Unwelcoming Inflammation with Pineapple

Acute inflammation isn't necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, it is a natural part of the healing process.

without inflammation, little brothers wouldn't survive ( image source )

without inflammation, little brothers wouldn't survive (image source)

But when it sticks around for too long it becomes a problem.

We see it in the clinic all the time.  A post-op knee patient that has edema throughout his surgical leg.  The guy with an ankle sprain that can't keep the swelling down.  A rotator cuff with continued sensitivity from inflammation.

These are normal scenarios.  But when it lasts too long it becomes a problem.

An excessive and prolonged inflammatory response can lead to:

  • decreased range of motion
  • increased pain sensitivity
  • reduced neural drive
  • altered motor patterns
  • impaired function
  • chronic pain

There are many ways to reduce acute inflammation and prevent it from becoming a chronic problem (i.e. sleep, meditation, diet, movement, manual techniques, exercise, etc.).

One of the surprising ways to control inflammation is through pineapples.  Yes, pineapples.

Welcoming Pineapple

Pineapples, the symbol of hospitality, doesn't welcome inflammation.  

In fact, it's a potent anti-inflammatory.

While we don't know all of the reasons why pineapple helps us reduce swelling, we do know one of its enzymes, bromelain, is extremely effective.

One review concluded that "bromelain equals non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as an anti-inflammatory agent, but has been shown to have fewer side effects".

Regardless of the specific studies, there is enough research and empirical evidence to support a trial of pineapple (bromelain) for those who are looking to decrease inflammation.

So if you're struggling with inflammation find a good PT, improve your lifestyle, and eat more pineapples.

And yes, pineapples do belong on pizza.  It's delicious.

Some Studies

"The cell surface molecules altered by bromelain are involved in leukocyte homing and cellular adhesion and activation. Thus bromelain could potentially exert an antiinflammatory effect by multiple mechanisms, including alterations in leukocyte migration and activation."

"Taken together, these studies demonstrate that bromelain can effectively decrease neutrophil migration to sites of acute inflammation and support the specific removal of the CD128 chemokine receptor as a potential mechanism of action."

"Bromelain is widely administered for its well-recognized properties, such as its anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fibrinolytic affects, anticancer activity and immunomodulatory effects, in addition to being a wound healing and circulatory improvement agent."

"Diverse biological processes like anti-inflammatory, anti-oedematous, analgesic, anti-thrombotic, exfoliation etc. are involved in bromelain's therapeutic actions, mediated through the kallikrein-kinin and arachidonic acid pathways as well as through effects on cell mediated immunity. Bromelain equals non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as an anti-inflammatory agent, but has been shown to have fewer side effects."

"Although the exact chemical structure of all active components of bromelain is not fully determined, this substance has shown distinct pharmacological promise. Its properties include: (1) interference with growth of malignant cells; (2) inhibition of platelet aggregation; (3) fibrinolytic activity; (4) antiinflammatory action; (5) skin debridement properties. These biological functions of bromelain, a non-toxic compound, have therapeutic values in modulating: (a) tumor growth; (b) blood coagulation; (c) inflammatory changes; (d) debridement of third degree burns; (e) enhancement of absorption of drugs."

And a preliminary study even showed a dose-dependent relationship of bromelain and pain reduction in subjects with mild knee pain.  


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