Inflammation is the number one reason an individual consults any healthcare practitioner. Arthritis, gastritis, colitis, dermatitis, nephritis, neuritis and cystitis are just some of the common inflammatory conditions that bring people to their doctors every day. If the doctor’s diagnosis ends in the four letters, “itis,” by definition, inflammation is involved.
There are also numerous diseases or health challenges you might not think involve inflammation, but that are closely linked to it. For example, heart disease, especially coronary artery disease, is thought to be directly associated with inflammation. Inflammation is now considered to be a more important risk factor for heart disease than high cholesterol levels. There are laboratory tests for inflammation that will indicate one’s risk for heart disease. These include the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), high sensitivity (HS), C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and fibrinogen. All three tests indicate the presence of inflammation in the body and if elevated, a higher risk for heart disease. It is also an interesting fact that statin drugs like Lipitor and Crestor routinely used by the medical profession to lower blood levels of cholesterol are actually anti-inflammatory in their mechanism of action.
Cancer spread is accelerated by inflammation and many cancer therapies utilize anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids to keep the features of inflammation (swelling and pain) under control. Obesity, dementia, migraine headaches and Alzheimer’s disease involve inflammation. So do all infections, allergic conditions such as hives and virtually all auto-immune diseases. Asthma, diabetes, psoriasis, other skin disorders and irritable bowel syndrome also all involve inflammation. The medical treatments for all these conditions are anti-inflammatory drugs as the main therapy. Sports injuries (e.g. tendonitis, bursitis) and any musculo-skeletal injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident involve inflammation. If you are alive, chances are high you are or have been inflamed in some way.
Conventional doctors have always treated inflammation with drugs and surgery. In some cases, interventions such as surgery for an inflamed appendix are life saving. So are short-term antibiotics for some infections such as pneumonitis (pneumonia). Modern medicine is wonderful in treating acute illnesses but fails miserably when it comes to chronic disease or prevention. In the majority of cases of chronic illness or inflammation, current medical treatments only serve to suppress symptoms without making any dent in the disease process itself.
For example, if you have osteoarthritis, doctors will prescribe NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Osteoarthritis is a life-long illness and most people who suffer from it are on NSAIDS for life. These include drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen and numerous others. The trouble with all of these drugs is they induce blood loss from the stomach or other areas of the gastrointestinal tract if taken for any extended period of time. One NSAID called Vioxx had to be banned from the market a number of years ago after it was proven to cause heart attacks and death in hundreds of users. This is hardly a good solution for chronic inflammation.
Other drugs prescribed for chronic illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus are even worse. These drugs suppress the immune system dramatically (Imuran, Remicade). Some are chemotherapeutic agents (methotrexate) and anti-malarial drugs (Plaquinyl). These can damage the liver, the bone marrow and other organs. The horrendous side effects of these drugs are sometimes worse than the disease itself. No wonder large segments of the public are flocking to naturopathic medicine.
The one common denominator of all the current medical and surgical treatments for chronic inflammatory conditions is they do not address the underlying cause of the illness. Doctors say the use of anti-inflammatory drugs addresses the cause, but if that were really true, why does the disease persist despite the medications?
You do not make hives better by suppressing the hell out of the immune system with steroids like prednisone. You do not cure any form of arthritis by prescribing drugs that cause heart attacks, hemorrhage and peptic ulcers. You do not reverse prostatitis with a year’s prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics that lead to chronic yeast infections. You can mask and suppress symptoms for years with powerful drugs, but you will never reverse the disease process. With symptom suppression, one pays a huge price in terms of side effects and often, finances.
You certainly cannot prevent inflammation in the body with any drug or surgical procedure. The fact that doctors and surgeons continue to do so without even attempting a natural approach first is deplorable. Worse is the fact that many of them still tell their patients that diet has nothing to do with inflammation when there is overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.
Serrapeptase Against Inflammation
No doubt many of you have heard of fighting inflammation with a hypoallergenic diet and nutritional supplements like fish oil, vitamin D and herbs like boswellia and tumeric. While all these may be effective in given individuals, nothing approaches the natural anti-inflammatory potency of an enzyme supplement called Serrapeptase. Doctors in Europe and Asia have been prescribing it in ever increasing frequency for just about every form of inflammation for at least the past 30 years.
Serrapeptase (a.k.a. serratio peptidase) is a proteolytic enzyme. In other words, it breaks up and digests protein. Unlike other proteolytic enzymes that are derived from pigs, fungi or yeast, serrapeptase is produced by bacteria in the gut of silkworms. In the concentrated form of a tablet or capsule, serrapeptase acts as an anti-inflammatory and a pain blocker similar to aspirin, ibuprofen and other NSAIDS. Aside from this very desirable property, there is growing evidence that serrapeptase inhibits the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Thus, it prevents atherosclerosis, arterial blockages, strokes and heart attacks. Unlike aspirin, ibuprofen and other NSAIDS, serrapeptase does not cause stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal tract bleeding
How serrapeptase works
Because of its protein chopping action, serrapeptase helps thin out the fluids formed from injury, thus facilitating the drainage of these fluids. This speeds tissue repair and relieves pressure that causes pain. Serrapeptase also inhibits the release of bradykinin, a substance that induces pain.
Serrapeptase is fibrinolytic, which means it digests excessive amounts of the protein known as fibrin. Fibrin causes the blood to clot or become sticky. The more fibrin, the greater the risk of heart attack or poor circulation. If one is able to keep fibrin levels under control, one prevents excessive stickiness of the blood flow, hence heart attacks and strokes. This is one of the mechanisms by which one can dissolve atherosclerotic plaque with serrapeptase.
Serrapeptase only dissolves non-living tissue, leaving living tissue alone. Blood clots, cysts and arterial plaque are all gradually dissolved. Over 50 clinical trials from Europe and Asia attest to the ability of serrapeptase to successfully treat conditions ranging from sprains, torn ligaments, post-operative swelling (edema), fibrocystic breast disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), carpal tunnel syndrome, ear, nose and throat infections and atherosclerosis. serrapeptase literally digests inflammatory tissue.
Serrapeptase was popularized by research done by the late and legendary Dr. Hans Nieper, an internist from Hanover, Germany, who used this powerful enzyme to treat virtually all degenerative diseases, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, crippling arthritis, atherosclerotic heart disease and dozens of other disorders.
Is Serrapeptase safe? On a scale of one to 1,000 with one being harmless and 1,000 being highly toxic causing death, we have aspirin, ibuprofen and corticosteroids at close to 1,000 while serrapeptase is closer to one. Yes, serrapeptase can cause mild gastric irritation in some elderly people but that’s really quite rare. The one caution about serrapeptase is that long-term safety studies have not been done. On the other hand, the supplement has been in wide scale use for over 30 years and nothing deleterious has been reported on a consistent basis. As with most nutritional supplements that are GRAS (generally regarded as safe), any adverse reactions that occur are usually in the mind of the individual using the supplement.
Dr. Zoltan P. Rona practises complementary medicine in Toronto and is the medical editor of The Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. He has also published several Canadian best-selling books, including Return to The Joy of Health.