studies show that bromelain can tear apart the outer protective envelope of certain viruses like HIV, HPV and Hepatitis C.[8]

With the outer layer damaged, “the virus had either lost its capability to reproduce or was destroyed altogether.”

Another study revealed how fresh pineapple juice, rich with bromelain enzymes, could help HIV patients.

Patients were given fresh pineapple juice twice a day. At the end of the study, the patients’ had less of the virus in their system.[9]

Bromelain can also destroy the outer layer of H1N1 — the virus that caused the 1918 Spanish Flu and January 2009 swine flu pandemics. Bromelain “efficiently deleted” the outer layer of the virus that’s responsible for infections. [10].

7. Bromelain is a potent antioxidant

Antioxidants protect your cells against free radicals that can cause diseases. Bromelain’s antioxidant powers have an effect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease. Studies done in vitro and in vivo, not on humans, show it also may have an effect against several types of cancers, including breast, gastrointestinal and skin cancers[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16]

This vital enzyme’s antioxidant powers may even help the body fight off respiratory infections. Research suggests bromelain’s antioxidant activity may keep the body’s immune system in balance to ward off the flu, and lung diseases like emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.[17]

8. Bromelain is antimicrobial

Adding bacteria busting to bromelain’s long list of health benefits. Research shows bromelain has an anti-bacterial effect on a type of bacteria that can contaminate juice products like orange juice.[18]

In vitro studies show that bromelain paired with an antibiotic has a powerful effect on certain infections, including urinary tract infections, staphylococcus, sepsis, trichuris, and Heligmosomoides polygyrus. [19]

How to get more bromelain

Eating more pineapple is a good way to increase your body’s supply of bromelain. But here’s the problem…

You’d have to eat a LOT of it raw to make an impact on your health and well-being. So much that you’d probably get sick of it…

And keep in mind… canned pineapple won’t do the trick.

Food processing destroys the natural health benefits of these good-for-you proteolytic enzymes.

One of the best and safest ways to get the right amount of bromelain for your health is among the most convenient, too: as a dietary supplement.

You can find bromelain supplements online or in your local health food store.

But in order to get the most out of bromelain, look for dietary supplements that contain other herbs and natural ingredients known for their anti-inflammatory effects, or one that contains other digestive enzymes.

Look for words like “protease” on the label.

And by the way, pineapple isn’t the only source of proteolytic enzymes.

You can also find them in papaya (papain), figs (ficin), and kiwi fruit (actinidin.) As mentioned, a good dietary supplement will usually combine various forms of the enzymes.

Next Up… How Proteolytic Enzymes Fight Pain and Improve Health


[1] Osterweil N. “Acetaminophen is leading cause of acute liver failure.” Medpage Today. 2005 Nov 30.

[2] Curfman G. “FDA strengthens warning that NSAIDs increase heart attack and stroke risk.” Harvard Health Publishing. 2015 Jul 13.

[3] Conrozier T, et al. “A complex of three natural anti-inflammatory agents provides relief of osteoarthritis pain.” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2014 Winter; 20 Suppl 1:21-7.

[4] Klein G, Kullich W, Schnitker J, Schwann H. “Efficacy and tolerance of an oral enzyme combination in painful osteoarthritis of the hip. A double-blind, randomised study comparing oral enzymes with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.” Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. 2006 Jan-Feb;24(1):25-30.

[5] Walker AF, Bundy R., Hicks SM, Middleton RW. “Bromelain reduces mild acute knee pain and improves well-being in a dose-dependent fashion in an open study of otherwise healthy adults.” Phtyomedicine. 2002: Volume 9, Issue 8, 561-686.

[6] Masson M. “Bromelain in blunt injuries of the locomotor system. A study of observed applications in general practice.” Fortschritte der Medizin. 1995 Jul 10;113(19):303-6.

[7] Pavan, Rajendra et al. “Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: a review” Biotechnology research international vol. 2012 (2012): 976203.

[8] Andjaitan, Marulip Marulip, et al. “Bromelain Enzyme from Pineapple Fruit as an Antiviral Agent Against HIV, Hepatitis C and Human Papiloma Virus.” Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences. vol. 13 issue 3 (2018) 3125-3130

[9] Andjaitan, Marulip Marulip, et al. “Bromelain Enzyme from Pineapple Fruit as an Antiviral Agent Against HIV, Hepatitis C and Human Papiloma Virus.” Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences. vol. 13 issue 3 (2018) 3125-3130

[10]Smirnova, Iu A, et al. “Flu virion as a substrate for proteolytic enzymes.” Bioorg Khim. 2008 May-Jun;34(3):409-15. PMID: 18672693.

[10]Habashi S, Abbasi. “Modulation of Lipopolysaccharide Stimulated Nuclear Factor kappa B Mediated iNOS/NO Production by Bromelain in Rat Primary Microglial Cells.” Iran Biomed J. 2016;20(1):33-40. Epub 2015 Oct 13.

[11] Amini A, et al. “Bromelain and N-acetylcysteine inhibit proliferation and survival of gastrointestinal cancer cells in vitro: significance of combination therapy.” J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Nov 12;33:92. doi: 10.1186/s13046-014-0092-7.

[12] Bhui K, et al. “Pineapple bromelain induces autophagy, facilitating apoptotic response in mammary carcinoma cells.” Biofactors. 2010 Nov-Dec;36(6):474-82. doi: 10.1002/biof.121. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

[13] Pillai K, et al. “Anticancer property of bromelain with therapeutic potential in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.” Cancer Invest. 2013 May;31(4):241-50. doi: 10.3109/07357907.2013.784777. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

[14] Pillai K, et al. “Anticancer property of bromelain with therapeutic potential in malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.” Cancer Invest. 2013 May;31(4):241-50. doi: 10.3109/07357907.2013.784777. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

[16] São Paulo Barretto Miranda ÍK, et al. “The biochemical characterization, stabilization studies and the antiproliferative effect of bromelain against B16F10 murine melanoma cells.” Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Jun;68(4):442-454. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1254599. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

[18] dos Anjos MM, et al. “Antibacterial activity of papain and bromelain on Alicyclobacillus spp.” Int J Food Microbiol. 2016 Jan 4;216:121-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2015.10.007. Epub 2015 Oct 8.

[19] Rathnavelu, Vidhya, et al. “Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications (Review).” Biomedical Reports 5: 283-288, 2016.

Filed Under: Proteolytic Systemic Enzymes
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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13 thoughts on “8 Amazing Health Benefits of Bromelain”

  1. Shirley says:

    I’ve used heal&soothe for the past 10 days . I took 6 at night & 3 in the morning on an empty stomach. My pain level is the same in my hip. But the toenail fungus has really subsided & almost gone altogether!!! I’ve been using organic essential oils also. I’ve had this toenail fungus for 20 years! I’ve tried everything! Even took out a loan to get lazer treatments to no avail. I refuse to take dangerous drugs over the counter or prescription! I have in the past, but NEVER EVER AGAIN!!! I truly believe in all natural remedies from plants!!! Thank you for your great product. I want to continue using heal& soothe!!!

    1. Admin says:

      Hi Shirley,

      Thank you so much for letting us know how you are progressing with the Heal-n-Soothe. It is great to hear that you are making good progress after only 10 days. We do appreciate you sharing your experience with us.

      Thank you

      Best Wishes
      Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  2. Christine McFerran says:

    Hi, I have ordered Health answer Soothe,7th Nov. I hope to God it works, I was told by a back specialist and surgeon that he could do nothing for for, I have arthritis protuberancias of two discs, sciatica, lumbago, problems in the coccyx area and persistent knee pain,
    Back trouble started over 30 years ago. I am sick of taking Tramadol, I can not take anti flammitory drugs as I have high blood pressure.
    I have given up.

  3. Steve says:

    Christine, There is always hope, Im going to suggest that you get your self a free copy of our book, The 7 Day Back Pain Cure, it just may change your life…




  4. Victor says:

    Canned pineapples don’t work because they’re processed. But dietary supplements are not? Seems to me that supplements are processed even more than canned pineapples. Even so I agree that fresh or frozen is better then anything in cans!

    1. Steve says:

      Victor, here is a good article on Bromelain its properties and how it is extracted: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-89132016000100315

      Please keep in mind, part of the difference is in the timing, the process used and the area or part of the pineapple that is used…



  5. cornelius cade says:

    I use to eat a lot of fresh pineapple and did not know its benefits as you described..I,ll start eating it again .., to notice any changes in my inflammation attacks .., in my hands , knees , and feet….

    1. Desley Potts says:

      Thank you for great information in your emails about healthy alternatives to either drugs or surgery.Desley (Australian Physiotherspist)

  6. orleen grear says:

    Hi, I have a Daughter who is 50 yrs. of age. In Feb. /2019 a Dr. did surgery on her wrist. It was a cyst that was filled with fluid, and it is still causing her pain and very uncomfortable. The Dr. is telling her that it is now chronic tendonitis. Would Proteolytic Enzymes heal this wound? I for got the name of the cist, I would have to look up the info on this. Just wondering if Proteolytic Enzymes would help heal this?

  7. Angret M Georgi says:

    A specialist at the Cleveland Clinic told me that Bromelain is helpful, when it comes to joint pain.

  8. Dooreen mills says:

    Heal n soothe tabs these are great for pain arthritis austio isn’t very ice but I also have multiple sclerosis but this is not annoying me anymore Ive had an MRI Scan so it is still there but not inflamed so it gives austio arthritis in my muscles joints and bones I want to get back to walking without a trolley or stick

    1. Admin says:

      Dooreen, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comment. We are very happy to hear you are gaining relief with Heal-n-Soothe.

      Do please contact us if you feel you need any further advice at any time

      Thank you for being a valued customer. We wish you all the best.
      (The Healthy Back Institute)

  9. Patricia Randle says:

    Have had a few surgeries on back and now knees need doing. Can’t walk without major pain. Means no walking. Dogs trips to shops. On and on. Trying to contact you as if this will help me I’m in.
    Don’t know what’s happened but if my order is not in now. Please help me. Become past urgent. I’m an outside person not inside and now just inside with this major pain. Please help. Regards. Patricia Randle

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