Have you considered what papain, an enzyme extracted from papaya, can do for you? Scientific studies have found that papain, much like bromelain found in pineapple, can aid the body in digestion as well as provide a plethora of other health benefits.
Due to its ability to break down difficult proteins in food, particularly meat, and its ability to dissolve toxins, this powerful enzyme has many uses.
How Does Papain Work?
Papain is an effective digestive enzyme because it reduces larger pieces of protein into much smaller pieces of protein. This papaya enzyme is also effective in breaking down peptides into the most miniscule amino acids by dismantling the bonds in the protein chain.
Who May Benefit From Papain?
Almost anyone can find a use for papain. However, those with an enzyme deficiency or who suffer from a low hydrochloric acid discharge in the stomach may find that taking the papaya enzyme helpful in digesting food, especially protein rich food like meat.
As people age, they tend to have a decreased output of hydrochloric acid, making digestion more difficult. Taking papain may help make digestion a little bit easier for people as they age.
The Benefits of Papain
Papain is not just a helpful digestive aid; it also has other far-reaching benefits as well.
1) Aids in Digestion
As mentioned above, papain’s main benefit is acting like a natural digestive enzyme and breaking down food, particularly protein.
Research at the University of Michigan has shown that the papaya enzyme enhances the digestion process. This enzyme actively boosts the digestion process in the intestines and in the pancreas.
2) Prostate Inflammation
Studies have found that taking a papain supplement may help to reduce inflammation or swelling within the prostate gland.
Although more thorough scientific research needs to be conducted, one study at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that when papain is taken in conjunction with other supplemental anti-inflammatories, the body produces natural anti-inflammatory agents to help quell inflammatory conditions such as prostatitis.
3) Promotes Healing of Wounds
Another study at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that papain is a natural treatment for wounds after surgical procedures as well as burns, bedsores, and skin ulcers.
It is suggested that the best way to use a papain infused lotion is to apply it to wounds already in the healing process and should not be applied to open wounds.
Research has shown that papain is also a great natural way to treat skin irritations and burns. For best results, consult a physician before applying papain lotion to your wound or irritated skin.
4) Boosts Immune System
One study found that papain is a good way to boost the immune system while going through cancer treatment. Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering determined that enzymes like papain alter leukocytes in the immune system.
Papain is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from disease even some forms of cancer. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals and help to reverse cellular damage done by these roaming toxins.
6) Sore Throat
Taking papain orally along with other treatments may help to reduce painful swelling in a sore throat.
Some Considerations and Potential Side Effects
Before taking papain, some factors should be taken into consideration. Consult a physician before taking papain.
- Taking papain in large doses may be unsafe. Taking the papaya enzyme in large doses may result in severe throat damage.
- Applying papain directly to irritated skin may lead to blisters and further irritation.
- Some people may experience an allergic reaction taking papain. Consult your physician to determine if taking papain is safe for you.
- Those allergic to kiwi fruit may also be allergic to papain.
- There is currently not enough evidence to suggest if taking papain while pregnant or breastfeeding is safe. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid taking this enzyme while pregnant or nursing.
- Those with bleeding disorders should stay away from papain as it may increase clotting disorders.
- Stop taking papain two weeks prior to surgery as it may increase the potential for bleeding during surgery.