What Is Pineapple?
- What Is Pineapple?
- Health Benefits of Pineapple
- Potential Side Effects
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical fruit. It is formed of coalesced berries and is in form of a pine cone. Pineapples originate from South America. They were brought to Europe by Cristopher Columbus.
Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain. Its main function is a protein degradation. (1) Bromelain is sensitive to proteolytic enzyme degradation in gastrointestinal system. It is may be of use in helmint infections.
Pineapple is a rich natural source of bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that could decrease the joint pain in arthritis, decrease inflammatory process, reverse cancer growth and enhance the postoperative period.(2)
Bromelain has antiinflammatory, antithrombotic and fibrinolytic functions. It may be as well of use as an antitumor and immunomodulator agent. It enhances wound healing and circulation.
Bromelain chemical structure.
Bromelain has been shown to possess antitumoral activity for the following cell lines such as ones in leukemia, sarcoma, Ehrlich ascetic tumor, Lewis lung sarcoma and mammary adenocarcinoma.(3)
Pineapple is also a source of important vitamins and minerals,mostly antioxidants, such as thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, manganese, potassium, beta-carotene. It is also rich in iron, vitamin C, A and calcium.
Health Benefits of Pineapple
Pineapple may be of help in systemic disorders such as asthma and diabetes. It has been estimated that one glass of pineapple consists of 82 calories and 131 % of daily vitamin C needs.
Recent studies have shown that pineapples may decrease the risk of obesity, general mortality, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.(4)
It is advisable to increase the intake of pineapples and other antioxidant rich fruits in order to decrease the risk and clinical course of macular degeneration in elderly. Thus, it is important in the prevention of blindness. (5)
Prevention Of Asthma
High intake of beta-carotene is linked to the lower incidence of asthmatic disorders. (6)
Fruits rich in potassium, such as pineapples, kale and bananas may prevent most cardiovascular impairments.
Increasing potassium intake by consuming high potassium fruits and vegetables can help with lowering blood pressure.
High potassium daily intake is in correlation with the reduced risk from ischemic heart events, as well as stroke. It has been estimated that individuals that consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49% lower mortality risk.(7)
May Reduce Cholesterol Level
Pineapples are rich in fiber and calories, but they are low in fat and cholesterol.
Pineapples are an excellent source of the vital antioxidant substances such as vitamin C and thus, may lower the concentration of free radicals in the organism.
Diets rich in beta-carotene may also play a protective role against prostate cancer. It is linked also to a lower incidence of colorectal cancer according to Japanese research studies. (8)
There are certain evidence that bromealin is able to reduce the extent of complications linked to postradiation therapy.
it has been shown that in patient with diabetes 1, high intake of dietary fibers may lower glucose levels. In patient with diabtes type 2, it may regulate blood glucose levels, lipids and insulin.
Pineapples may prevent constipation and regulate gastrointestinal peristalsis. Due to high fiber and water percentage, pineapples are great health regulator of digestive functions.
Due to bromelain enzym activity, pineapples may be effective regimen in gastointestinal helmint infections.
Colon Inflammation Disorder
Pineapples are of benefit in the inflammation of intestines due to bromelain enzymatic activity.
Pineapples, as other diets rich in antioxidants, have been shown to enhance human fertility.
Pineapples are recommended in women trying to conceive. The most important antioxidants in pineapples are vitamin C, beta-carotene, cooper, zinc and folate.(9)
- Sprains, strains
- Muscle injuries
Researches have found that bromelain may decrease swelling, haematomas and pain linked to the body injuries. (10)
Some studies have shown that bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, can reduce swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain associated with injury and surgical intervention.(11)
Bromelain may be of benefit in the postoperative recovery period due to its antiinflammatory properties on the tissues. It may as well speed up the recovery, especially after the interventions on throat, ear and nose.
High potassium level protects against muscle loss.
Pineapples are potent cardiovascular supporters due to high level of dietary fibers, potassium and vitamin C.
High potassium level has been shown to decrease the risk of heart and brain stroke. It is as well of benefit in protecting the bone tissue.
Due to bromelain effects on blood coagulation, its fibrinolytic activity is evident on the fibrin biosynthesis. (12)
In case of high levels of bromelain, prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) are significantly prolonged (13)
High potassium level are able to reduce the formation of kidney stones.
Pineapples are abundant in vitamin C. When eaten fresh, pineapples are of most benefit to fight skin impairments due to pollution. It may as well reduce wrinkles and enhance skin texture.
Vitamin C also plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of the skin.
Bromealin contains escharase and it is used in the treatment of skin wounds. (14)
Potential Side Effects
- Due to high potassium concentration, it is necessary to reduce the intake of pineappleas when an individual is on beta-blocker therapy.
- In patient with kidney stones, the intake of potassium should be decreased. Thus, the consumption of pineapples should be moderate.
- High intake of pineapples could worsen symptoms in patients with gastroesophageal disease (pain, regurgitation).3
- Matagne A et al. The proteolytic system of pineapple stems revisited: Purification and characterization of multiple catalytically active forms.Phytochemistry. 2017 Feb 23.
- Rathnavelu V et al. Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications.Biomed Rep. 2016 Sep;5(3):283-288. Epub 2016 Jul 18.
Báez R. In vivo antitumoral activity of stem pineapple (Ananas comosus) bromelain.Planta Med. 2007 Oct;73(13):1377-83. Epub 2007 Sep 24.
- Taussig SJ, Batkin S. Bromelain, the enzyme complex of pineapple (Ananas comosus) and its clinical application. An update. J Ethnopharmacol. 1988;22:191–203.
- Wei L. Association of vitamin C with the risk of age-related cataract: a meta-analysis.Acta Ophthalmol. 2016 May;94(3):e170-6.
- Secor ER Jr et al.Bromelain Inhibits Allergic Sensitization and Murine Asthma via Modulation of Dendritic Cells.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:702196. doi: 10.1155/2013/702196.
- Arjun Seth, B.S.Potassium intake and risk of stroke in hypertensive and non-hypertensive women in the Women’s Health Initiative.Stroke. 2014 Oct; 45(10): 2874–2880.
- Báez R. In vivo antitumoral activity of stem pineapple (Ananas comosus) bromelain.Planta Med. 2007 Oct;73(13):1377-83. Epub 2007 Sep 24.
- Bridget Swinney, MS, RD, LD. Eating to Fuel Fertility. Today’s Dietitian. Vol. 15 No. 5 P. 38
- Neumayer C.Combined enzymatic and antioxidative treatment reduces ischemia-reperfusion injury in rabbit skeletal muscle.J Surg Res. 2006 Jun 15;133(2):150-8. Epub 2006 Feb 3.
- Brien S,Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):251-257. Epub 2004 Oct 6.
- Livio M, De Gaetano G, Donati MB. Effect of bromelain on fibrinogen level, prothrombin complex factors and platelet aggregation in rat: a preliminary report. Drugs under Experimental and Clinical Research. 1978;4:21–23.
- De-Guili M, Pirotta F. Bromelain: interaction with some protease inhibitors and rabbit specific antiserum. Drugs under Experimental and Clinical Research. 1978;4:21–23.
- Houck JC, Chang CM, Klein G.Isolation of an effective debriding agent from the stems of pineapple plants.Int J Tissue React. 1983;5(2):125-34.