Bromelain: The Benefits, Dosage, And Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Julie Freeman, RDN, LDN, RYT Julie Freeman Julie FreemanRDN, LDN, RYT facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Last Updated on

Love pineapples? We bet you do! Come on, who doesn’t love to sink their teeth into the thick juicy golden flesh of the fruit? But if you love pineapples, you are doing yourself one amazingly good favor – and that favor is spelled B-R-O-M-E-L-A-I-N. The benefits of this pineapple enzyme are mind-blowing. So, why don’t you just sit back and start reading?

Table Of Contents

What Is Bromelain? How Is It Good For You?

As we mentioned earlier, bromelain is an enzyme. And pineapples are the richest sources of bromelain in the world. Most of the bromelain that we get as supplements is usually extracted from the pineapple stem or core rather than its flesh.

Traditionally, bromelain has been used to treat various ailments – more often as an anti-swelling and anti-inflammatory agent. Extensive scientific literature tells us that bromelain can also be used to treat allergies, arthritis, cardiovascular issues, cancer, digestive issues, infections, and even skin disorders.

Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. More is to come.

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What Are The Benefits Of Bromelain?

1. Helps Fight Cancer

Studies have shown how bromelain can induce cancer cell death and prevent the growth of malignant tumors (1). The enzyme also offers protection from cancers of the breast and lung. The inhibitory effects of bromelain on cancer can also be attributed to its anti-inflammatory properties (2).

Interestingly, bromelain is known to kill the cancer cells without harming the healthy ones.

2. Treats Digestive Issues

Bromelain helps in the digestion of proteins, which helps your body absorb nutrients efficiently. This is one reason it can reduce colonic inflammation and prevent any kind of colon issues. It even prevents damage to the gut lining (3). It also helps heal problems related to the gastrointestinal tract – including heartburn, constipation, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, and colon cancer (4).

3. Promotes Heart Health

Studies suggest how bromelain can aid the treatment of cardiovascular issues, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and peripheral artery disease. Bromelain achieves this by preventing the blood platelets from clumping together. This reduces clot formation and prevents heart attacks (5).

Did You Know?

A single pineapple takes almost 3 years (yes you read that right) to reach maturation!

4. May Aid Weight Loss

Though we need more research on this, certain characteristics of bromelain are encouraging. It fights inflammation, and more importantly, aids the digestive process – and this sure can contribute to healthy weight loss.

Some research also states that bromelain can prevent adipogenesis – a process of cell differentiation that can lead to the formation of fat cells. This enzyme can also reduce the accumulation of triglycerides, which is another way it can help in weight loss.

5. Helps Treat Sinus Infections And Allergies

As surgery is often ineffective in treating sinusitis completely, bromelain comes as a savior to the patients. Studies showed how intake of bromelain helped improve sinus symptoms (6). The enzyme also improved the overall quality of life in the patients.

Research also shows how bromelain can help in the treatment of other allergies like asthma. One American study has shown how this enzyme helps clear air passageways in patients, thereby improving their asthmatic symptoms (7).

6. Fights Inflammation

Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an ideal supplement to arthritis medications. Studies on patients with degenerative spine and joint conditions found that bromelain intake improved their symptoms. In fact, researchers even believe that this wonder enzyme can serve as a safe alternative treatment for osteoarthritis (8).

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, bromelain can also treat other similar conditions like gout.

Did You Know?

Once harvested, pineapples don’t ripen anymore. Which means every single pineapple you find in the grocery store is as ripe as it would ever be!

7. Accelerates Wound Healing

Accelerates Wound Healing
Image: Shutterstock

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties (yet again!), bromelain can contribute to faster wound healing. It reduces the swelling of the muscles and tissues and helps wounds heal faster (9).

In one study, patients who had their molars extracted found that intake of bromelain encouraged faster recovery and wound healing (10).

8. Treats Urinary Tract Infection

Some research shows how bromelain often works better than lone antibiotics in treating urinary tract infections and the like (11). This can be attributed to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain.

9. Promotes Anti-Aging Benefits

The anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain play a role in improving skin health. In fact, bromelain is incorporated in several topical formulations, thanks to the enzymatic activity that it exhibits (12).

So, that’s the list of benefits we were talking about. Quite impressive, isn’t it? But how much of bromelain can you take in a day?

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What Is The Dose Of Bromelain To Take?

The most commonly recommended dosage can range from 200 to 2,000 milligrams a day. But usually, it is 500 to 800 milligrams per day. In case you are using bromelain for any specific problem, here are the dosages you can follow:

  • For aiding cancer prevention, 2,000 milligrams daily, in addition to other proteolytic enzymes (enzymes that digest protein).
  • For enhancing digestion, 500 milligrams a day, three times daily with meals.
  • For treating arthritis, 400 milligrams, once or twice daily.
  • For treating allergies, 1,000 milligrams of bromelain (you can include quercetin as well).
  • For recovery from surgery, 1,000 milligrams, thrice daily, in between meals.

Bromelain sure does seem like a wonder enzyme, doesn’t it? But hold on – it does have certain drawbacks.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Bromelain?

  • Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Since there is less research in this aspect, we recommend you avoid bromelain during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • May Cause Allergies

Though bromelain is used to treat allergies, it can also cause allergies in susceptible individuals – including anyone allergic to pineapples, wheat, latex, celery, carrots, fennel, papain, and pollen.

  • Issues During Surgery

The enzyme might increase bleeding risk during and post surgery. Hence, avoid use at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

  • Drug Interactions

Drugs like antibiotics, amoxicillin, and anticoagulants can interact with bromelain. So, avoid use if you are on any of these medications.

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Now you have a better reason to love pineapples, don’t you? So, why not start snacking on pineapples? Start with fresh pineapple juice maybe? Or include the fruit in your salad.

Let us know how this post has helped you. Simply leave a comment in the box below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does bromelain take to work?

This is undetermined. But, usually, bromelain is taken as short-term medication for pain and inflammation.

Is it safe to take bromelain daily?

Very much. Just stick to the dosages.

How to buy bromelain?

Get pineapples! But in case you think you need to take bromelain supplements, you can get them from your nearest health store or online from a reputable distributor who uses third party testing.


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7. “Bromelain limits airway inflammation…”. US National Library of Medicine.
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9. “Supplement speeds wound healing”. WebMD.
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11. “Conservative nonhormonal options for…”. US National Library of Medicine.
12. “Evaluation of the enzymatic activity…”. US National Library of Medicine.

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Julie Freeman
Julie FreemanMA, RDN, LDN, RYT
Julie Freeman is a licensed integrative nutritionist with graduate education in psychology, counseling and education. Her post-graduate certifications include functional medicine, yoga, and mind-body medicine. She works closely with other health professionals to support personal transformation.

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