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Healing Power of Proteolytic Enzymes

The following is an excerpt from the article

Healing Power of Proteolytic Enzymes by Dr. Michael T. Murray

Proteolytic enzymes (or proteases) refer to the various enzymes that digest (break down into smaller units) protein. These enzymes include the pancreatic proteases chymotrypsin and trypsin, bromelain (pineapple enzyme), papain (papaya enzyme), fungal proteases, and Serratia peptidase (the silk worm enzyme). Preparations of proteolytic enzymes have been shown to be useful in the following situations: Cancer, Digestion support, Fibrocystic breast disease, Food allergies, Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), Hepatitis C, Herpes zoster (shingles), Inflammation, sports injuries and trauma, Pancreatic insufficiency, Multiple sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, Sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Proteolytic enzymes have a long history of use in cancer treatment. In 1906, John Beard, a Scottish embryologist, reported on the successful treatment of cancer using a pancreatic extract in his book The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and its Scientific Basis. Proteolytic enzymes have been promoted by numerous alternative cancer practitioners for many years, but most recently by Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D., who is evaluating the benefit of proteolytic enzymes in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer in a large-scale study, funded by the National Institute of Healths National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, with collaboration from the National Cancer Institute. This larger trial is a follow-up to a smaller study that showed dramatic improvements in these patients. [1]

What clinical research has been done with proteolytic enzymes in cancer?

The clinical research that currently exists on proteolytic enzymes suggests significant benefits in the treatment of many forms of cancer. [2] Specifically these studies have shown improvements in the general condition of patients, quality of life, and modest to significant improvements in life expectancy. Studies have consisted of patients with cancers of the breast lung, stomach, head and neck, ovaries, cervix, and colon; and lymphomas and multiple myeloma. These studies involved the use of proteolytic enzymes in conjunction with conventional therapy (surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation) indicating that proteolytic enzymes can be used safely and effectively with these treatments. Proteolytic enzymes are not recommended for at least two days before or after a surgery as they may increase the risk of bleeding. Proteolytic enzymes have been shown to be quite helpful in speeding up post-surgical recovery and relieving a complication of surgery and radiation known as lymphedema.

Read Proteolytic Enzymes and Inflammation by Lane Lenard, PhD, Ward Dean, MD and Jim English.

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