The main difference between papain and bromelain is that papain is present in papaya plants, whereas bromelain is present in pineapples.
Proteolytic enzymes help in (catalyze) the breakdown and digestion of proteins. They are present in the body as well as in certain foods and dietary supplements. Apart from the function of breakdown of proteins, these enzymes exhibit other functions too. Some of them are blood clotting, immune function, protein recycling, and cell division. In plants, they perform functions such as helping in the proper growth and development of plants and acting as a defense mechanism against pests like insects. Papain and bromelain are two such proteolytic enzymes present in plants.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Papain
– Definition, Features, Uses
2. What is Bromelain
– Definition, Features, Uses
3. Difference Between Papain and Bromelain
– Comparison of Key Differences
Papain, Bromelain, Proteolytic Enzymes
What is Papain
Papain is a protease enzyme present in the white fluid that occurs in raw papaya fruit. Papain helps to break down proteins into smaller protein fragments. We call these smaller protein fragments peptides and amino acids. People can take in papain to the body by eating raw papaya. One can even consume it as a papain-only supplement or as a supplement having a combination of papain and other enzymes.
Furthermore, papain breaks down tough meat fibers. In the initial step of cell culture preparation, papain helps in the dissociation of cells. Only a ten-minute treatment to the tissue is required for the papain to start cleaning the extracellular matrix molecules, which hold the cells together. After ten minutes time period, the tissue is treated with a protease inhibitor solution to stop the protease action. Without the inhibition, papain will perform the complete lysis(death) of the cell. Papain also acts as an ingredient in various enzymatic debriding preparations. It is also added to mint sweets and toothpaste as a tooth whitener. In fact, Papacarie, a gel used for chemomechanical dental caries removal, has papain as the main ingredient. It is also used to assemble thin films of titania, which are used in photovoltaic cells.
When considering papain’s health benefits, it helps in the reduction of pain, swelling, and inflammation. It is also used in the improvement of digestion and treatment of allergies, infections, and diarrhea. Other potential benefits of papain include helping to ease sore throats and healing wounds, easing muscle soreness, and relieving shingles symptoms. Potential side effects and risks associated with the intake of high doses of papain are stomach irritation, throat irritation, allergic reaction, and esophageal perforation.
What is Bromelain
Bromelain is a protease enzyme. It is present in the pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem, along with minute amounts of some other substances. Bromelain is a white powder that is soluble in water. It is stable at around the temperatures of 50 -60 degrees of centigrade. Bromelain is available as a supplement as well, generally in pill or tablet form for oral ingestion. Eating pineapples or drinking pineapple juice is not enough for its effectiveness.
When considering the potential health benefits of bromelain, it is effective in treating cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack, peripheral artery diseases, and stroke. It is also effective in treating asthma and other allergic airway diseases. Studies also show that bromelain also helps in chronic sinusitis, colitis, burns, and cancer.
There may be side effects of bromelain when taken in high doses than prescribed amounts. They include vomiting, heavy menstrual bleeding, nausea, and diarrhea. Experts advise against using bromelain if you take a blood thinner because it is believed to have antiplatelet effects on the blood, which can increase the potential for excessive bleeding. Hence, doctors do not prescribe bromelain for use before or after surgery. Bromelain also helps in meat tenderizing.
Difference Between Papain and Bromelain
Papain is a protease enzyme present in the white fluid that occurs in raw papaya fruit, while bromelain is a protease enzyme present in the pineapple juice and pineapple stem.
While papain comes from papaya plants, bromelain comes from pineapples.
Papain is used in cell culture preparation, dissociation of cells, enzymatic debriding preparations, in mint sweets and toothpaste, in Papacarie, and in meat tenderizing, whereas bromelain is also used in meat tenderizing.
Papain helps in the reduction of pain, swelling, inflammation, digestion improvements, allergy, infections, diarrhea reduction, healing wounds, and curing soar throat and muscle soreness, while bromelain helps in treating cardiovascular diseases, asthma, other allergic airway diseases, chronic sinusitis, colitis, burns, and cancer.
Potential Side Effects
Potential side effects and risks due to the intake of high doses of papain include stomach irritation, throat irritation, allergic reaction, and esophageal perforation, whereas side effects of the use of bromelain are vomiting, heavy menstrual bleeding, nausea, and diarrhea.
Proteolytic enzymes or proteases help in (catalyze) the breakdown and digestion of proteins. There are many different types of proteolytic enzymes. Papain and bromelain are two proteases present in plants. The main difference between papain and bromelain is that papain comes from papaya plants, whereas bromelain comes from pineapples.
1. “6 Ways to Use Papain.” HealthLine.
2. “Bromelain.” HealthLine.
1. “9pap papain” By Opabinia regalis – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Pineapple-slices-fruit-vitamins” (CC0) via Pixabay
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