4 Proteolytic Enzymes for Inflammation Control

4 Proteolytic Enzymes for Inflammation Control

When you think of enzymes you might think of special compounds that can aid in digestion, however there are certain enzymes that go above and beyond gastrointestinal aspirations.

These are proteolytic enzymes, also known as protease, which not only help to break down proteins in your food but, when taken on an empty stomach, may have the potential to enter your bloodstream and reduce internal cellular swelling.

There are many proteolytic enzymes available, however these 4 have been the most studied and compared. Talk to your physician and naturopathic doctor to determine if these 4 proteolytic enzymes for inflammation control may work for you.

A Microscopic Military Unit

There is a long list of systemic enzymes but proteolytic enzymes offer a surgical strike equal to the likes of a microscopic military unit.

Once in your system, they search for specific proteins. These proteins may be in the form of scar tissue, fibrin surfaces, the hard layering surrounding some cancer cells and other related, systemic malfunctions. Once these adverse proteins are located, proteolytic enzymes act like starving scavengers that literally ‘eat’ away these proteins and reduce their potential threat.

Baseline Health gives a good description of this process,

“Proteolytic enzymes have the ability to digest and destroy the protein based defense shield of each and every pathogen, allergen, and rogue cell, thereby leading to their ultimate elimination.”


CIC’s (Circulating Immune Complexes) are partially digested molecules from foods such as corn, wheat and soy let loose into the bloodstream. Usually harmless, but sometimes the body can treat these as invaders. In turn, an auto-immune response may result causing such diseases as lupus, celiac, MS and many others.

Proteolytic enzymes have recently been linked to breaking down CIC’s, allowing them to safely be eliminated from the body.

The 4 Proteolytic Enzymes for Inflammation Control

These 4 proteolytic enzymes are considered major players in attacking a full range of human conditions.


This is an animal based enzyme derived from the pancreas of pigs and cows. Chymotrypsin has been used to battle the devastating effects of pancreatic cancer. Although not a cure, this enzyme presented in studies to relieve and rebuild healthier longevity than some medications.

A pilot study published in Nutrition and Cancer (1999) states that,

“…an aggressive nutritional therapy with large doses of pancreatic enzymes led to significantly increased survival over what would normally be expected for patients with inoperable pancreatic adenocarcinoma.”

If you suffer from pancreatic cancer you must consult your doctor before taking chymotrypsin as a supplement to avoid any medical contraindications.


This is a fruit based enzyme derived from the middle of the pineapple. It has been studied for its unique effect of severing peptide bonds which are protein derived processes that have the potential to cause inflammation.

According to Biotechnology Research International (Volume 2012) a study by Indian researchers concluded that,

“It is proved that bromelain is well absorbed in the body after oral administration and it has no major side effects, even after prolonged use. All the evidences reviewed in this paper suggest that bromelain can be used as an effective health supplement to prevent cancer, diabetes, and various cardiovascular diseases in the long run.”

Do no use bromelain if you are taking blood thinners. Check with your doctor.


Papain is an enzyme derived from the tropical fruit, papaya. It works similar to bromelain.

Natural News reports,

“Found in the papaya fruit, papain is an enzyme located within the latex that is on its skins. Sappy and milk-like, this enzyme has been shown to attack the cells that make up cancerous tumors. It is able to break down proteins and, in the process, boost the immune system of an individual who is suffering from cancer. Animal studies have shown that papain is effective as a shield against radiation’s damaging effects during chemotherapy, though scientists are not quite sure how this occurs.” (6/30/14)

Serratia Peptidase

This unique enzyme is derived from the silkworm. It has shown to contain significant anti-inflammatory properties that can be applied to ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and various types of headaches.

A study by researchers at the Institute of Clinical Otorhinolaryngology, University of Naples, Italy, published in The Journal of International Medical Research (Sept-Oct/1990) stated,

“It is concluded that Serratia peptidase has anti-inflammatory, anti-oedemic (reduces swelling fluid) and fibrinolytic activity (process of preventing blood clots) and acts rapidly on localized inflammation.”

These 4 proteolytic enzymes for inflammation control may be helpful, especially post surgery, after a minor injury, or even a strenuous workout. Always check with your doctor before taking any alternative remedy.