Protease (also known as a proteolytic enzyme, peptidase or proteinase) is a type of enzyme that functions mainly to help us digest different kinds of proteins. They break down the bonds by a process known as hydrolysis and convert proteins into smaller chains called peptides or even smaller units called amino acids.
Commonly found in plant sources like papaya and pineapple, proteases also play a key role in many physiological processes. Proteins have a complex folded structure requiring these types of enzymes to disassemble the molecule in very specific ways. Without proteases the intestinal lining would not be able to digest proteins, causing serious consequences to your health.
The Health Benefits of Protease
Proteolytic enzymes are extremely important for the digestion of many foods. But their intestinal duties are not solely limited to digesting food. They also digest the cell walls of unwanted harmful organisms in the body and break down unwanted wastes such as toxins, cellular debris, and undigested proteins. In this way, protease helps digest the small stuff, so that our immune system can work hard to avoid toxin overload.
In this way digestion plays a huge role in overall health, and enzymes are a big part of digestive health. With the distinct ability to breakdown peptide bonds and liberate amino acids, proteolytic enzymes are now being studied by modern science and medicine for their clinical and therapeutic use in the realms of general oncology and overall immune function.
The following list offers some health benefits of supplementing with protease, as well some of the exciting research being done on protease and its applications to human health and disease prevention/management:
1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
A 2010 U.S. study on Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found that the proteolytic enzyme bromelain could help reduce indications and problems in the colon.
2. Skin Burns and Stomach Ulcers
A 2010 Brazilian study in “Burns” journal found that intake of protease can help cellular repair in cases of skin burns and stomach ulcers in laboratory mice.
One double blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 30 individuals with chronic neck discomfort found that those patients using a protease enzyme experienced moderate reduction in discomfort when compared to a placebo. Clinical trials show that protease enzymes can speed the healing time of sprains, bruises, fractures and tissue injuries.
4. Slow or Stop Irritation
Protease enzymes slow or stop irritation by neutralizing the biochemicals associated with the response (i.e., bradykinins and eicosanoids). This may support cardiovascular and brain health.
5. Osteoarthritis Discomfort
Although only preliminary and not to be interpreted as a new therapy, one study done on over 400 people found that protease enzymes could reduce osteoarthritis discomfort.
6. Sports-Related Injuries
Research suggests that protease enzyme combinations may aid in the recovery of sports injuries. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of over 40 people with sports-related injuries found that taking protease enzymes could offer faster recovery, as well as reducing the time away from practicing sports again by up to 50%. Other research has found that taking protease enzymes could significantly increase recovery time after injury, particularly in cases involving mild fractures.
7. Beneficial Gut Bacteria
Research shows that protease activities give our cells critical amino acids and are essential for the growth of the good forms of gut flora that break compounds down.
8. Circulatory and Lymph System
Protease enzymes help to cleanse organic debris out of our circulatory and lymph system.
Some forms of protease can boost the “quality” of blood cells, allowing a better circulatory response, and reducing the risk of clots.
10. Digestive Health
In another study published in the February 2007 “Enzyme and Microbial Technology” journal, protease was found to be a useful aid for a variety of conditions, including digestive disorders.
How to Read the Units of Measurement for Protease
Most enzyme supplements contain between 30,000 and 60,000HUT of protease. Currently, the standard assay uses FCC HUT/g, which provides a very accurate account of activity. HUT stands for Hemoglobin Units on Tyrosine Basis and measures the hydrolysis of proteins into peptides and amino acids. The pH determines the methodology used. The “FCC” stands for Foods Chemical Codex, and is a division of USP (United States Pharmacopeia). It sets standards for ingredients. In the case of enzymes, FCC is a standard assay used to accurately determine the activity of enzymes. The current compendium is FCC VI. The FCC does this on microbial proteases, and it is based on a 30-minute hydrolysis of a hemoglobin substrate at pH 4.7 and 40 degrees Celsius.
Where Can I Find The Best Source of Protease?
VeganZyme™ contains a 100% vegan form of Protease. It comes from all vegetarian, non-GMO sources, is kosher certified, gluten free, made in the USA, contains no animal product and is completely suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
VeganZyme™ is the most advanced full-spectrum systemic and digestive enzyme formula in the world and is free from fillers and toxic compounds. This formula contains digestive enzymes, which help digest fats (lipids), sugars, proteins, carbohydrates, gluten, fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes, bran, nuts and seeds, soy, dairy, and all other food sources.
VeganZyme™ may also be used as a systemic enzyme blend to break down excess mucus, fibrin, various toxins, allergens, as well as excess clotting factors throughout your body.
- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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- Gomes FS, Spínola Cde V, Ribeiro HA, Lopes MT, Cassali GD, Salas CE. Wound-healing activity of a proteolytic fraction from Carica candamarcensis on experimentally induced burn. Burns. 2010 Mar;36(2):277-83. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2009.04.007.