Serrapeptase is a natural dietary supplement that is often recommended to help with pain and inflammation. It was first discovered and isolated in Japan back in the 1960s, and its coveted anti-inflammatory activity has been used in medicine for over five decades.
Serratiopeptidase or serrapeptase is a type of protein (proteolytic enzyme) that was originally derived from the gut bacteria of a silkworm. Specifically, Serrapeptase is a non-pathogenic enterobacterium Serratia E-15 that is naturally present in the intestines of a silkworm, this enzyme is what allows an emerging moth to dissolve its cocoon.
While the origin of this product stemmed from silkworms and is still associated with silkworms in the minds of many. Serratiopeptidase is now grown in cultures and fermented to produce serrapeptase. When this method is followed, serrapeptase is considered a vegan-friendly product. (1)
What Is Serrapeptase?
A proteolytic enzyme is not to be confused with a digestive enzyme - calling it that would be a major understatement. Enzymes do more than digest your food, they are essential for healing, provide protection from bacteria, and help keep inflammation at bay. Other examples of proteolytic enzymes include:
Bromelain: Naturally occurring in pineapple core
Papain: Naturally occurring in papaya
- Ficin: Naturally occurring in sap from tropical fig trees
Serrapeptase has a long history in medicine and is widely used to combat various kinds of inflammation and inflammatory disorders. Serrapeptase possesses significant anti-inflammatory, proteolytic (protein dissolving) and fibrinolytic (fibrin dissolving) properties. Often prescribed in various specialities like surgery, orthopaedics, otorhinolaryngology, gynaecology and dentistry for its anti-inflammatory, anti-endemic and analgesic effects. (2)
In recent years, exploration through research shared how this enzyme also plays a vital role in the management of atherosclerosis, as it possesses fibrinolytic and caseinolytic properties (3). Like most enzymes, serratiopeptidase has multifaceted therapeutic benefits that are useful in the management of pain and inflammation.
Serrapeptase is commonly used for:
- Arthritis / Arthritic Inflammation
- Tissue Adhesions
- Swelling Issues
- Edema and fluid retention
- Post-Surgical Swelling
- Cystic Acne
- Fibrocystic Breast Changes
- Ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids
- Varicose Veins
- Irritable Bowel Disease
Commonly Asked Serrapeptase Questions & Answers from Dr. Jewel Alfoure, ND
Q: What Should I Expect from Serrapeptase
A: When used correctly Serrapeptase will probably not feel like much as it enters the gastrointestinal tract. When the enzyme is taken on an empty stomach, it makes its way down the intestines and starts releasing in bursts as the layers of a delayed released capsule disintegrates. Upon being released, the enzyme crosses the gastrointestinal walls and disperses through the body. As the enzyme is really large it will take some time before it can reach deep tissues. Upon finding a substrate (the active site that it can latch on to) it will make a connection to catalyze (make faster) the breakdown of a bond. It should expedite the natural process of healing by facilitating the breakdown of inflammatory molecules and helping with the process of remodelling scar tissue from its rough copies to its better copies. It will continue working until the body reaches the final desired condition.
Q: How Much Serrapeptase Should I Use?
A: The amount of Serrapeptase that the body will utilize is directly proportional to the substrate (active sites) the body will provide the enzyme to latch on to. Any enzyme that has not found an inflammatory compound, fibrinogen molecule, or dead piece of tissue to latch on to, will remain in the bloodstream until it naturally disintegrates. Always ask your medical practitioner how much Serrapeptase you should use. The generally recommended safe dose is a single 120,000SU capsule. Higher doses only produce an effect under the condition that the body can utilize them for breakdown.
Q: How Do I Know That Serrapeptase is Working?
A: Serrapeptase is a fast-working enzyme, and it usually ends up working even faster if there is a higher level of inflammation in the body, but the best quantitative way to find out if Serrapeptase is working is to ask for a CRP, ESR and Fibrinogen level blood work before supplementing, and then after at least 2-weeks of supplementation.
Q: What Other Supplements Pair Well With Serrapeptase
A: In relation to specific conditions, serrapeptase can be successfully paired with the following:
- Post Smoke Exposure/ Quitting Smoking: N-Acetylcysteine + Serrapeptase
- Inflammatory Arthritic Conditions: Free Flex + Serrapeptase
- Blood Vessel Clearance: Ginkgo Biloba + Serrapeptase
- Erectile Dysfunction Due to Atherosclerosis: Satisfaction + Serrapeptase
- Chronic UTIs (Biofilms): UTI X + Serrapeptase