by Dr. Edward Group

papainPapain is a powerful digestive enzyme commonly found and extracted from the papaya fruit (Carica papaya) , it is also referred to as papaya proteinase. The papaya enzyme papain plays a key role in digestive processes involving breaking down tough protein fibers. For this reason, it has been commonly used in its native South America as a digestive support for meat eating.

Science is catching up with the wisdom of traditional healers in South America. Papain can play a significant role in the breakdown of toxins and is a powerful digestive aid and antioxidant.

How Does Papain Work?

VeganZyme® is a full-spectrum blend of twenty powerful digestive and systemic enzymes that supports digestion, boosts the immune system, and more.The papaya enzyme papain is able to break down larger proteins into smaller proteins or peptides or even into the smallest amino acid subunit by cleaving the bonds in the interior of the protein chain or the end of the chain (endopeptidase and exopeptidase activity, respectively) in a broad pH range.

This gives it a marked ability to enhance the total digestive process and increase the nutrient absorption of protein-based foods. Its ability to hydrolyze (break down) proteins also means that it can play a key role in many normal physiological processes and potentially influence disease processes for the good.

The Health Benefits of Papain

1. Boosts Digestion

One of the key areas in which papain serves the body is in the realm of its protein-digestive properties. The University of Michigan supports its use as an enzymatic support for the intestines, stomach and the pancreas.

One case study found that when a male patient with gluten intolerance ate a gluten-free diet, he still experienced diarrhea, but when he additionally took 1800 mg of papain for one month, he had fewer loose stools and less malabsorption.[12] This is just one study, and more research needs to be conducted.

2. Skin and Wound Care

Due to papain’s beneficial capacities, it is currently being studied for topical applications on burns, irritations, and wounds, ulcers and bedsores, and to assist recovery from sports injuries.[34Some practitioners have used it dental cavities.[3] Papain’s enzymatic action is very specific, and it does not harm healthy skin.[3]Traditional cultures in Hawaii and Tahiti made poultices out of the skins of papaya, as this part of the fruit is particularly concentrated in papain. They applied it to the skin to heal wounds, burns, rashes and bug stings.

3. Digests Mucus

Studies have found that papain digests sinus mucin, a glycoprotein found in mucus, and hence may have beneficial effects for people having sinus issues.[5] Papain makes mucus less viscous, or runnier, and hence better able to be eliminated. Because of this feature, some researchers are studying how papain can help deliver nanoparticle medicines to the body so that they can get through the body’s natural mucosal barrier in the gut.[6] Using papain with nanoparticles may not be the best for your health.

4. Supports Immune System Function

Studies have found that papain may have anti-cell proliferation properties. Some studies have shown papain delivers a strong effect while others found no difference between papain and controls.[78] A review article found strong evidence for the overall immune function properties of papaya.[9]

5. Resists Redness and Irritation

Studies confirm that the papain enzyme offers powerful resistance to redness and irritation. Papain helps aid the absorption of another beneficial substance, quercetin. One study found that when papain and bromelain were given along with quercetin, it helped swelling symptoms associated with prostate health.[9,10]

6. Acts as an Antioxidant

Papain holds compounds that may aid in protecting the body from cellular damage caused by free radicals, which makes it an antioxidant. The compounds in papaya juice effectively scavenge, or counteract, highly reactive hydroxyl (OH-) free radicals, as well as superoxides. Papain has an antioxidant level on par with Vitamins E and C.[1112] In one study, the Sunrise Solo cultivar (a type of papaya) was more effective as an antioxidant than two other cultivars.[13]

7. Prevents Food Spoilage

Since research has shown papain has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and it is sometimes used to preserve foods naturally.[1415] It is a powerful agent commonly used in food preservation, reducing bacterial infestations and spoilage due to oxidation.

How to Read the Units of Measurement for Papain

Papain is a plant-source protease enzyme measured in PUs (Papain Units). The PUs tell you the activity level of the enzyme. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) creates the standard measurements for supplements. These are published in the USP’s Foods Chemical Codex (FCC), an internationally accepted compendium of standards for the quality of food ingredients, supplements, and additives. One PU is how much of the papain enzyme that frees up one mcg of tyrosine per hour during the test, or assay.[16] The number that you see reflects the activity level of the enzyme; the higher the number, the more active it is.

Never buy an enzyme that lists the amount in weight, like milligrams (mg) because this fails to tell you about the enzyme’s effectiveness.

How to Read the Units of Measurement for Papain

Papain is a plant-source protease measured in PUs (Papain Units). One FCC-PU (Plant Proteolytic Analytical Method) is based on a 60-minute proteolytic hydrolysis of casein substrate at pH 6.0 and 40°C. The FCC notation stands for Foods Chemical Codex and is a division of USP (United States Pharmacopeia). It sets standards for ingredients. In the case of enzymes, FCC is a standard assay used to accurately determine the activity of enzymes. The current compendium is FCC VI.

Where Can I Find The Best Source of Papain?

The product VeganZyme® contains a 100% vegan form of Papain extracted from the Carica papaya. It comes from all vegetarian, non-GMO sources, is kosher certified, gluten free, made in the USA, contains no animal product and is completely suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

VeganZyme is the most advanced full-spectrum systemic and digestive enzyme formula in the world and is free from fillers and toxic compounds. This formula contains digestive enzymes, which help digest fats (lipids), sugars, proteins, carbohydrates, gluten, fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes, bran, nuts and seeds, soy, dairy, and all other food sources.

VeganZyme® is a full-spectrum blend of twenty powerful digestive and systemic enzymes that supports digestion, boosts the immune system, and more.

VeganZyme may also be used as a systemic enzyme blend to break down excess mucus, fibrin, various toxins, allergens, as well as excess clotting factors throughout your body.

References (16)
  1. Roxas M. “The Role of Enzyme Supplementation in Digestive Disorders.” Altern Med Rev. 2008;13(4),307-14.
  2. Messer M, Baume PE. “Oral papain in gluten intolerance.” Lancet. 1976;2(7993),1022.
  3. Amri E, Mamboya. “Papain, a Plant Enzyme of Biological Importance: A Review.” Am J Biochem Biotechnol. 2012;8(2),99-104.
  4. da Silva CR, et al. “ Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Safety Evaluation of Papain (Carica papaya L.) Using In Vitro Assays.” J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010; 2010,197898.
  5. Ali ME, Pearson AP. “More Than One Disease Process in Chronic Sinusitis Based on Mucin Fragmentation Patterns and Amino Acid Analysis.” Int J Otolaryngol. 2015;2015, 708475.
  6. Liu M, et al. “Developments of mucus penetrating nanoparticles.” Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2015;10(4),275-282.
  7. Müller A, et al. “Comparative study of antitumor effects of bromelain and papain in human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines.” Int J Oncol. 2016;48(5),2025-34.
  8. Bellelli A, et al. “Inhibition of tumor growth, invasion and metastasis in papain-immunized mice.” Invasion Metastasis. 1990;10(3),142-69.
  9. Pandey S et al. “Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of Carica papaya.” J Immunotoxicol. 2016;13(4),590-602.
  10. Nickel JC, et al. “Nutraceuticals in Prostate Disease: The Urologist’s Role.” Rev Urol. 2008;10(3),192–206.
  11. Manosroi A, et al. “Antioxidant and Gelatinolytic Activities of Papain from Papaya Latex and Bromelain from Pineapple Fruits.” Chiang Mai J Sci. 41(3),635-648.
  12. da Silva CR, et al. “ Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Safety Evaluation of Papain (Carica papaya L.) Using In Vitro Assays.” J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010; 2010,197898.
  13. Ozkan A, et al. “Antioxidant capacity of juice from different papaya (Carica papaya L.) cultivars grown under greenhouse conditions in Turkey.” Turk J Biol. 2011;35,619-625
  14. Manohar CM, et al. “Design of a Papain Immobilized Antimicrobial Food Package with Curcumin as a Crosslinker.” PLoS ONE 10(4): e0121665.
  15. Nwinyi OC, Anthonia AB. “Antifungal effects of pawpaw seed extracts and papain on post harvest Carica papaya L. fruit rot (PDF).” African J of Agric Res. 2010;5(12),1531-1535.
  16. Food Chemicals Codex..” Volumes 2-3. National Academies Press. 1981.

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