Bromelian Improves the Symptoms and Quality of Life in Patients with Cystic FIbrosis,

By Kyle J. Norton

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic preposition that leads to diseases mostly in the lungs in children and young adults.

Most cases of CF has been found to cause persistent infection in the lungs, leading to the destruction of lung tissues and reduced lung function, depending on the severity of the condition.
Most common complication of CF is difficulty digesting fats, proteins and nutrient absorption, progressive lung damage caused by ongoing infections and chronic low-grade inflammation and CF-related diabetes.

According to statistics provided by the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, approximately 1 in every 3,600 children born in Canada has CF.

In age perspective,
* 60% of patients are diagnosed in the first year of life, and 90% by 10 years of age.

* More than 47% of all Canadians with CF are over the age of 18 years.
* As of 2002, the median age of survival of Canadians with CF is 37 years of age.
Most common symptoms of CF are persistent cough with productive thick mucous, wheezing and shortness of breath,  frequent chest infections, weight loss or failure to gain weight, infertility in men and decreased fertility in women.
Conventionally, as of today, there is no cure for CF. Medications are focusing on reducing symptoms and improving quality of life, including
* Antibiotics for the treatment of lung infections.

* Anti-inflammatory medications to protect the lung airways.

* Medication to reduce cough up  the mucus
* Inhaled medications to keep your airways open by relaxing the muscles around your bronchial tubes
* Medication to help the digestive tract in absorbing nutrients

Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapples (Ananas comosus) has been used in traditional medicine as an inflammatory agent and to treat pains, strains, and muscle aches and pains and ease back pain and chronic joint pain, skin diseases, etc.

On finding a natural compound for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, researchers compared with identical capsules half filled with mini-tablets of a new high lipase preparation in a randomized double-blind crossover study in children with cystic fibrosis.

All children participated in the study received his/her usual number of capsules and the same dose of lipase during each period of the study. 

According to the results from the 18 children completed the study, pancreatic enzyme applied in the high lipase preparation showed fewer gastrointestinal symptoms compared to the low lipase group.

Compared to the baseline, pancreatic enzyme group showed a significant improvement in fat absorption and reduction in fecal fat output.

Fecal energy loss was also improved in the treatment group.

Based on the findings, researchers at the St James’s Hospital wrote, ” (The) half filled capsules of the new high lipase preparation are more effective than the standard preparation and it is likely that filled capsules would allow patients to use fewer than half the number of pancreatic enzyme capsules”.

Taken altogether, bromelain may be considered supplements for the prevention and treatment of symptoms of cystic fibrosis, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of bromelain in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Gut inflammation in children with cystic fibrosis on high-dose enzyme supplements by Croft NM1, Marshall TG, Ferguson A. (PubMed)
(2) A double blind lipase for lipase comparison of a high lipase and standard pancreatic enzyme preparation in cystic fibrosis by Bowler IM1, Wolfe SP, Owens HM, Sheldon TA, Littlewood JM, Walters MP. (PubMed)