Pineapple Plant Extract Found to Reduce Asthma in Mice
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New systematic research results demonstrates that bromelain, derived from pineapple plant stem, is effective in reducing inflammation associated with asthma, an inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized by reversible (in most cases) airway obstruction.



Newswise - The pineapple, first encountered by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World, was for centuries so rare that it was considered the treat of kings. Over time, it came to symbolize hospitality and wealth.

Bromelain: The Pineapple Stem's By-Product is an Anti-Inflammatory
Today, fruit is accessible to everyone - explorers, kings and the rest of us. But few know that the pineapple plant also contains an extract -- bromelain -- that is a natural blood thinner and anti-inflammatory agent, which translates into beneficial effects for the body.

Precisely the way that bromelain works is unknown, but preliminary studies have shown effects of breaking down fibrin, a blood-clotting protein that can impede circulation and prevent tissues from draining properly. Bromelain also alters the production of compounds that can cause swelling and pain. When inflammation is reduced, blood can move more easily to a traumatized area, reducing pain and speeding healing. Bromelain is a powerful protein-digesting (or proteolytic) enzyme. Consequently, a number of over-the counter supplements are made from this enzyme.

A New Study
Eric R. Secor, Jr., ND, MS, LAc., MPH Candidate, of the University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT, is the primary researcher for the study entitled "The Anti-inflammatory Effects of Bromelain." Dr. Secor, a naturopathic physician, and NIH Post Doctoral Fellow, will present his findings at the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) 19th Annual Convention & Exposition, being held September 8-11, 2004, at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center, Seattle, WA.

His study offers a systematic research result which demonstrates that bromelain is effective in reducing inflammation associated with asthma, an inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized by reversible (in most cases) airway obstruction. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), some 17 million Americans have the disease.

Methodology
Dr. Secor's animal study encompassed three distinct phases. The first phase was to select a high quality bromelain product; phase two consisted of creating a suitable dose response, and determining the amount of bromelain necessary to cause a physiological reaction in an experimental model of acute asthma; the final phase of the experiment was to induce asthma into the test animals (mice), and then analyze the anti-inflammatory effects of bromelain in this asthma model.

Three groups of mice were included in the study. All were induced with acute (seven day) asthma; the control group was treated with saline; the two other groups were treated with two different doses of bromelain, (2mg/Kg) and (6mg/Kg). All mice received eight days of treatment to test bromelain's effect on reducing inflammation normally found in acute, seven-day asthma.

Results
Blood, lung tissue, and lung lavage samples from all three groups were examined. The key findings from the research were:

* Compared to the control group: bromelain treatment significantly reduced the total white blood cell count, which increases with the onset of asthma.

* The cell markers for inflammatory asthma, eosinophils, were reduced over 50 percent following treatment with bromelain.

* The effectiveness of the enzyme treatment corresponded with the dose response; in other words, increased doses of bromelain produced more effective results.

* No change was noted in the control group.

Conclusions
This study could offer a significant breakthrough in the treatment of a pulmonary disorder that has reduced the quality of life for millions of Americans. Further research will indicate whether bromelain supplements could be a useful treatment regimen for asthma and many other acute and chronic inflammatory diseases.

About Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine is based upon a holistic philosophy, an approach to medical care that emphasizes the study of all aspects of a person's health, with an emphasis on finding the underlying cause of the patient's condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. This delivery of healthcare encompasses safe and effective traditional therapies with the most current advances in modern medicine. Naturopathic medicine is appropriate for the management of a broad range of health conditions affecting people of all ages.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) was founded in 1985 to provide alternative methods for healing human diseases and disorders than have been traditionally offered in the United States. Members must have graduated from one of the country's six graduate schools of naturopathic medicine and
served a clinical residency.

For more information about naturopathic medicine, go to
http://www.naturopathic.org.


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