Bromelain vs Turmeric TL; DR Summary:
Both turmeric and bromelain are natural anti-inflammatories, meaning they help relieve pain, swelling, stiffness, or redness of your joints caused by inflammation. They work by reducing the production of prostaglandins or chemical messengers that transmit pain signals from the body to the brain. But, when you look at the available evidence, turmeric has the edge over bromelain in terms of its effectiveness in reducing inflammation. Not only does turmeric reduce joint pain directly, it also bolsters your body’s native antioxidants – glutathione included – for a one-two punch against inflammation.
Bromelain – The Overview
Bromelain is an enzyme that is found in the stem of the pineapple plant. It can be used to treat certain kinds of inflammation and other conditions. It is primarily used to help digestion, particularly in cases of poor digestion due to insufficient production of stomach acid. It can also be used to treat skin problems like acne and rosacea. In some cases, it may also be able to reduce swelling or pain from arthritis and menstrual cramps as well.
The most common way to consume bromelain is by swallowing tablets or capsules with water on an empty stomach at least one hour before eating a meal. That said, it can also be found in a variety of supplement forms.
The bromelain in pineapple stems is a protease or cysteine protease that degrades the proteins into smaller parts (amino acids) – enabling you to digest food and absorb nutrients more efficiently. As such, while bromelain is primarily used for treating inflammation and joint pain, it is also effective for improving digestion and absorption of other supplements.
Turmeric – The Overview
Turmeric is a spice that is native to the region that includes India, Sri Lanka, and other countries. It has been used for centuries as both a culinary spice and traditional medicine, with records of its use in Ayurveda going back over 3,000 years.
Turmeric is mentioned in some ancient Indian therapeutic texts for its medicinal properties. The earliest known use of turmeric in cooking was about 1500 BC by the peoples of Southeast Asia. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and it gives this spice its distinctive yellow color. The active benefits that curcumin can provide are: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. Turmeric has been used for centuries as a culinary spice with antibacterial properties. These properties were given credit for its use in the treatment of many diseases and conditions including liver and gallbladder disease, arthritis, asthma, digestive disorders, infectious diseases (especially tuberculosis), skin infections, and various types of ills. Turmeric is also well known for fighting inflammation and pain.
Turmeric’s effects on inflammation have been extensively studied by this point. According to many experts, turmeric might be the single most effective anti-inflammatory supplement. But is it really better than bromelain?
Which is More Effective for Inflammation?
There are several studies that suggest that turmeric may be just as good as taking bromelain supplements when it comes to reducing inflammation and easing pain symptoms. They are not just “similar” or “comparable” but rather have been observed to work equally well when it comes to reducing inflammation or easing pain symptoms!
In the study that was mentioned, the subjects were given either turmeric or bromelain supplements, and both groups showed improvements in their pain relief. There were a few other studies done looking at turmeric and its role to reduce pain symptoms as well.
Generally speaking, if you’re not sensitive to thiols/sulfur compounds, turmeric might be the better option as it doesn’t just reduce inflammation on its own, but it also enhances your body’s antioxidants such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase which further contribute to a reduction in inflammatory markers.