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Last modified on January 4th, 2023
What is serrapeptase used for, and why is this supplement becoming so popular? One of the main things serrapeptase is used for is reducing inflammation. This supplement is an enzyme that comes from bacteria in silkworms. It’s been used in Japan and Europe for a long time to help with inflammation, inflammatory conditions, and pain due to surgery and trauma. Below, we talk more about what serrapeptase is used for and what you should know before trying it.
Our recommended serrapeptase supplement brands include:
- Doctor’s Best High-Potency Serrapeptase
- Designs for Health Natto-Serrazime
- Mary Ruth’s Serrapeptase Enzymes
An Overview of Serrapeptase
Serrapeptase is also sometimes called serratiopeptidase, and it’s a proteolytic enzyme. Proteolytic enzymes break down proteins into smaller pieces, which are amino acids. The use of proteolytic enzymes became more popular in the U.S. in the 1950s when it was observed they had powerful anti-inflammation effects.
Researchers in Japan and Europe have found that serrapeptase tends to be the best for inflammation of all the proteolytic enzymes.
What is Serrapeptase Used For?
The following are some of the specific things serrapeptase is used for:
As mentioned, serrapeptase is something that can be excellent for inflammation. In dentistry, serrapeptase has been used for minor procedures like tooth removal, and it can also help with facial swelling and lockjaw.
Serrapeptase is thought to work by decreasing inflammatory cells at affected sites. The enzyme might facilitate the movement of immune cells and regulate lymphocyte levels at the site of inflammation.
Inflammation is your body’s natural response to infection, injuries, and autoimmune conditions, and it’s also one of the elements of conditions that cause pain. In certain countries worldwide, enzyme-based anti-inflammatory drugs are becoming more popular than conventional drugs to reduce pain because of their side effects.
Serrapeptase may help with inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, injuries, sinusitis and bronchitis, carpal tunnel, and muscle inflammation.
Using serrapeptase for inflammation can help regulate the migration of immune cells from lymph nodes to inflamed or injured tissues to help bring everything back to normal conditions or homeostasis.
Serrapeptase also appears to work by breaking down something called cyclooxygenase, an enzyme producing many inflammatory molecules. Serrapeptase can also block the release of something called bradykinin in damaged tissue, which causes a pain response, and that effect reduces pain.
As mentioned, there are benefits of serrapeptase for pain. Pain is a symptom of inflammation.
In one study looking at almost 200 people with inflammatory conditions affecting the ears, nose, and throat, researchers found participants taking a serrapeptase supplement significantly reduced their pain and mucus production compared to participants taking a placebo.
Serrapeptase may help with symptoms of respiratory infections, including bronchitis and sinusitis. The supplement’s ability to thin out and move excess mucus and fluids is beneficial for respiratory infections and conditions. Serrapeptase can also help support your lymphatic drainage and reduce the accumulation of neutrophils.
Neutrophils are the white blood cells that your immune system releases after an infection. If an excess amount accumulates in your lungs, it can make mucus thicken, and it can cause symptoms to affect your ears, nose, and throat worse.
When answering what serrapeptase is used for, another answer is autoimmune diseases. Several studies show that serrapeptase may be helpful on its own or when used with other drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
The benefits of serrapeptase for autoimmune diseases may be because it dissolves damaged and dead tissue, which is created as part of your healing response, but it doesn’t hurt living tissues.
Taking proteolytic enzymes orally, including serrapeptase and nattokinase, may help modulate the factors contributing to Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers think enzymes could be therapeutic for treating neurological disorders because they can help reduce the expression levels of genes linked to conditions like Alzheimer’s.
Joint and Bone Pain
Serrapeptase can help reduce swelling after operations and injuries by as much as 50% just a few days later. As a result, serrapeptase may help with sprains, post-operative swelling, torn ligaments, and carpal tunnel.
Fertility and Reproductive Health
Reproductive conditions include uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
Holistic practitioners sometimes use enzyme therapy to help women deal with these issues and infertility. Serrapeptase can help dissolve and digest non-living tissue, including scars, fibrous cysts in the uterus and breasts, and blood clots.
There’s some evidence that serrapeptase could clear inflammation and block scar tissue in the fallopian tubes, which is why some women will use it to support their conception efforts.
While serrapeptase isn’t a cure for cancer or replacement for traditional cancer treatments, enzyme therapy is something people explore as a complementary treatment for cancer. Enzyme therapy for cancer involves using proteolytic enzymes to help boost your body’s natural immune response. Systemic enzyme therapy can help the immune system but may help break down fibrin in the body, making chemotherapy treatments more effective.
The Side Effects of Serrapeptase
Serrapeptase is a supplement with powerful potential benefits, but you do have to be careful because side effects can occur. Possible serrapeptase side effects include nausea, digestive upset, skin inflammation, and joint and muscle pain.
Also possible is the risk for infections and bleeding, and bruising.
If you use serrapeptase, speak to your healthcare provider with any questions.
Most studies use doses of anywhere from 10-60 mg daily, but smaller doses might help with milder side effects, like mild pain.
It’s best to take this supplement on an empty stomach, typically first thing in the morning. You should ideally wait at least a half hour to eat. After eating, wait at least two hours before you take serrapeptase.
Final Thoughts—What Is Serrapeptase Used For?
Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme used for enzyme therapy. Serrapeptase can be used for pain and inflammation, it can help with autoimmune diseases, respiratory health, and reproductive health.
Gemmler, Lennart, et al. “Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy in Complementary Oncology: A systematic review.” Anticancer Research, 2021. Accessed December 28, 2022.
Jadhav, Swati B. et al. “Serratiopeptidase: Insights into therapeutic applications.” Biotechnology Reports, December 28, 2020. Accessed December 28, 2022.
Tiwari, Manju. “The role of serratiopeptidase in the resolution of inflammation.” Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, May 12, 2017. Accessed December 28, 2022.