Serrapeptase is a digestive enzyme with a difference. Claimed to be very anti-inflammatory, it acts as a scavenger in the blood stream, breaking up ‘dead protein’ from damage, scar tissue, artery blockage, or normal wear and tear.
It has been championed by a number of health experts not least a Brit, Robert Redfern, who wrote a book called ‘Serrapeptase, The Miracle Enzyme‘, who tells stories of it curing various chronic illnesses like cerebral palsy in a man called Mike Tawse.
Although there are more than a dozen randomized clinical trials, they don’t seem to provide much solid evidence for its efficacy. However, the ‘health community’ in the USA are very vocal in its support.
Enzymes are proteins that help accelerate and make chemical reactions happen. They are catalysts, acting on ‘substrates’, converting them into various ‘products’. Almost every single chemical reaction in your body uses enzymes.
Typically enzymes help you break down your foods so they can pass through the gut wall and be used by the body. There are plenty of digestive enzymes in the body.
Firstly there are three groups naturally produced in your pancreas:
* Lipase – to break down fats like triglyceride
* Amylase – to break down carbohydrate
* Proteases – to break down proteins
Then there are digestive enzymes from outside food sources – like bromelain and papain (from papaya and pineapple). All of these work in the gut to help you breakdown and digest your foods.
Serrapeptase is a protein taken from the gut of the silkworm where it breaks down the cocoon releasing the moth; and it helps the whole body breakdown protein, acting like a scavenger. It has none of the side-effects of NSAIDs or Steroids.
Uses of Serrapeptase
There are many common uses of Serrapeptase.
* Serrapeptase is used for controlling inflammation and pain; for example with back pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, carpel tunnel and rheumatoid arthritis, involving the protein bradykinin. It is claimed it also reduces prostaglandins.
* Serrapeptase is used to reduce mucus on top of the inflammation and pain. For example, in ear nose and throat problems like ear infections, sinusitis, headaches, migraine and throat problems.
* Serrapeptase is used for gut problems. It can help with IBS, Crohn’s and colitis; or asthma, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
* Serrapeptase is used to reduce arterial plaque, atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries), to relieve swelling caused by blood clots, and even in cases of heart disease. It is believed to breakdown fibrinogen or fibrin.
* Serrapeptase has also been used in cases of fibrocystic breasts, blocked milk ducts, lumpy breasts, breast cysts and non-cancerous breast pain.
How to take Serrapeptase
Health experts tell us to take a coated tablet so the gastric acid doesn’t attack it, and to take it on a completely empty stomach (first thing in the morning) at least 1 hour before food, normally at 120,000 IUs a day. You might start at 40,000 to 60,000.
Precautions for Serrapeptase
Because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-blood clotting action, it is not advisable to take over surgery, or by hemophiliacs. Not enough research has been conducted though. It is not advisable to take during pregnancy.
Some people who overdose report liver poisoning or the release of toxins into the blood stream causing fatigue and muscle pain.
Some people use it at the same time as Nattokinase as they have overlapping functions . There is more positive research on Nattokinase but little research on their simultaneous action.
Catch 22 and serrapeptase
In truth, there are a couple of unanswered questions. For example:
Its a protein. ‘So how does the supplement survive the enzymes in the gut?’ Perhaps because it has some original resistance from the silkworm? But maybe the coated pill helps.
Another is ‘How does it attack excess fibrin in the blood or bradykinin in inflammation but not healthy tissue proteins?’ Experts say that it does this because it attacks ‘dead protein’.