Article provided by Arthur Andrew
Joint health is a common concern among active individuals (e.g., athletes), people whose jobs require repetitive actions, and older individuals, as injuries or gradual wear and tear can lead to problems with the joints. Once a joint injury has occurred and inflammation develops, managing the symptoms can be somewhat difficult. The first line of treatment that is traditionally recommended is over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medications if the pain has become severe and chronic. If this method is ineffective or an individual wants to try a natural alternative, many holistic doctors have experienced tremendous results by prescribing systemic enzyme products.
Supplements that contain a combination of systemic enzymes have been shown through research to promote joint health by offering a multitude of benefits. It can be said that the best systemic enzyme products contain several different proteases in order to breakdown a broad range of inflammatory promoting proteins. The following enzymes should be considered foundational and necessary when choosing a systemic enzyme blend.
Serrapeptase, one of the most effective systemic enzymes, has been shown to support healthy levels of C-reaction protein (CRP), a blood marker associated with systemic inflammation. More specifically, research has shown that serrapeptase specifically targets inflammatory proteins such as CRP as well as interferon alpha (IFN-alpha), by suppressing the synthesis of these proteins [1]. In doing so, it can be said that products containing serrapeptase promote a normal immune response to joint inflammation.
Bromelain, another foundational ingredient for systemic enzyme blends, has been shown to support joint health, especially in individuals suffering from osteoarthritis. In a clinical trial that compared bromelain supplementation (540 mg/day) to a commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Diclofenac (150 mg/day) for knee osteoarthritis, there was an association between bromelain supplementation and a dramatic improvement in symptoms [2]. Moreover, the participants who took bromelain for approximately four weeks reported enhanced mobility.
A similar clinical trial comparing bromelain to Diclofenac showed that even higher doses of bromelain (1890 mg/day) can be safely taken for joint health without causing harmful side effects. The participants in said study reported feeling less pain, tenderness, and swelling [3]. In addition, research involving healthy adults who occasionally experienced joint pain but were not diagnosed with inflammatory disease also reported feeling less pain and stiffness after taking either 200 or 400 mg/day of bromelain for a minimum of four weeks [4].
Nattokinase, an enzyme known for its cardiovascular and blood cleansing benefits, also plays a role in promoting normal joint health by supporting healthy inflammatory levels. In vitro studies show that Nattokinase promotes significant breakdown and digestion of excess fibrin, a necessary protein involved in most healing processes. However, excess fibrin can lead to many health concerns including increased blood viscosity as well as a chronic inflammatory state. One of the methods in which Nattokinase breaks down fibrin is by inactivating the plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI). PAI is a key inhibitor of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) that converts plasminogen to plasmin. PAI inactivation allows for greater tPA activity and increased breakdown of fibrin [5,6]. In a recent study, it was shown that fibrin plays a key role in the inflammatory response and the development of rheumatoid arthritis [7].
Papain, a systemic protease derived from papaya has also been shown to support a normal response to inflammation. With a very similar mechanism of action to bromelain, papain has been clinically shown to increase analgesia and break down cellular waste products that build up in joints, thereby decreasing the instance of inflamed joints [8].
Finally, protease derived from several different bacterial sources has also been shown to promote a normal inflammatory response. Although necessary for the healing process to take place, uncontrolled inflammation can lead to chronic pain as well as tissue and joint damage. Studies show that protease inhibits the biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory agents while stimulating the production of anti-inflammatory agents [9]. The anti-inflammatory action of protease is also associated with increased tissue permeability, facilitating resorption of edema and accelerated restructuring of the damaged tissue [10].
Each of these clinical studies demonstrate how the ingredients in effective systemic enzyme products are able to promote comfort in healthy individuals as well as those suffering from inflammatory conditions and common diseases. Furthermore, individuals who ingest systemic enzyme supplements for a minimum of six months have reported improvements in joint pain and inflammation.
Enzyme therapy is 100% natural and is available without a prescription. Make sure to look for non-animal sourced products that contain a strong blend of the following foundational enzymes: nattokinase, serrapeptase, bromelain, protease and papain as well as cofactors like rutin, amla, CoQ10 and magnesium, to facilitate the breakdown and release of excess fibrotic tissue associated with increased inflammation and joint pain.
References

  1. Serheieva lle. Pathogenetic substantiation of using peptidases in the treatment of patients with generalized periodontitis. Fiziol Zh, 2013; 59(2):85-91.
  2. Klein G, Kullich W. Short-term treatment of painful osteoarthritis of the knee with oral enzymes: a randomised, double-blind study versus Diclofenac. Clin Drug Invest 2000;19:15-23.
  3. Tilwe GH, Beria S, Turakhia NH, Daftary GV, Schiess W. Efficacy and tolerability of oral enzyme therapy as compared to diclofenac in active osteoarthritis of the knee joint: an open randomised controlled clinical trial. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India JAPI 2001;49:621.
  4. 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. Phytomedicine 2002;9:681-686.
  5. DeDea L. The antiplatelet effects of aspirin; nattokinase as a blood thinner. JAAPA. December 2010;23(12):13.
  6. Urano T, Ihara H, Umemura K, et al. The profibrinolytic enzyme subtilisin NAT purified from Bacillus subtilis Cleaves and inactivates plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1. J Biol Chem. Jul 2001;276(27):24690-24696
  7. Gilliam BE; Reed, Melinda R; Chauhan, Anil K; Dehlendorf, Amanda B; Moore, Terry L (2011). “Evidence of Fibrinogen as a Target of Citrullination in IgM Rheumatoid Factor-Positive Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis”. Pediatric Rheumatology 2011
  8. Matinian, L. A., Nagapetian, KhO, Amirian, S. S., Mkrtchian, S. R., Mirzoian, V. S., and Voskanian, R. M. [Papain phonophoresis in the treatment of suppurative wounds and inflammatory processes]. Khirurgiia (Mosk) 1990;(9):74-76.
  9. Woolf, R.M., Snow, J.W., Walker, J.H. and Broadbent, T. (1965). Resolution of an artificially induced hematoma and the influence of a proteolytic enzyme. Journal of Trauma, 5, 491–493.
  10. Cirelli, M.G. (1964). Clinical experience with bromelains in proteolytic enzyme therapy of inflammation and edema. Medical Times, 92(9), 919–922.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.