We are all pretty sure that you all are aware of the queen of worms, the silkworm, the producer of some of the finest silks of the world.
But did you know an enzyme isolated from the bacteria found in silkworm has been used for several years to treat a wide range of ailments in Japan and Europe? We bet you didn’t know that. We are talking about Serratiopeptidase, a widely used dietary supplement that has been making waves in the medical industry for its abundant health benefits.
You may be wondering what is this all craze about serratiopeptidase? Then without much ado, let us know more about serratiopeptidase then.
What is serratiopeptidase?
Serratiopeptidase, also known as serrapeptase, is a proteolytic enzyme produced by non-pathogenic bacterium Serratia E-15. This bacterium is found in the intestine of silkworm and is used to dissolve the cocoon when it transforms into a moth.
Medically, serrapeptase is an enzyme that breaks down protein faster into amino acids. Our body naturally produces serrapeptase enzymes and is considered one of the most hardworking enzymes in the body as it breaks down the proteins and that breakdown is considered to be the beginning of many metabolic processes in the body.
However, taking serratiopeptidase in the form of dietary supplement got popularized in the world as it not only enhanced the speed of breaking down of proteins but also provided other additional benefits to the body.
Serratiopeptidase was first isolated by scientists in Japan in 1960 and soon after it became their best-selling drug under the brand name Danzan. Later due to its abundant health benefits, it made its way to Europe and North America and the rest of the world as a dietary supplement.
Uses of serratiopeptidase
Serratiopeptidase uses are varied and cater to a wide range of ailments. It has been used in traditional medicine in Japan and America for thousands of years against inflammation and pain caused due to surgery, trauma and other inflammatory conditions.
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Not only for inflammation, but serratiopeptidase is also used for various other ailments like:
- Reduce inflammation
One of the biggest benefits of serrapeptase is to reduce inflammation. It decreases the inflammatory cells at the affected site and ameliorates pain, discomfort and uneasiness caused.
It observed that when serrapeptase was used in minor surgical procedures like a tooth removal or treating lockjaw condition, it provided additional benefits than ibuprofen and corticosteroids combined.
From the same study, it was also concluded that serratiopeptidase had fewer side effects as compared to the other drugs provided.
- Curb pain
As we can already see, serratiopeptidase can easily reduce inflammation. Pain which is a common symptom of inflammation can also be manoeuvred by using this drug.
Researchers have found that people suffering from ear, nose, throat pain, upon consumption of serrapeptase observed a significant reduction in discomfort severity and mucus production as compared to those who took a placebo.
However, more research needs to be done to fully support the statement.
- Kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria
With increasing resistance of bacteria against antibiotics, serratiopeptidase can be extremely beneficial for the condition.
It weakens the protective biofilm of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria and therefore makes it more susceptible to the action of antibiotics.
- Dissolve blood clots
Atherosclerosis which is a condition in which plaque formation takes place in the insides of the arteries can be effectively prevented with the help of treatment of serratiopeptidase.
It breaks down the dead and damaged tissue and also the tough protein formed in the blood clot known as fibrin.
By breaking down the plaque formed in the walls of the arteries, serrapeptase can dissolve blood clots that can lead to heart stroke and other cardiovascular ailments.
- Treats chronic respiratory diseases
Consumption of serratiopeptidase leads to clearance of mucus formation and inflammation in people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs).
CRDs are the diseases that are caused when problems occur when airways and other structures of lungs are affected. Some of the most common ailments are asthma and hypertension.
- Reduces swelling
Many doctors and surgeons recommend serrapeptase after surgery to reduce the swelling in the affected region.
If you get infected by an injury, consumption of serrapeptase will help you to bounce back faster. It lessens the swelling caused by injury and surgery and also ameliorates the pain associated with it.
Apart from the above-mentioned health benefits, there are other medical properties lined up on its sleeve :
- Reduction in headache caused by migraine or tension.
- Ailments of bone or joint like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia.
- The proposed treatment for Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Reduction in ulcers of the colon.
- Heals fibrocystic breast diseases.
Potential side effects of Serratiopeptidase
Serrapeptase is safe to be consumed by adults for a small period of time, however, long term consumption of the supplement can provide you with some side effects.
- Skin allergies and severe reactions
- Muscle, joint and stomach pain
- Poor appetite and vomiting
- Cough and blood clotting disturbances
- Pregnant women or breastfeeding women should stay away from the consumption of serrapeptase supplements.
- Serrapeptase interferes with the blood clotting process as it works as a blood thinner, therefore avoiding consuming the supplements before surgery or an operation.
Using and dosage
The best time to take serratiopeptidase supplements should be during when you suffer from an injury or when going through a course of antibiotics.
When taking antibiotics, consume serrapeptase after the course so that it keeps antibiotic-resistant bacteria at bay.
The labels found on serrapeptase supplements are generally listed in milligrams (mg), serrapeptase units ( SU) or enzymatic units (EU)
The dosing generally recommended for:
- Swelling and pain reduction- 15-60 mg
- Mucus reduction- 30-60 mg
When taken orally, serrapeptase can be easily deactivated by stomach acid, therefore dietary supplements containing serrapeptase should be enteric coated so that it does not get damaged by gastric juices.
The doses daily recommended should not exceed more than 60mg. Take it two hours after a meal.
The research on potential benefits and uses of serratiopeptidase is limited and there is also a lack of data on tolerability and long term effect of this supplement on the body.
Therefore, if you want to consume serrapeptase, it is best to consult your doctor for proper guidelines and also if you encounter any side effects after the consumption of serratiopeptidase, your health care provider will be able to provide you with proper treatment and medications.