Papain is a protein-digesting enzyme extracted from the raw fruit of the papaya plant. It is an effective supplement ingredient due to its pain and inflammation reducing properties.
Furthermore, papain is also popular for aiding digestion and improving symptoms of infections. To maximize its effects, some manufacturers mix it with other enzymes, such as bromelain.
1. Aids Digestion
Papain is popular for aiding digestion by easing digestive symptoms, such as bloating and constipation.
According to a study conducted in 2013 on people with chronic gastrointestinal dysfunction, a papaya preparation called Caricol significantly reduced symptoms of bloating and constipation.
2. May Ease Sore Throat
Papain may help ease sore throat symptoms, including pain, redness, and swelling.
According to this research conducted on 100 people with sore throats, tonsillitis, or pharyngitis, throat lozenges containing 5 milligrams of lysozyme, 200 international units (IU) of bacitracin, and 2 milligrams of papain helped patients significantly.
But since these 3 supplements combined brought the results, how much of an effect papain played in easing the symptoms remains unknown.
However, when these three supplements are combined, they’re confirmed to improve throat condition significantly.
3. May Reduce Pain and Inflammation
According to this article by Nutrition Review, proteolytic enzymes help reduce inflammation as well as, if not better than many anti-inflammatory medicines.
Some physicians even prescribe papain due to its anti-inflammatory properties for speeding up wound recovery and slowing down swelling caused by a trauma or injury.
4. Is Shown to Reduce Symptoms of Skin Disorders
Multiple studies suggest that papain reduces symptoms of skin ulcers, wounds, and other skin disorders.
In 2012, this systematic review concluded that papain is highly effective in reducing symptoms of many types of wounds during different healing stages.
However, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered companies to stop manufacturing unapproved topical papain products because they’re directly linked to a fatal allergic reaction in some people.
5. Eases Muscle Soreness
According to a 2014 study, papain supplements help relieve pain caused by intense exercise.
During the study, some participants were given papain and others were given a placebo prior to running downhill for 30 minutes.
The papain group experienced less muscular pain and better muscle recovery than the placebo group.
Health Issues Associated With Papain Deficiency
Since papain is a protein-digesting enzyme, you should add it to your diet because proteolytic enzyme deficiency can lead to many health issues, including:
- Slower muscle recovery — which prolongs the discomfort you’re suffering.
- Poor stomach condition — which can lead to constipation and bloating.
- Extremely slow wound recovery — which can prolong an injury.
Daily Recommended Intake
Since papain is used for improving symptoms of different health issues, the daily recommended intake varies according to the condition you’re trying to treat.
Based on current research:
- For herpes zoster, an enzyme combination containing a small amount of papain should be used for 14 days.
- For pharyngitis, lozenges containing 2 milligrams of papain, 5 milligrams of lysozyme, and 200 I.U. of bacitracin should be taken for 4 days.
- For treating pain, swelling, and inflammation, 1,500 milligrams of papain should be ingested daily until symptoms disappear completely.
Also, please remember that too much of anything is bad for your health, and papain is not an exception to this rule. When taken in excess, it has several side effects including severe throat damage.
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