Serrapeptase (also called serratiopeptidase) is the most potent proteolytic, or protein-dissolving, enzyme available as a nutritional supplement. This enzyme is found in nature as the substance used by silkworms to dissolve their cocoons. When it's manufactured as a supplement, Serrapeptase can be just what your body needs to fight swelling and inflammation. Different companies market it with slightly different names. The one I use is called SerraPlus+ (it contains MSM and trace minerals to help better assimilation and utilization of serrapeptase) but you might find it also called serra enzyme.
There are three kinds of proteins for which serrapeptase is especially effective:
- Casein, one of the most abundant proteins in milk and cheese. As a digestive enzyme, serratiopeptidase helps to break up clumps of casein that can clog the digestive tract.
- Fibrin, the protein that holds blood clots together. The ability of serrapeptase to break up fibrin breaks up blood clots. Cancerous tumors cover themselves with a layer of a fibrin derivative known as fibrinogen to avoid detection by the immune system. serrapeptase can “uncloak” tumors for immune system attack.
- Bradykinin, a protein that causes blood vessels to dilate. This protein is important in swelling blood vessels around injured tissues to fill them with fluid so that they also swell painfully. By breaking up bradykinin, serrapeptase can relieve pain and swelling.
Using serrapeptase to help break up casein can stop food allergies and speed up sluggish digestion. Using serrapeptase to help break up fibrin can treat bruises and help speed up healing of the skin after cuts and scrapes. And using serratiopeptidase to break up bradykinin can stop inflammation and swelling after surgery and athletic injuries.
Weaker proteolytic enzymes like bromelain, papain, trypsin, and chymotrypsin have weaker effects on these proteins. As the strongest proteolytic enzyme, serratiopeptidase by itself is what gets the fastest results in situations like these:
- You have sinusitis and you are using an over the counter NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ) pain reliever such as aspirin or Tylenol to control the pain. serrapeptase will control swelling and allow your sinuses to drain.
- You have bruised or torn ligament or tendon and, once again, you are using an over the counter pain reliever to control the pain. Both the NSAID and serratiopeptidase help clear out damaged tissue so new tissue can take its place. I’d recommend that you stop taking serratiopeptidase after the pain stops.
- You want to stop swelling and pain after a dental procedure, such as having a tooth pulled, or minor surgery—and you are not taking a blood thinner like Coumadin or Plavix.
How do you use serrapeptase?
The usual dosage of serratiopeptidase is 10,000 to 30,000 SU (serratiopeptidase units), which usually corresponds to 100 to 300 mg of the enzyme every day. Unless you are taking the enzyme to help with sluggish digestion, take it on an empty stomach with a little water. Don't take serratiopeptidase with milk. If you are using serratiopeptidase to control pain or swelling, stop using it when pain and swelling resolve. This enzyme is not a “vitamin.” It's best used for limited time period (although people with some serious health conditions like cancer may take it every day for years).
It is also important to beware leaving serratiopeptidase on the dashboard of your car or in your car in hot weather. Just 15 minutes at 55°C (132°F) will deactivate the enzyme, robbing all its health benefits. Always store serratiopeptidase in the refrigerator, with the bottle tightly closed. The products you buy online are more likely to have been kept under refrigeration until you buy them.
Serrapeptase Side Effects?
Most of the medical literature suggests that this enzyme has few side effects. A few people have reported a little nausea, and even allergic skin reactions but the cases are rare. If you are unsure, please consult your doctor before taking serrapeptase (or any alternative treatment). I also recommend you read our article on the Dangers of serrapeptase.
Where can you get Serrapeptase?
The place I recommend is Good Health Naturally. They offer enteric coated tablets as well as vegan capsules. Their serrapeptase is a high dose and you can buy it with additional minerals and MSM to help absorption and utilization by the body. They even have Serrapeptase for Pets.
Serraplus – serrapeptase + MSM and trace minerals.
Click here for more details.