Updated: June 11, 2017
For people suffering from chronic inflammation, over-the-counter and prescription drugs offer some relief, but they also increase the risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, stroke, heart attack, and other serious adverse events. Medical practitioners in Asia and Europe have turned to safer treatments for chronic inflammation, one of which is Serrapeptase. Serrapeptase is an enzyme that breaks down proteins, leading to reduced inflammation. Scientific research has validated the use of Serrapeptase as an anti-inflammatory for the treatment of inflammation, post-surgical pain, and several chronic medical conditions.
Researchers from the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Tokyo Metropolitan Hiroo General Hospital in Japan studied the effects of Serrapeptase on people who had been diagnosed with chronic airway disease. Fifteen people were given 30 mg of Serrapeptase every day for four weeks, while 14 people were given a placebo every day for four weeks. The researchers collected sputum samples from each subject on the day the study began and the day the study ended. The people who took Serrapeptase experienced fewer episodes of coughing and reduced sputum production when compared to the people who took the placebo. The researchers concluded that Serrapeptase may be useful in thinning mucus and reducing inflammation in people with chronic airway disease.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Scientists from SMS Medical College and Hospital studied the effects of Serrapeptase on 20 people with carpal tunnel syndrome. At the beginning of the study, the researchers performed baseline electro-physiological studies for all of the participants. Each person took 10 mg of Serrapeptase twice per day for the duration of the study. Sixty-five per cent of the participants showed significant improvement when they were retested after six weeks. The researchers concluded that Serrapeptase may be useful as a conservative treatment method for carpal tunnel syndrome.
In 2010, the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics published a letter written by researchers who had tested the effects of Serrapeptase on acute inflammation in rats. Some of the rats received Serrapeptase, while others received a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug known as diclofenac sodium. The researchers reported that the Serrapeptase inhibited inflammation as well as the diclofenac sodium. The difference is that diclofenac sodium is associated with a variety of side effects. These side effects include upset stomach, headache, vomiting, nausea, constipation, and dizziness. Some people experience ringing of the ears, mood changes, sudden weight gain or weight loss, swelling of the feet or hands, and other serious side effects after taking diclofenac sodium. Serrapeptase may be a safer alternative for people experiencing inflammation due to traumatic injuries or the presence of lupus, degenerative arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.
People with cerebral palsy live productive and fulfilling lives, but impaired muscle coordination can be somewhat of a challenge. Some studies suggest that cerebral palsy may actually be linked to inflammation. In October 1998, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke released a press release outlining the results of a study conducted by NINDS researchers and colleagues from the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and George Washington University Medical Center. The researchers tested the cytokine levels of nearly 100 babies. Cytokines are substances secreted by the cells that have an effect on the other cells in the body. Some cytokines are also linked with inflammation. All of the babies who later developed cerebral palsy had higher concentrations of five types of cytokines in their blood than the babies who did not develop cerebral palsy. Because aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may have serious side effects, researchers must focus on finding safer ways to combat this inflammation and potentially reduce the risk of cerebral palsy. Serrapeptase is one of the potential treatments for this type of inflammation.
In 2008, the Journal of the Indian Medical Association published the results of a study that tested the effects of a drug on surgical pain. The drug contained Serrapeptase, aceclofenac, and paracetemol. The researchers administered the drug to 50 patients scheduled for ENT surgery, gynaecological surgery, and orthopaedic surgery. The average pain score for each patient decreased significantly with the use of the drug. Fever and swelling also improved with the administration of the drug containing Serrapeptase. The researchers concluded that the drug is an effective way to treat pain and inflammation related to surgery.
Researchers from King Abdulla University Hospital and Jordan University of Science and Technology had similar results when they tested the effects of Serrapeptase on swelling and pain in people who had their third molars removed. The researchers studied 24 people who had their impacted third molars removed surgically. Some patients received Serrapeptase and paracetamol, while other patients received paracetamol combined with a placebo. The patients who took the combination of Serrapeptase and paracetamol had less pain and swelling than the group that was given paracetamol alone. The results of this study were published in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
In addition to its ability to inhibit inflammation and pain, Serrapeptase also seems to have a positive effect on infection rates. In 2008, the journal Microbial Pathogenesis published the results of a study conducted by scientists from University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy. The researchers studied the effect of Serrapeptase on the bacteria responsible for causing listeria, a disease spread via food contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium. The researchers found that Serrapeptase seems to inhibit the bacterium’s ability to form a biofilm, which is a film that helps bacteria adhere to surfaces. The Serrapeptase also seemed to prevent the bacteria from invading host cells. More research is needed to determine if Serrapeptase could have additional infection-fighting properties.
As researchers continue to study the effects of Serrapeptase on pain and inflammation, it is possible that the enzyme will become more popular in countries outside of Europe and Asia. Because Serrapeptase is a natural enzyme derived from the silkworm, people who take it do not experience the serious side effects associated with aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory drugs. As a result, Serrapeptase may be a safer alternative to standard drug therapies.
- Al-Khateeb, T.H. and Nusair, Y. “Effect of the Proteolytic Enzyme Serrapeptase on Swelling, Pain and Trismus After Surgical Extraction of Mandibular Third Molars.” International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, March 2008, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 264-8.
- Jadav, S.P., et. al. “Comparison of Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Serratiopeptidase and Diclofenac in Albino Rats.” Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics, 2010, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 116-17.
- Longhi, C., et. al. “Protease Treatment Affects Both Invasion Ability and Biofilm Formation in Listeria Monocytogenes.” Microbial Pathogenesis, July 2008, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 45-52.
- Nakamura, S., et. al. “Effect of the Proteolytic Enzyme Serrapeptase in Patients with Chronic Airway Disease.” Respirology, September 2003, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 316-20.
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Study Ties Cerebral Palsy to Inflammation and Blood-Clotting Abnormalities”
- Panagariya A., Sharma, A.K. “A Preliminary Trial of Serrapeptase in Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, December 1999, Vol. 47, No. 12, pp. 1170-2.
- Pant, K.K., et. al. “PARFLEX – A Very Useful Drug for Management of Surgical Pain.” Journal of the Indian Medical Association, June 2008, vol. 106, No. 6, pp. 409-11.
- WebMD. “Are Anti-Inflammatory Pain Relievers Safe for You?”