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No.78 Proteolytic Enzymes Improve Injury Healing

Applied Health Journal

Applied Health Journal

Topics of Health and Natural Healing
Issue 78
ISSN: 1525-6359

(Excerpt from: Avery's Sports Nutrition Almanac)
Athletic injuries cause setbacks in training and downtime during the season. Because of this, in the 1960s, a number of scientists looked for natural products that can help improve the rate of injury healing.

In animal studies, the use of proteolytic enzymes was shown to reduce the inflammation associated with injuries and to shorten healing time. Subsequent studies conducted in hospitals and using injured people, surgery patients, and women who had given birth, also demonstrated that proteolytic enzymes can help quicken the healing process.

In 1967, P. S. Boyne and H. Medhurst applied these clinically verified benefits to athletes on the playing field. In a landmark study, they gave a proteolytic-enzyme concentrate (containing trypsin and chymotrypsin) to football (soccer) players from twenty-eight professional teams. The tablets were enterically coated, enabling them to pass through the stomach and not be digested until entering the intestines, since it had been learned in animal studies that the acidic stomach environment decreases the amount of proteolytic enzymes absorbed into the body by altering the enzymes chemically.

During the study periods, any athlete who sustained a significant injury was immediately given two proteolytic-enzyme tablets, followed by two tablets at bedtime. The injured athlete then continued to take four tablets daily, in divided dosages, a half hour before meals, until he recovered from his injury and was able to return to training.

At the end of the football (soccer) season, Drs. Boyne and Mehurst determined that less playing time had been lost per player when the injured players were given the proteolytic-enzyme product, as compared to the previous season when the proteolytic-enzyme product had not been given. In other words, the proteolytic-enzyme product reduced the amount of time it took to recover from injury and return to training.

Other researchers reported similar results when using proteolytic-enzyme preparations to help quicken injury-recovery time. The benefits to the healing process include improved blood flow to the injured area, reduced inflammation, reduced edema, and improved flexibility and mobility. Along with the proteolytic enzymes (trypsin and chymotrypsin), the enzymes papain and bromelain have also been shown to be effective at improving the rate of recovery from injuries. Note that in the aforementioned studies, proper medical attention was also administered, along with drug therapy when indicated, as well as physical therapy, rest, and the application of ice. The oral proteolytic-enzyme products were well tolerated by the subjects, and side effects were rarely reported.

So, the next time you experience a sports-related injury - or any injury, for that matter - include a short course of proteolytic enzymes in your treatment. . . .


Article Reference: E. Burke, D. Gastelu. Avery's Sports Nutrition Almanac, p.111-112. (Excerpt reprinted from the Enzyme University, www.enzymeuniversity.com Sponsored by the National Enzyme Company, Forsyth, Missouri, USA, 65653.)

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