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Serrapeptase and Inflammation
Serrapeptase - the 2nd gift from the Silk Worm Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It digests inflammatory tissue. It was originally found in microbes in the intestine of the Silk Worm and is used to make a hole in the cocoon so that the moth may emerge. The silk worm also uses it to digest the tough Mulberry Leaves on which it feeds. Today, it is processed in vats and harvested under clinical conditions that do not involve the Silk-Worm (no Silk Worms are harmed in the process!) Before launching into what it is and what it does, it is helpful to first outline Enzymes and Inflammation generally:
What is an enzyme? Enzymes are present in all organic - living - matter. They act like catalysts, bringing about a change without themselves being changed. They are made of RNA (RiboNucleicAcid) which is made of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid). They are sometimes called 'active proteins' because they make things happen. They require specific temperature and pH levels to work. They are essential in every function of growth, repair and, therefore, health of every cell in your body. Thousands of enzymes are at work every second to build and regenerate our bodies - they are constantly being converted or produced in our body and depend upon good nutrition to keep ahead of daily damage and degeneration. They need help in this job and they get this from Co-enzymes which are critical vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12. Even small deficiencies in these critical Co-enzymes can result in disease. Zinc, for example, is needed in about 80 enzyme activities. Without enzymes and co-enzymes there would be no living thing as we know it - all life depends on enzymes.
These enzymes have specific jobs: Digest food, break down toxins, cleanse blood, support immune system, convert protein to muscle, contract muscles, eliminate carbon dioxide from the lungs, support the pancreas and other vital organs.
Enzymes are the workers in your body - they carry out every chemical reaction. To have a healthy body you need both workers (enzymes) and building materials. The building materials are the proteins (amino acids), minerals, vitamins.
Enzymes are highly specific, very efficient and are subject to a variety of cellular controls. Enzymes are either ingested in what we eat, or are produced by other enzymes. Some have a long life (weeks), others very short (minutes). This means that we need a daily intake of enzymes.
What is inflammation? The nonspecific immune response that occurs in reaction to any type of bodily injury. It is a stereotyped response that is identical whether the injurious agent is a pathogenic organism, foreign body, ischemia (lack of oxygen in tissue), physical trauma, ionizing radiation, electrical energy or extremes of temperature. The reactions produced during inflammation and repair may be harmful (ie hypersensitivity reactions, the processes that lead to rheumatoid arthritis, for example).
Inflammation is the bodies defensive response to trauma - injury/damage. It is the first response of the immune system to infection or irritation. It traps microbes, toxins and foreign material at the site of the injury/damage and prepares the site for tissue repair.
Inflammation is characterized by redness, heat, swelling, pain and dysfunction of the organs involved.
The redness and heat are caused by the increased blood supply to the affected area. Blood vessels are vasodilated (widened) upstream of damage/an infection while capillary permeability to the affected tissue is increased, resulting in a loss of blood plasma. Vasoconstriction downstream of the damage/infection further increases oedema or swelling as the resulting fluid is trapped in the area. The swelling distends the tissues, compresses nerve endings, and thus causes pain. The organ or bodily system involved is unable to function efficiently and disease or disorder results.
There are three possible results to inflammation:
Resolution would be the complete reconstitution of damaged tissue, it does not usually occur in the body.
Connective tissue scarring. Some 24 hours after inflammation first occurred the healing response will commence, this response involves the formation of connective tissue to bridge the gap caused by injury, and the process of angiogenesis which is the formation of new blood cells, to provide nutrients to the newly formed tissue. Often healing can not occur completely and a scar will form, for example after laceration to the skin, a connective tissue scar results which does not contain any specialised structures such as hair or sweat glands.
Ongoing or chronic inflammation. If the injurious agent continues chronic inflammation will ensue, this is marked by inflammation lasting many days, months or even years. It is characterised by a dominating presence of macrophages in the injured tissue, which continue the bodies response to the inflammation. These cells are powerful defensive agents of the body, but the toxins they release (including reactive oxygen species) are injurious to our own tissues as well as invading agents. This is why chronic inflammation is almost always accompanied by tissue destruction/tissue death. Finally there may be abscess formation in chronic inflammation (abscess being a collection of pus).
Systemic inflammation Sepsis - Acute Inflammation When inflammation overwhelms the whole body, systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is diagnosed. When it is due to infection, the term 'sepsis' is applied. Vasodilation and organ dysfunction are serious problems that may lead to death. With systemic inflammation, more than one organ or function can be affected - occasionally leading to all organs and functions being affected.
Low-grade - Chronic Inflammation Although the processes involved are identical, this form of inflammation is not confined to a particular tissue but involves the endothelium (lining of blood vessels) and many other organ systems. The role of systemic inflammation as a cause and/or result of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis is the subject of intense research. Chronic inflammtion is what is happening in case of chronic sinusitis or chronic bronchitis, for example.
Chronic Inflammation can be defined as: - inflammation of slow progress and marked chiefly by the formation of new connective tissue; it may be a continuation of an acute form or a prolonged low-grade form, and usually causes permanent tissue damage.
Whilst inflammation is a necessary response by the body to protect it from invading micro-organisms and other types of damage, excessive inflammation can limit joint function, destroy bone and cartilage and other articular/joint structures. It is now believed that inflammation is the root cause of all diseases and conditions of the human body.
Auto Immune disorders arise from inflammation
What about Auto-Immune disorders, such as Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis etc? In the case of Auto-Immune disorders, the body loses its ability to differentiate between innocuous and potentially dangerous substances. This results, quite often, in the body attacking itself as if it own cells were invaders. This can result in a wide array of problems known as Auto-Immune disorders. These include allergies, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, uveitis, multiple sclerosis and some forms of cancer. This is not an exhaustive list - there are many more such disorders. However, in all Auto-Immune disorders, the body is in chronic inflammatory response resulting in tissue damage, formation of fibrotic scar tissue, dysfunction, pain etc.
Drug Therapy In spite of a huge number of successful studies showing safety and effectiveness of Serrapeptase, the standard drug therapy in the UK for inflammatory mediated diseases and trauma include Steroids and Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatorys - NSAIDs. Both classes of drugs offer temporary, symptomatic relief from swelling, inflammation and pain without treating the underlying condition. These drugs may also be immunosuppressive AND cause dangerous side effects, often meaning that other drugs must be prescribed to counter the damage being caused by the first. The use of these drugs must be weighed up against the long-term unwanted side effects. For example, if left untreated rheumatoid arthritis can lead to limitation of joint function and destruction of bone, cartilage and articular structures. Treatment with NSAIDs will likely result in damage to the lining of the stomach resulting in the formation of gastric ulcers and requiring the prescription of further drugs to protect the stomach from that damage. Of course, the original condition, in this example the rheumatoid arthritis, is abated but still present - the NSAIDs are only masking the symptoms, not dealing with the root cause of the problem.
NSAIDs are the among the most widely prescribed group of drugs. Most physicians rotate among the ten most widely prescribed NSAIDs, as soon as one causes side effects or stops working. Because of the unwanted side effects of these drugs, sufferers often find themselves having to take a large cocktail of drugs just to keep symptoms at bay.
How can Serrapeptase help? Serrapeptase digests non-living tissue - blood clots, cysts, arterial plaques and inflammation in all forms. Serrapeptase is in wide clinical use throughout Europe and Asia and is a viable alternative to Salicylates, Ibuprofen and the more potent NSAIDs. Unlike these drugs, Serrapeptase is a naturally occurring, physiologic agent with no inhibitory effects on prostaglandins and devoid of gastro-intestinal side effects.
The mechanisms of Serrapeptase consist fundamentally of a reduction of the production of the inflammatory reaction within tissue and an inhibition of the release of inflammatory mediators (histamine etc). It induces the breakdown of fibrinose tissue and reduces the viscosity of exudates. Serrapeptase breaks these substances down into harmless Amino Acids which are then dealt with by the body as normal waste products. The enzyme quite literally digests the inflammatory tissue.
Are there any side effects? Serrapeptase has been used for almost 30 years and no serious side effects have been known. There was one case of a man having a lung infection which was attributed to the use of Serrapeptase, but this has been widely questioned and among the many thousands of users over those 30 years, this has been the only reported case. Neither does Serrapeptase have any known interaction with prescribed drugs, other than to make their use unnecessary.
Uses, studies and evidence - a few examples
Pain Reduction: While Serrapeptase reduces inflammation, one of its most profound benefits is reduction of pain, due to its ability to block the the release of pain-inducing amines from the inflamed tissues. Doctors throughout Europe and Asia have recognised the anti-inflammatory and pain-blocking benefits of this naturally occurring substance and are using it as an alternative the NSAIDs.
Post-operative Swelling and Pain: In Germany and other European countries, Serrapeptase is a common treatment for inflammatory and traumatic swellings. One double blind study showed that patients receiving Serrapeptase after knee surgery had a 50% reduction in swelling and pain compared to the patients in the study who received a placebo, by the third day after the operation. The patients receiving the Serrapeptase also became pain free more quickly than the others and by the tenth day, their pain had disappeared completely.
Carpal Tunnel/RSI: Carpal Tunnel syndrome is a form of musculo-ligamentous strain caused by repetitive motion injury. While surgery had been considered the first-line treatment, recent studies reveal that the use of Serrapeptase in conjunction with bromelain (another proteolytic enzyme) and Vitamins B2 and B6 is also effective.
Fibrocystic breast disease: Serrapeptase has been successfully used in the treatment Fibrocystic breast disease. In a double blind study, Serrapeptase was superior to a placebo for improvement of breast pain, breast swelling and induration (firmness of the tissue). Nearly 90% of patients receiving Serrapeptase reported moderate to marked improvement. No adverse reactions were noted.
Sinusitis: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Serrapeptase has been shown in clinical studies to benefit chronic sinusitis sufferers. In this condition, the mucous in patients congested nasal passage ways is thickened and over secreted. Serrapeptase was found to reduce the viscosity of nasal mucous which aided in its elimination. Pain and inflammation were also reduced.
Ear, Nose and Throat etc: Other clinical trials support Serrapeptase's ability to relieve problems associated with ear, nose and throat infection, anosmia (loss of smell), nasal obstruction, laryngitis, difficulty swallowing etc. and often in only 3-4days. Studies showed that nearly 98% of people in the trial had excellent relief compared to only 22% of those receiving a placebo. One anecdotal report indicated that Serrapeptase ended years of snoring literally overnight. Chronic Bronchitis: In a study, the Serrapeptase group showed excellent results compared with the placebo group in the improvement of loosening sputum, frequency of cough and expectoration. Other benefits included lessening of post-nasal drip and production of excessive mucous.
In the case of bacterial infection, it has also been demonstrated that simultaneous use of Serrapeptase and an antibiotic results in increased concentrations of the antibiotic at the site of the infection. This means that the antibiotic can more effectively deal with the bacteria that are causing the problem.
Cardiovascular Implications: The formation of plaque in the arteries involves deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin (a clotting material in the blood) on the inner lining of the arteries. Excessive plaque results in partial or complete blockage of the blood's flow through the artery, resulting in artherosclerosis, and potentially a stroke or heart attack. The late German Cardiologist, Dr Hans Nieper, used Serrapeptase on patients who were candidates for chelation treatment and surgery to remove the plaque from arteries. Nieper's research and use of the enzyme indicated that the protein dissolving properties of Serrapeptase will gradually break down artherosclerotic plaques. Hardening and narrowing of the arterial wall is a cumulative result of microscopic trauma: inflammation occurs in the presence of oxidised lipids. Serrapeptase doesn't interfere with the synthesis of cholesterol in the body, but acts as an anti-inflammatory and keeps avital (non-living) tissue from the arterial wall. It is important to note that cholesterol in its pure state is an antioxidant and a necessary component of the major organ and hormonal systems in the body. The use of medications that block cholesterol biosynthesis may eventually damage the liver and compromise anti-oxidant status of the eyes, lungs and other soft tissues.
How is Serrapeptase taken? Serrapeptase is available from myself as a Health Advisor with Good Health Naturally in tablet and capsule form. It is important that the product is enterically coated - this means that it will not be dissolved in the stomach by stomach acids, but will pass into the intestine and be safely absorbed into the blood stream. It is also available in conjunction with other enzymes and minerals to provide even more powerful supplements - Serrazyme, Serrapeptase Plus and SAMe are a few examples. Health plans are available which offer the optimum plan for your particular condition/s with suggestions for supplements and general advice on healthy living to optimise your chances of recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions: Has it any side effects - can I take too much? No side effects have been found in nearly 30 years of usage. Many people take very high doses to speed up relief (eg in sports injuries which can be as high as 30 per day with no side effects whatsoever, except a faster recovery.
Is it safe for everyone? Yes, even for children over 2 years..
Why can it benefit so many different conditions? Although Serrapeptase simply digests dead and inflamed tissue, these two problems are the cause of the majority of symptoms in the body. The wide range of conditions that respond to Serrapeptase include: -Varicose Veins and other circulatory problems -Pain problems such as arthritis, joints, muscles and even MS -Lung disease such as emphysema, asthma, bronchitis and bronchiecstasis -Sinus and other ENT problems -Post operative healing, lesions and cysts (breast, ovarian etc) -Arterial plaque, DVT, blood clots -Migraines (vascular) -Enlarged prostrate these are a few examples.
Can it be used on animals such as cats and dogs? Yes, it has proven to be very effective on ALL animals. Many Vets now prescribe it and many owners now share their supply with their pets!
Will it work on scarring - internal and external? It will work on all types of scarring including diabetic ulcers etc. By continually ingesting the scar tissue, healthy tissue will eventually replace old scar tissue. It may not completely eradicate all scarring but the worse the scarring, the better the visual effect. It may takes 3 months before benefit is seen but combining this with Manual Lymphatic Drainage could have dramatic effects on scar tissue.
Will it help Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Serrapeptase will remove dead tissue and inflammation from the digestive tract, thereby relieving the symptoms.
Can I take Serrapeptase when I am pregnant? Yes, both pre and post natal.
Why don't Doctors prescribe it if it is so good? They do, just not in the UK. In Germany and some other countries, it is available on prescription and has been so for 25 years! Some Doctors in the UK know about it and recommend it to their patients, but it is not available on prescription.
Conclusion: If you suffer from inflammatory diseases - rheumatoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis, sinusitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, snoring, fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian cysts, fibromyalgia, varicose veins, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), migraine headaches, enlarged prostrate, tennis elbow, lung problems, artherosclerosis, oedema, pain or cardiovascular plaque build up, Serrapeptase may provide the relief you are looking for without the side effects of NSAIDs and COX2 enzyme inhibiting drugs. If you are a long-term user of prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, chances are you are already suffering from the side effects, or are having to take other prescribed drugs to keep those side effects at bay. By taking Serrapeptase you could be protecting yourself against long-term damage caused to the body by the very drugs that are prescribed to remove your symptoms. And, Serrapeptase could alleviate those symptoms more effectively than the prescribed medications.
For more information on Serrapeptase and the other products available and for details of studies, evidence from practitioners etc, visit Good Health Naturally
From there you can access MANY pages of detailed information about the enzyme and its uses in relation to conditions and diseases etc.
Or, contact me for more information or with help ordering products.
References include the book 'Pain Relief, Inflammation and Clear Arteries - The 2nd Gift from Silkworms is Serrapeptase' by Robert Redfern Serrapeptase Info Aviva - Lifestyle and health the text book 'Principles of Anatomy and Physiology - Tortora/Grabowski Serrapeptase - a powerful anti-inflammatory without the side effects of NSAIDS and steroids