Is Bromelain an Enzyme? 9 Facts You Should Know

In this article the focused topic is, “Is Bromelain an Enzyme? 9 Facts you should know”, we are providing all the detailed facts and statements that is supporting the given topic.

Bromelain belongs to a group of enzymes which are naturally found in certain frits and in the pineapple stem. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme and is present in the pineapple juice, it is also known as pineapple enzyme.

Enzymes are abundantly found in plants as well as in animals and are known as biological catalysts consisting of small molecular structures known as amino acids and contains one or more polypeptide chains. Enzymes are made up of amino acids and because of their structure they are called proteins. All proteins are not enzymes but all enzymes are proteins. The crucial role for all the enzymes is to enhance or fasten any chemical reaction taking place inside the cell of living organisms.

is bromelain an enzyme
Pineapple a source of Bromelain Image from Wikipedia

Functions of Bromelain enzyme

Bromelain enzymes have potential health benefits and have been used as; constipation and sinusitis reliever, possess anti-inflammatory effects, promotes digestion, contains anti-cancer effects, and also promotes weight loss. Bromelain rich fruits can be included in the diet every day. Bromelains have many therapeutic advantages and used as antibiotics for diarrhea, cardiovascular disorders and osteoarthritis.

There are number of dietary fruit sources rich in protein digesting enzymes, these include; kiwifruit, ginger, asparagus, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, etc. Bromelain are known as protein digesting enzymes found in plants and animals. Trypsin and chymotrypsin are proteolytic enzymes taken from animals and are sometimes blended with papain and bromelain to produce commercially.

Examples of endopeptidases

Endopeptidases are the protein degrading enzymes that splits up the proteins by attacking on the peptide bonds. These enzymes are highly specific in their action and also for amino acids, examples of these enzymes include, trypsin, chymotrypsin, elastase, pepsin, neprilysin, thermolysin, etc.

Enzyme Type Source
Papain Cysteine endopeptidase Papaya, latex
Pepsin Serine endopeptidases  Stomach
Trypsin Lysine and arginine endopeptidase Pancreas
Chymotrypsin Endopeptidases Pancreas
Elastase Serine proteases Pancreatic juice
Table showing the examples of Endopeptidase enzymes
Chymotrypsin enzyme
Chymotrypsin PDB file Image from Wikipedia

Benefits of Bromelain

Bromelain is a highly beneficial natural enzyme, containing both therapeutic and commercial applications. Some of the applications are listed below:

  • Chewing bromelain before intense exercise helps in preventing muscle soreness and increase flexibility.
  • Bromelain enzymes containing gels are available commercially which are used to remove dead tissues from the injury caused by burns.
  • Bromelain supplements are also used against kidney stones.
  • Inflammation which is caused by rhinosinusitis can be reduced by taking bromelain along with certain other additives.
  • Bromelain is best known to promote weight loss.
  • It has been proved to be effective in relieving constipation and improving digestion.
  • Bromelain is used as a pain reliever in nasal, foot and dental therapy.

Why is bromelain an enzyme?

There are lot of proof about bromelain being an enzyme, the first is that it is a group of protein digesting enzymes found naturally in the pineapple plant and is commercially produced. Bromelain consists of oligosaccharides and is known to be a glycoprotein. The structure of bromelain is composed of fucose, xylose, N-acetylglucosamine and mannose.

Bromelain contains cysteine- endopeptidases largely present in the stem of pineapple and in other parts of the pineapple. The stem and the pineapple fruit contain different composition of enzyme, the fruit enzyme is called bromelain while the stem enzyme is called bromelain, both are produced differently.

How is bromelain an enzyme?

Bromelain is a group of enzymes that belongs to the protein degrading enzymes. The enzyme bromelain has been commercially produced and used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling agent the conditions which are caused by auto-immune disorders. Bromelain contains all the qualities for being an enzyme, the substrates it uses are of vast kind, such as, casein, proteins, peptides, etc.

Bromelain is made up of oligosaccharides and are known to be glycoprotein. Bromelain is composed of cysteine-endopeptidases. Peptidases are of two different types endo- and exopeptidases. Endopeptidases cleaves the internal peptide bonds which joins the protein molecules together in a peptide chain.

What group of enzymes is bromelain?

Bromelain belongs to the group of proteolytic enzymes, which are also known as protein degrading enzymes. Proteolytic enzymes are found in animals, plants, bacteria and fungi. Proteases helps in breaking down the proteins which are involved in causing swelling and pain, and help in protein digestion.

Papaya and pineapple are the two fruits which are full of protein digesting enzymes and should be consumed in diet. The proteolytic enzyme that is found in papaya is known as papain, also called papaya proteinase-I and the enzyme found in pineapple is known as bromelain.

Where is bromelain enzyme found?

Proteolytic enzymes are also known as from several names such as, peptidases, proteases and proteinases. Bromelain enzymes are found in large amounts in papaya and pineapple plant as well as its fruit which are grown throughout tropical and subtropical areas on a commercial scale.

Bromelain enzyme is found in kiwifruit, kimchi, ginger, asparagus, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, etc.There are commercially available supplements for proteolytic enzymes which are available as capsules, powders, tablets, chewable and gel caps.

Can bromelain be a substrate?

No, bromelain is an enzyme not a substrate, although a lot of substances can be substrate for bromelain. In pineapple fruit, azocasein is the substrate for bromelain function. Substrate for bromelain can be diverse which includes, different proteins, esters, peptides, amides, etc. The activity of bromelain enzyme is ten times much higher than pain enzyme.

Gelatin is also a substrate for bromelain, and is also used for meat tenderization. Bromelain is known as cystine protease. Bromelain also feeds on casein, hemoglobin and milk proteins. Bromelain enzymes also known to contain certain chemicals which prevents the growth of tumor cells and fastens the blood clotting.

Is bromelain enzyme or a protein?

All enzymes are proteins in general and bromelain being an enzyme is also a protein and belongs to a broad class of proteins known as glycoproteins. Bromelains are endopeptidases that cleaves the peptide bonds from within. Certain other examples of endopeptidases are, papain, trypsin, chymotrypsin, pepsin, etc.


To conclude the article, we can say that bromelain is a group of enzymes which belongs to a broad class of proteins known as glycoproteins and these are endopeptidases that feeds on variety of substrates and contains therapeutic advantages that makes them commercially available.

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