Spotlight On: Bromelain

Ingredients, Skin Care
Pineapple for Breakfast!
Bromelain is from the stems and immature fruits of pineapples. It is historically used for bruising treatment and prevention. (Photo credit: the bridge)

The newest addition to our Ingredients Glossary is bromelain, a compound present in stems and immature fruits of pineapples.

What Does Bromelain Do?

When taken orally, bromelain has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, anti-coagulating, diuretic and de-clotting abilities.  It’s been used as a folk remedy to heal bruises for centuries.

In skin care, it’s primarily used to help reduce the inflammation that typically follows invasive cosmetic procedures.  Recent studies have shown bromelain also decreases tumor formation on irradiated mouse skin (Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 2008).

It has also been suggested by some that the enzymes in bromelain may help to digest dead skin cells, exfoliating the skin better when it is topically applied.  This stems from the fact that 35% bromelain solution has been found to assist in wound debridement in rats (Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2001), but in 1% or less concentration – the amount typical of skin care products – this effect of bromelain has not yet been proven.

Is Bromelain Safe?

Day 362
Supplements containing bromelain are generally safe, so long as you are not pregnant or nursing; do not have a bleeding disorder or upcoming surgery; and no allergy to bromelain. (Photo credit: SuperFantastic)

So long as you are not pregnant or nursing, do not have a bleeding disorder or upcoming surgery, and do not have an allergy to bromelain, you should be fine, though check with your doctor to be sure.  Allergic reactions are the most common side effects, but there have also been reports of upset stomach or diarrhea following oral consumption.

Products w/ Bromelain:

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