What is Bromelain?

Bromelain is a natural mixture of protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzymes extracted from the stem and core fruit of the pineapple. It can enhance absorption of protein and may also affect protein turnover in the body including proteins found in joint tissue. Orally, bromelain is used for acute postoperative and post-traumatic conditions of swelling, especially of the nasal and paranasal sinuses. Bromelain was first introduced as a therapeutic supplement in 1957. Research on bromelain apparently was first conducted in Hawaii but more recently has been conducted in countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Bromelain supplements are promoted as an alternative remedy for various health problems including joint inflammation and cancer.