Why is serrapeptase not used as a medication?

We usually take digestive enzymes for digestion - but not for a croupy cough or fibroids, endometriosis or atherosclerosis. Why not?

Common to many debilitating ailments that cause congestion - if not obstruction are tenacious protein bonds that cause an over growth of fibrin or mucous. We live in bondage, taking drugs to help alleviate for instance, symptoms of inflammation from a tight chest or stabbing pelvic pains, creaky joints and hardening arteries . But we still ignore the cause of all these ailments, namely inflammation. We blame sugar, too little fat, too much fat and call it stress related. The true culprit may have stayed under the radar but I stumbled upon it after experiencing a night or two or three of hacking and coughing.

Digestive enzymes are needed

A new variation on the theme of whooping cough does its rounds

Nothing helped the people who had it. Doctors told them that antibiotics were of no use and they would have to battle it out for a month or two - or three? Even though most of the people around me had eventually overcome the miseries of catarrh, swimming heads and debilitating fatigue they were still not their usual bouncy selves. I pride myself on being able to outwit such maladies and have done so for a few decades but the inevitable happened. After losing my voice and living with a throbbing throat for two days a deep thick phlegm laden cough set in.

I had done my best to forestall what I could see in the offing. I zapped the parasites, especially the adenovirus, I swigged down parasite remedies, olive leaf and the like. At night I had a few dramatic coughing spells that eventually produced a tiny dark yellow slick of slime. Aha - the typical "Bryonia" cough is what a homeopath would call it. I glugged down a bottle of the cough mixture with guiophenesin (a mucous buster like chillies) that I usually recommend for what we call tough tenacious mucous laden coughs. Nothing helped. 5 days and I was dumbfounded, not cherishing the idea of joining the local chorus of hackers who were still haunted by the same cough from time to time. Theirs also reverberated into the lungs, up and down the barking scale. Ugh!

You can't take every cough to a doctor. You can only take every cough mixture. 

That night I decided to let go. To accept my condition and see what good could come out of it. I woke up in the early hours with the words "cystic fibrosis". People with this condition cough up an enormous amount of sticky mucous, due to an inherited disorder. I then had the next key words: "enzymes, serrapeptase" drifting across my mind. Ahah! So the next day I began investigating serrapeptase and the role of protease enzymes in breaking up tough, stringy mucous deposits. I share the journey with you here, because it is still unfolding. As far as I can fathom, nobody uses these enzymes to treat a persistent hacking, "unproductive" cough. At best we depend on cough mixtures to break up the mucous and give symptomatic relief.

Silkworms and serrapeptase - a proteolytic enzyme produced by bacteria

The silkworm larva regurgitates a residue of serrapeptase from its gut to make an exit hole in its tightly spun silk cocoon. It escapes as a moth. Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down protein into smaller components (peptides and amino acids). This enzyme can dissolve, eat through a silk cocoon! Without a pair of scissors or a knife it is impossible to cut through tight bundles of fibrous, protein-based matter, as we know. Hence the marvel of enzymes, invisible to the naked eye yet capable of splitting the bond in protein molecules so that they literally collapse or disintegrate. This technology was somehow going to solve my problem, I trusted.

We too, need to be set free from the mayhem that tight fibrous bundles of tissue can produce in the human body. Think of the tight ropes of phlegm that bind up in your chest and make you feel choked up every time you try to cough it up. A shot of proteolytic enzymes should be able to make all the difference in breaking it up. After all, mucous contains protein, salt and water.

Scientists have also been studying the use of serrapeptase for treating a number of human diseases relating to fibrin and have found it to be a very powerful anti-fibrolytic enzyme. In other words, it can also dissolve blood clots – one of the dreaded lurgies of cardiovascular disease. Diseases that involve the formation of excessive amounts of tough, fibrous tissue are called “fibrosis or sclerosis". Proteolytic enzymes dissolve all kinds of protein-linked tissue overgrowth. In most cases it is dead tissue, scar tissue, cysts and tumours or even deposits of damaged protein.

Hardened mucous deposits, especially in the respiratory or digestive systems and even biofilms that surround bacteria and other pathogens can be effectively dissolved with proteolytic enzymes like serrapeptase, papain, nattokinase, fibrinogen and many others that come from natural food sources. They also help to alleviate  inflammation of the joints, the digestive system, skin and other organs. These enzymes break up deposits of dead tissues and excess fibrin thus eliminating the cause of the inflammation. The body is then able to clean out the deposits to facilitate the healing process.

Typical conditions that respond well to proteolytic enzyme supplemetation are:

  • Ulcerative Colitis where there are biofilms, scar tissue and a lot of inflammation.
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Coughs and croup due to tough mucous congestion (fibrocystic lungs)
  • Atherosclerosis is when the fibre accumulates with plaque and mucous on arterial walls.
  • Fibrocystic breasts are laden with bundles of tough hardened tissue.
  • In the pelvic region; adhesions, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and benign tumours that can grow into the size of an orange.
  • Scarring and keloids after injuries or after surgery that can become excessive.
  • Cystic Fibrosis is a debilitating overgrowth of fibrin, and inherited disorder affecting glands that secrete mucous and hormones. Typically involved are the lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestines.
  • Abnormal blood clots.

Fibrin strands in the blood cause it to clot if we are injured. But excessive amounts of uncontrolled fibrin can develop into accidental blood clots and attract plaque to from a dense mass that then blocks blood vessels. Bits can break off and block blood vessels, causing heart attacks and strokes. When levels of fibrin in the blood are too high, blood is more prone to clot. I remembered a therapist telling me that she used to see this in blood samples she studied under a dark field microscope. She used her own blood on a regular basis but noticed that on the days she ate a lot of pineapple that the fibrin levels were hardly detectable. 

By now you will be asking yourself if we can source our own proteolytic enzymes? The silkworm has a natural bacteria residing in its intestines called Serratia marcescens E1 out of which serrapeptase is made. We too, have a built-in supply of protease that is produced naturally by the body but many of us do not make enough of it. People with proteolytic enzyme deficiencies can take extra protease supplements and include a number of foods to boost the protease activity. This will improve digestion and there will be extra to spare to break down the fibrin and mucous on a regular basis every day. It is important to take protease supplements on an empty stomach, between meals so it is not all used up for the digestion process. 

Pineapples offer a free and abundant source of enzymes

pinapple bromelainCredit: Sue VisserPineapples are rich in fibrinogen and the ant-inflammatory bromelain enzymes. Learn how to unleash them into your everyday food intake. The green tops and the central core of the pineapple have the most bromelain. Use the link to find out how juicing can extract the most of these enzymes. Extracting bromelainAs we now know, they break up the polypeptide bonds in protein! Next time you cough, swig down a glass of pineapple enzymes. After that, make yourself a papaya smoothie. They say the pips contain the richest source of proteolytic enzymes. Some people add a tablespoon of fresh pawpaw/papaya seeds to the actual smoothie. (Not me - I would rather just take the capsules and not be traumatized thus.) A poor man's alternative is to buy some cheap meat tenderizer and pack it into capsules. I tried two an hour before lunch and noticed and immediate drop in the stickiness of the cough. It became more productive, more co-operative. Now it can just go away because I am going to blow it away with enzymes. Natto and a fruit salad of pineapple and pawpaw for starters until I can order the real capsules. 

pawpaw and pineappleCredit: Sue Visser

Papaya or paw paws contain papain, a proteolytic enzyme often extracted from the fruit or seeds and used commercially as a meat tenderizer. In the same way that papain breaks down undigested protein waste in our food it may also be able break down parasites and their eggs, cysts and larval stages. Ground-up papaya seeds are a traditional anti-parasitic remedy and are usually milled together with pumpkin seeds. They are said to expel tapeworms and larger more bothersome parasites very effectively. (I am not sure how you are going to feed it to your fussy family and pets but it is worth a try!)

Nattokinase is made by a bacteria that is used to ferment soya beans

A protoelytic enzyme that is abundant in Japanese cuisine comes from soya beans. Those that are boiled and then fermented with a sprinkle of bacillus natto. The resultant product is a food they call natto and it is very effective as a digestive enzyme as well as a fibrin buster. Best of all is that we do not only have to take expensive nattokinase capsules to have all the benefits, we can eat the fermented soya beans because the enzyme is more active in the gut in the presence of bacillus subtilus, one of our resident crew of bowel flora. And added perk is that this bacteria consumes amyloid plaque - the pesky residues that clog up our neurons and build in the brain, resulting in Alzheimer's disease. This helps to explain why elderly Japanese people on a traditional diet do not have such a high incidence of Alzheimer's disease, inflammatory conditions or cardiovascular disease. But it is better to skip live silkworms as a source of serrapeptase! These days they only use the bacterial cultures, made in a sterile laboratory.

Unique ways that we can use proteolytic enzymes

Debridement of wounds - in other words, taking the old skin and other debris off wounds so they can heal better. The direct application of an enzyme like papain can be used to clean wounds. Traditionally green pawpaw was used to help clean up festering wounds. Maggots too, are wonderful for cleaning wounds and these fly larvae are specially bred for this purpose! They too, release protease enzymes onto the food (dead skin and debris) they eat to break down the protein bonds.

Making antibiotics more effective by helping to break down biofilms that block off exposure to antibiotics. Many pathogens use biofilms to escape from the immune system and evade antibiotics. As such, the drugs are rendered ineffective because they cannot make direct contact with the bacteria. Some doctors are now investigating the benefits of giving an antibiotic treatment along with a proteolytic enzyme supplement. However, one needs to be aware of the side effects (health benefits) of these blood thinning plaque busting anti-inflammatory enzymes. 

Disclaimer: "The products and the claims made about specific products in this article have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem."

So the next time you have a cough!

Doctor's Best Proteolytic Enzymes, 90 Count
Amazon Price: $42.99 $20.99 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 3, 2016)
I am going to stock up on this product and use it anyway. But when I feel that nasty cough trying to get me - I will take action!
Biophix Megazyme Forte Proteolytic Enzyme Formula 200 Tabs
Amazon Price: $39.78 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 3, 2016)
A more expensive option, but with serrapeptase and nattokinase