by Dr. J. Michael Pece —
Serrapeptase is a relatively new supplement that is gaining wide recognition among medical providers for its anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and fibrolytic (breaking down fibrin, scar tissue, atherosclerosis, etc.) effects.
The Serratia peptidase enzyme was discovered in the early 1970s in silkworm intestines. The silkworm uses this enzyme (Serratia E15 microorganism) to dissolve its protective cocoon without damaging living cells, allowing the silkworm to grow into a winged insect with the ability to fly away.
Researchers were looking for an alternative to the powerful anti-inflammatory agents and pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and the more potent NSAIDs. Serrapeptase is an anti-inflammatory, proteolytic enzyme isolated from the microorganism (Serratia E15) that has no inhibitory effects on prostaglandins, is devoid of gastrointestinal side effects and offers a sensible alternative to the above-mentioned pharmaceuticals. Serrapeptase is currently being produced in the laboratory through a fermentation process.
Serrapeptase is being used to treat many conditions. The list is long and contains many of society’s most common ailments, such as arthritis (both osteo and rheumatoid), fibrocystic breast disease, carpal tunnel syndrome and atherosclerosis. Researchers in Germany use Serrapeptase to digest atherosclerotic plaques without harming the healthy lining of the arterial wall.
Many researchers today consider atherosclerosis an inflammatory condition. Narrowing of the arteries results from inflammation and microscopic trauma in the presence of oxidized lipids. Serrapeptase does not interfere with the synthesis of cholesterol, but acts as an anti-inflammatory that clears plaques from the arterial wall. It can be an effective supplement for individuals undergoing EDTA chelation therapy.
As an anti-inflammatory, Serrapeptase has been used to treat many conditions, including chronic sinusitis, removal of bronchopulmonary secretions, sprains and torn ligaments, postoperative inflammation, to facilitate the therapeutic effects of antibiotics (a person can take lower doses of antibiotics), cystitis and epididymitis, and ligament damage due to trauma.
In a double-blind study, Serrapptase use was evaluated in a group of 70 patients with evidence of cystic breast disease. The patients were randomly assigned to a treatment group or a control group. Serrapeptase was noted to be superior to a placebo for treating breast pain, swelling and induration. More than 85 percent of the patients receiving Serrapeptase reported moderate to marked improvement with no adverse reactions.
In Europe, Serrapeptase has been used as a standard treatment for inflammatory conditions and traumatic swellings. In one study at the German State Hospital in Ulm, Germany, 66 patients treated surgically for fresh ruptures of the lateral ligament were divided into three random groups. One group received the test substance (Serrapeptase), while the two control groups used traditional treatments such as elevation of the leg and bed rest, with or without the application of ice.
In the group receiving the Serrapeptase, the swelling was reduced by 50 percent on the third postoperative day, while no reduction in swelling was noted for the two control groups. Also, the patients receiving Serrapeptase became pain-free more rapidly than the control groups. The therapeutic dose was one to two tablets (5 mg) three times a day.
Another study evaluated 193 subjects suffering from acute or chronic ear, nose or throat disorders. Treatment with 5 mg tablets of Serrapeptase lasted seven to eight days. After three to four days’ treatment, significant improvement was noted in the Serrapeptase group that was not indicated in the control group. Patients suffering from laryngitis, runny nose and sinusitis noticed markedly rapid improvement. More than 97 percent of physicians noted that the efficacy of the treatment with Serrapeptase was excellent or good, while only 22 percent of them rated the efficacy of the placebo as excellent or good.
Another area where Serrapeptase is beneficial is in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. An effective treatment includes taking Serrapeptase and bromelain, along with vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) and B-6 (pyridoxin). These three supplements may help relieve the pain of carpal tunnel and similar repetitive stress injuries.
This brief overview of Serrapeptase is enough to indicate that it will likely be a major player in the years to come as a treatment for many of our modern illnesses. Perhaps the best news is that Serrapeptase is readily available; it can be found in many health food stores or is available from a naturopathic physician.
Dr. J. Michael Pece is a licensed naturopathic physician with a practice in Tempe Ariz. In his practice, he treats those with hepatitis, cancer, auto-immune disease, hormonal dysfunction and uses mesotherapy. 480-540-8838, firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.calldrmike.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 2, April/May 2006.