I see all forms of inflammation, especially since inflammation is the primary cause of chronic degenerative diseases in the U.S. Inflammation has been treated in many ways and the remedies used vary widely as much as the way people respond to their effectiveness.
Inflammation is a natural event that occurs in response to injury. Excessive inflammation is where the problem lies because it slows the healing process by clogging up the tissues. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) are a common treatment, however they come with their side effects (stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, fluid retention, kidney and heart problems).
Enzymes are complex molecules made up of amino acid chains that sometimes include co-factors that assist the enzyme in chemical reactions. Hundreds of chemical reactions occur in the body that need a catalyst in order for them to take place. Enzymes play the role of the catalyst. Proteolytic enzymes work differently in that they neutralize inflammation-causing chemicals by digesting protein which reduces inflammation.
The enzymes used in the product, Wobenzym PS include bromelain (pineapple stems), papain (found in papaya), pancreatin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, and rutin. These enzymes have many benefits. They include improving the immune system through increased regulation of natural killer cells (NK) and macrophages. They cleanse the blood of debris, kill bacteria, viruses, molds and fungi, improve autoimmune conditions, aid in detoxification and dissolve scar tissue. Enzymes can reduce blood viscosity (thickness) and improve circulation which allows greater oxygenation and an increase of healthy nutrients to the injured area. The end result is quicker and dramatic reduction in swelling which brings relief of pain and increased range of motion.
These proteolytic enzymes can reduce inflammation equal to or greater than NSAIDS without the side effects, so they can be used long term. That’s good news for those with chronic arthritis and inflammatory bowel disorders that live with pain on a daily basis. Digestive and metabolic enzymes are different. Systemic enzyme supplements work directly in the body after they are absorbed in the small intestine and are NOT intended to aid in digestion which is why these are taken on an empty stomach. Raw foods on the other hand, contain certain enzymes only in amounts needed for digesting foods. You can also buy digestive enzymes in supplement form which are taken with food.
Enzyme therapy has become a common nontraditional treatment for many illnesses in combating inflammation. It has also been used successfully in helping with sports injury recovery and metabolic inflammatory disorders.These proteolytic enzymes should be considered for the management of many chronic and acute inflammatory conditions. Talk to your practitioner to see whether theses enzymes would be a good choice for you.
References: Stumpf, T. Enzymes and Inflammation. Chiropractic Economics. Volume 54: Issue 4; march 17, 2008.
Douglas Laboratories. Wobenzyme PS, product data @ 2009 Douglas Laboratories.