Enzyme may hold hope for asthma

According to a researcher from the University of Connecticut Health Center, the enzyme bromelain appears to reduce inflammation associated with asthma. Dr Eric Secor tested three groups of mice with acute asthma over eight days with either a placebo or two doses of bromelain. Bromelain is extracted from pineapple plants.

Secor found that the supplement significantly reduced the total white blood cell count, which increases with onset of asthma, compared to the control group. The cell markers for inflammatory asthma — eosinophils — were also reduced by more than 50% following the supplement, which also appeared to be more effective in a higher dose.

While other studies have shown that bromelain reduces inflammation and pain, Dr Secor was not aware of any human trials investigating bromelain’s action on asthma. He has now designed a pilot study for oral use in humans.

“We are hopeful that a well-designed, randomized, controlled clinical trial will be able to properly assess bromelain’s efficacy in the management of asthma,” he said.

Source: Nutraingredients, Sep 15, 2004