Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pineapple in Medical Uses

The sweet and tangy, slightly spike-stemmed and hulled pineapple is not only tasty, it has some medical uses which further its commercial value and have made it a fruit which is prone to tissue culture.

Pineapple contains bromelain, which is most often used for its digestive aid properties. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme, which breaks down the protein in food into useable amino acids. This is how it aids in digestion. There is bromelain in the meat of the pineapple, but it is really only present in the raw fruit or whole fruit pineapple juice. Commercial juicing tends to remove the pulp or meaty portions of the pineapple behind, which removes much of the beneficial enzyme from the juice. Cooking the pineapple also tends to dampen the potency of the bromelain.

Most of bromelain in pineapple is found in the stems and as a result, the extract from the stem of the pineapple is used to create bromelain supplements. That is where the further commercial value of the pineapple comes in. Often bromelain supplements are blended with papain, which is the enzyme found in papaya. Together these two enzymes work better to aid digestion, since the papain helps the bloodstream to absorb more of the bromelain than it would without the papain. Bromelain also has properties which allow it to fight off food borne parasites. It helps to combat congestion derived from sinusitis. Bromelain also helps to wrestle with diabetes and it is an anti-inflammatory.

Bromelain's popularity as a supplement has led to tissue culture growth from the stems of pineapples. This method can help to grow pineapples more quickly in certain situations. Those who suffer with diabetes often take 250mg-500mg of 3 times a day, before meals. Athletes often take bromelain to help to ease aches and to aid in recovery from certain injuries. Bromelain is also used with those who take Vitamin B17 supplements as part of a controversial alternative cancer prevention or treatment method. Pineapple has also been used to help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and with the treatment of Lupus.

Pineapple also contains manganese and Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a very helpful antioxidant. It is necessary for everyday growth and development. Vitamin C helps to maintain and mend teeth, cartilage, and bones. It assists in the healing of wounds and formation of scar tissue. This vitamin also forms a protein which builds ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, and skin. Vitamin C can help to prevent some of the damage caused by harmful free radicals. Free radical buildup is considered to be largely responsible for aging, and may be a factor in heart disease, arthritis, cancer and other similar conditions. Manganese helps enzymes function properly in the body. It makes sense that a food which contains a digestive enzyme would also contain a mineral to help the enzyme perform well.

So all in all, the pineapple has some medicinal uses. It may be considered to be a strange looking fruit, but it's build is beneficial. Its stem lends itself to tissue culture and contains the most of the useful enzyme bromelian. The raw meat of the fruit still has effective amounts of this enzyme, Vitamin C, and manganese. It also tastes great. Ah, the pineapple may be strange, but it is mighty.

No comments:

Post a Comment