Pineapple is more than just a refreshingly sweet and juicy fruit; it is also a nutrient-rich food with a variety of health benefits. In fact, scientific studies have shown that pineapple provides specific health benefits and treats several ailments. These benefits can be derived from fresh pineapple, pineapple juice, or from nutritional supplements, and much of the research with pineapple has involved bromelain, an extract.
Pineapple and Cancer
Pineapple could play a role in cancer treatment. A 2012 study in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that bromelain, a substance found in pineapple, caused the death of breast cancer cells . The study’s authors, who were affiliated with the Rumbaugh Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research, Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, and Nova Southeastern University, found that higher amounts of bromelain produced greater levels of cell death. Pineapple could, therefore, be involved in cancer treatment, and could even be used as a preventative measure.
Pineapple for Mouth Swelling
Pineapple seems to be effective for preventing swelling after oral surgery. Researchers from India conducted a study with pineapple for publication in a 2016 edition of the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry . Participants in the study received bromelain alongside an antibiotic after having surgery to remove their molars, and study results showed that 70 percent of them found this substance to be efficacious for pain and swelling. Based on the results of this study, it might be helpful to take a supplement or consume fresh pineapple or pineapple juice following oral surgery or painful dental procedures.
Knee Pain Treated with Pineapple
Individuals suffering from knee pain could find relief with pineapple. A 2002 study in Phytomedicine evaluated the effects of two doses of bromelain on patients experiencing knee pain . One group of patients received 200 milligrams of bromelain every day for one month, and a second group took a 400-milligram supplement. Study results showed that the symptoms of knee pain improved in both groups, with the higher dose group showing better results. Scientists from The University of Reading in the United Kingdom led his study.
Pineapple for Sinus Illnesses
The bromelain in pineapple has shown effectiveness for the treatment of sinus infections in children. A German study titled, “Therapeutic use, efficiency, and safety of the proteolytic pineapple enzyme Bromelain-POS in children with acute sinusitis in Germany” found that children undergoing bromelain treatment for sinusitis recovered more quickly from their illness compared to those who received standard treatment for the condition . Fresh pineapple, juices, or supplements could be utilized in place of medications to provide relief to children with sinus infections.
Pineapple and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Pineapple could provide relief to patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis. A 2010 study in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found that pineapple juice decreased colon inflammation in mice with colitis; it also increased the rate of survival compared to a control group . The study’s authors, who were from Duke University Medical Center, concluded that the consumption of pineapple juice is safe and can reduce inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory effects of pineapple juice are effective for inflammatory bowel diseases, and the research with bromelain, a pineapple extract, supports its use for other conditions, such as sinus infections, knee pain, and swelling. The bromelain in pineapple is powerful enough that it could even fight against cancer. The science proves that pineapple is effective for multiple health conditions and ailments, but even people without these specific conditions can benefit from the nutrition that pineapple provides. According to Megan Ware of Medical News Today, pineapple is packed with nutrients such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which can protect against cancer . Ware has also reported that the fiber content in pineapple can reduce the risk of cancer, lower blood sugar levels, and prevent constipation. It seems that pineapple is useful not only for specific ailments and medical conditions but also for general health and wellness, and it should be regularly included in the diet.
Bromelain for Cellular Protection
Bromelain can help protect the body’s cells from cancer. In 2014, researchers from the University of Naples in Italy conducted a study with bromelain for publication in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. They assessed the effects of bromelain extracted from pineapple stem on colon cancer cells and found that the bromelain decreased the spread of the cancer cells and caused cell death . Bromelain, therefore, has a protective effect on the body’s cellular system and could be useful for the prevention and treatment of cancer.