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Serrapeptase: A Biofilm-Busting, Proteolytic Enzyme

April 05, 2022 5 min read

Serrapeptase: A Biofilm-Busting, Proteolytic Enzyme - Balance ONE

Serrapeptase is a popular dietary supplement that is widely used in Europe and Japan.

It is considered a highly effective anti-inflammatory agent, and is used to reduce inflammation and pain caused by surgeries, arthritis, diabetes, and other inflammatory disorders.

There is also evidence that it can disrupt yeast and bacterial biofilms.

This article will discuss the major health benefits of this enzyme, as well as its potential side effects.   

What is Serrapeptase? 

Serrapeptase is an enzyme derived from the bacteria found in the digestive tracts of silkworms. The enzyme makes it possible for the silkworm to eat through and disintegrate its cocoon as it develops into a moth.

It is believed that this enzyme has anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and anti-swelling properties. As such, it may be used to relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation in patients.

According to proponents of its use in treatment, the enzyme helps to relieve pain and inflammation through its ability to break down protein. Higher levels of protein in the body have been shown to trigger anti-inflammatory processes, thereby relieving inflammation, pain and swelling.

The enzyme was first successfully isolated by Japanese scientists in the 60s, and its oral formulation became an instant hit in the country. Soon, the drug was a common sight in drugstores across Europe and the US. In the US, the drug was classified as a dietary supplement.

Health Benefits of Serrapeptase

Serrapeptase may be beneficial for a host of medical ailments. For instance, there is evidence that serrapeptase supplements can be used to effectively control pain and inflammation.

Serrapeptase may also be beneficial for patients suffering from arthritis, bronchitis, breast tissue swelling, sinuses, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

This remarkable enzyme may also assist in improving circulation, and may be useful in the treatment of diabetes, atherosclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

The following are some possible health benefits of this proteolytic enzyme:

1. Helps to fight inflammation

    The most popular use for serrapeptase is to reduce inflammation in the body.

    One particularly well-researched application is in dentistry, where practitioners use the enzyme to reduce pain, swelling and muscle spasms after minor dental surgeries.

    One study found that the administration of serrapeptase after the removal of molars helped to curb swelling, lock jaw, and pain in patients.

    Patients who had received the enzyme treatment showed considerably less swelling a week after the surgery compared to those in the placebo group.

    Moreover, the serrapeptase group also reported lower pain levels in comparison to their counterparts.

    Another small review of five studies came to the conclusion that serrapeptase was significantly more efficient at alleviating lockjaw symptoms than other anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen.

    In this same systematic review, the researchers concluded that serrapeptase demonstrated a better safety profile than ibuprofen and corticosteroids. This indicates that it may be an ideal alternative in cases where patients are allergic or intolerant to other commonly used anti-inflammatory medication.

    Serrapeptase is believed to act against inflammatory cells, thereby reducing swelling.

    A 2017 review established that serrapeptase was able to block the enzymes responsible for triggering painful inflammatory responses. It was observed that serrapeptase did this just as effectively as other commonly used COX-I inhibitor drugs, including naproxen.

    2. Fights upper respiratory infections

      Serrapeptase is also thought to be beneficial in the management of upper respiratory conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary hypertension, and chronic bronchitis.

      All of these conditions result in excessive production of mucus, difficulty breathing, and painful, irritating coughs.

      One study found that the administration of serrapeptase in the management of chronic bronchitis brought down the quantity and thickness of mucous produced by patients suffering from the condition.

      It was observed that patients in the serrapeptase group produced less quantities of mucous after four weeks of treatment, when compared to the placebo group.

      The researchers attributed this potential benefit to the enzyme’s ability to reduce the number of white blood cells at the affected site.

      This property is also attributed to the enzyme being able to change the viscosity and elasticity of the mucous produced leading to faster mucous clearance.

      3. Prevents bacterial infections

      Research has also indicated that serrapeptase may also be beneficial in preventing and fighting off infections.

      In one study, the evidence suggested that serrapeptase was able to improve the efficiency of antibiotics in the treatment of bacterial infections.

      Researchers found that the combination of serrapeptase and antibiotics was the most effective at treating infections when compared to other dispersal agents.

      Another study demonstrated that the combination of antibiotics with serrapeptase is more effective at fighting S.aureusinfections, than just using antibiotics on their own.

      Further research has suggested that combining the enzyme with antibiotics helps in the treatment of infections that have become antibiotic-resistant.

      4. Dissolves yeast biofilms

      Serrapeptase can help to dissolve yeast biofilms too. This is particularly helpful because yeast and fungal infections are generally difficult to treat.

      Yeasts like Candida albicans use biofilms as a protective matrix to hide themselves from your immune system.

      When confronting a yeast overgrowth, biofilms are one of the biggest problems that your immune system face. Biofilms can be incredibly tough to break down, especially in the case of longstanding infections.

      Evidence suggests that serrapeptase drills through the biofilm membrane, disrupting it and leaving the pathogenic yeast or bacteria exposed. This seems to be why serrapeptase works so well with antifungals (for yeast infections) and antibiotics (for bacterial infections).

      In other words, serrapeptase is a tool that can help to break down yeast and bacteria biofilms more quickly.

      Side Effects of Serrapeptase

      There are limited published reports on the side effects of serrapeptase supplements. The few reports that are available point to potential mild side effects like skin reactions, coughing, and nausea.

      It is still not yet clear how serrapeptase affects the health of pregnant or nursing women, and children. It is probably best that these groups avoid serrapeptase until further evidence of its safety is available.

      Patients on blood thinners, or who have a planned surgery, may wish to discuss serrapeptase with their doctor before taking it. It is believed that the enzyme may potentially interfere with the body’s blood clotting process.

      How to Take Serrapeptase

      Serrapeptase is usually delivered in capsule form. Dosage is measured in units named SPUs, or serratiopeptidase units.

      The SPU unit measures the activity or potency of the Serrapeptase enzyme based on a specific scientific test.

      To achieve measurable results, look for a serrapeptase supplement with at least 30,000 SPUs. 

      You can either choose a supplement that contains serrapeptase only, or look for an enzyme blend.

      Our SerraDefend formula contains two proteolytic enzymes - serrapeptase and nattokinase. Together, they can work to reduce inflammation, fight biofilms, and improve circulation. 

      SerraDefend also contains a selection of five digestive enzymes to promote healthy digestion and nutrient absorption.

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