I’ve been asked in the past about what proteolytic enzymes are and when we use them. The following is a quick summary to get you acquainted with this useful supplement:
- What? They are proteases, enzymes that digest protein, and are taken to help break down fibrin (the molecule that makes scar tissue) in the body. Fibrin is a useful part of the inflammatory reaction, but it can interfere with healing – it inhibits the movement of red and white blood cells to an area which slows down the healing process. Proteolytic enzymes work to reduce inflammation, help push it through to completion, and in doing so reduce pain.
- When? The following conditions can benefit from proteolytic enzymes: acute and chronic injuries, cancer, osteoarthritis and other forms of chronic musculoskeletal pain.
- How? You want to take them on an empty stomach (ie. an hour before eating) and take a high-quality, potent version purchased from a health food store or a naturopathic doctor. The enteric-coated versions are best; they ensure the enzymes are not denatured in the acidic stomach acid, but rather make it to the small intestine for absorption.
For more information, contact your health care practitioner.