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The term “protoelytic” means literally “protein dissolving”, and proteolytic enzymes do exactly that. They dissolve enzymes in the body, and there are a lot of them that carry out various different functions. Examples are the pepsidases, such as trypsin and chymotrypsin that help to break down the proteins in our food. Others generate blood clots while yet other break them down again.

There is a fine line within the balance between the initiation of an immune reaction and its termination, between causing inflammation to combat a foreign invader and stopping the same inflammation. Each different enzyme can cleave a protein molecule into two parts at a specific site within the molecule, and achieve a different result by doing so.

It was in the 1950s that enzymes were found to act as anti-inflammatory agents, when the fore-mentioned trypsin was found to alleviate inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis when administered intravenously. This sparked off a whole raft of work on the effects of proteolytic enzymes on inflammation and other problems associated with the immune system. It was found that inflammation was initially caused by the immune system reaction to an irritant such as a mould, bacterium or even pollen spore. The inflammation caused then attracted further attention from the immune system, and the whole inflammatory process became self-generating.

At that time the mechanism by which these enzymes reduced inflammation and also pain was not understood, but it is now believed to be through the breakdown of the proteins involved in the immune reaction, of the proteins that act as intermediaries in the inflammation process and of those that lead the inflammatory agents to the site of the irritation that is causing the inflammation. The Circulating Immune Complex that was drawn to the site of the inflammation and further irritating the condition was destroyed by the proteolytic enzyme. There are other parts of the mechanism, but each involves the breakdown or “digestion” of a protein involved somewhere along the line.

Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme discovered in the intestine of the silkworm, but that is manufactured through fermentation. It does not harm the silkworm, but when regurgitated by the silkworm at the right time destroys the protein that makes up its cocoon, forming a hole through which the fully developed insect can emerge. This phenomenon led to a study on its effect on other proteins and it was discovered to have very strong ant-inflammatory properties.

It also appears to easily break down excess fibrin floating in the blood, the fibers that cause blood to clot, and does so without diminishing the ability of the blood to clot wounds. Some blood achieves the consistency of yoghurt due to the excess fibrin it contains, and is so prone to clotting when it is not wanted. The blood is much healthier when this fibrin is destroyed by enzymes.

It appears to break down and digest dead proteins, blood clots, cysts, the debris left after the immune system has destroyed invading cells and organisms, and also internal scar tissue. By clearing up all the debris floating around in the blood it effectively thins it, and allows it to circulate better. Serrapeptase is even claimed to break down the plaque that forms on arterial walls and that promotes strokes and cardiovascular disease. It appears to have no effect on healthy cells, or living organic matter and acts as the body’s waste disposal system for the blood and lymphatic systems.

It has been used for thirty years with no reported side effects, and all of its claims have been supported by testimony from people who have used it. The medical authorities believe that further work is done prior to any effect on arterial plaque to be officially accepted, although the patients that it has helped would disagree with this.

It is not only inflammation that proteolytic enzymes can help, but also problems relating to the respiratory system. The two are linked since the destruction of mucus by the enzyme is related to its proteolytic properties. Sinusitis sufferers obtain very effective relief through oral doses of serrapeptase, although it must have an enteric coating to protect it because it is destroyed by the acidity of the stomach. Treatment is needed for between 2 and 4 weeks for the effects to be apparent, but it is effective even with chronic cases.

It is also useful in the treatment of infections of the upper respiratory tract, although does not cure all conditions. Those that are caused by allergens or inflammations will more likely be cured than others due to viruses or bacteria that do not involve inflammation. Conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema can be alleviated by the reduction of and thinning of mucus, and the clearing away of dead scar tissue.

This reduces the possibilities of secondary infections and helps to body’s healing systems to work better and improve the patient’s lung function. Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary condition and cannot be cured, though some sufferers have reported an improvement in their condition after taking proteolytic enzymes, particularly serrapeptase which seems to be the most potent. It should not, however, be regarded as a cure or as a substitute for any other medication the patient is under and should be used only with the permission of the patient’s doctor.

There are many similar conditions where the reduction in mucus viscosity and cleaning up and removal of dead tissues and debris in the respiratory system can help sufferers feel more comfortable. The general property of proteolytic enzymes “digesting” useless protein cells from the blood, lymphatic system, respiratory system and between the joints can cure many painful conditions involving the non specific immune response that medicine calls “inflammation”.

The protease found most effective at achieving this is serrapeptase, also called serratio peptidase, and sometimes called the “wonder enzyme”. You will hear more of this enzyme in the future as it finds more and more medical applications due to the fact that it consigns all the detritus and rubbish within the non-digestive parts of our body to the rubbish bin.

Clear out the rubbish that is clogging up our bodies, and we are bound to feel healthier, and that is what many of these proteolytic enzymes do best, particularly serrapeptase.

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More information on proteolytic enzymes at http://vitanetonline.com/ where a large selection of anti-inflammatory supplements can be found.