Bromelain is a compound derived from the pineapple fruit, which can reduce inflammatory markers even in healthy adults [1]. This group of enzymes is extracted from the pineapple, which has numerous cognitive and general health benefits.

Many people use bromelain for purported weight loss benefits because the enzyme causes fat cells to self-destruct to some degree [2]. Additionally, bromelain can be helpful as an immune boosting nootropic [3] and there is evidence it can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by way of degrading beta-amyloid plaque that build up over time [4].

Adding bromelain with other nootropics can have synergistic effects, but it is best to do so at the right doses and with all of the facts.

Also Known As

Pineapple extract

Editors’ Thoughts on Bromelain

Although bromelain seems interesting, I wouldn’t see any real necessity to take this substance. It might have specific effects for people (such as Kurtis Frank, the editor of that are useful, but as a “general aid”, it might be less worthwhile.

I haven’t tried it, but I do suffer from rhinitis similar to Frank and may give bromelain a try for that reason alone. The other benefits seem to be too marginal and I’m not sure we all need to use every supplement that has any possibilities of benefit (unless for a specific reason).

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor


Benefits of Bromelain

For the brain, the benefits of bromelain are few, but important. The ability to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is rare and bromelain has a direct mechanism to do so. Beta-amyloid plaques build up in the human brain over time. In older age, the Alzheimer’s disease afflicts a large percentage of individuals because of these beta-amyloid plaque.

According to research done in a 2001 study published in Experimental Neurology, bromelain can degrade beta-amyloid [5]. While this is not the only tool to do so, it is a useful mechanism that some elderly people can take advantage of as a preventative measure.

Chronic inflammation causes a number of diseases and bromelain can act as an anti-inflammatory agent. A compound called COX-2 contributes to inflammation as does something called PGE-2, but bromelain acts to reduce both of these in animals and humans [6]. That means, bromelain can be an anti-inflammatory agent at the cellular level.

Another powerful benefit of bromelain is as an anti-cancer and anti-tumor supplement. Numerous studies suggest bromelain has metabolic pathways that inhibit the growth of cancer cells [7]. In fact, one 2007 study in Planta Medica showed a maximum 318% increase in survival rates while using bromelain to combat cancer [8].

While the benefits of bromelain for the brain are somewhat tangential, it is still a useful supplement to have especially under certain conditions (such as older age). Whether you are trying to reduce inflammation or fight off chronic illnesses associated with “civilization”, bromelain does harness the benefits of pineapples.

Bromelain Nootropic Stacks

Bromelain does have properties that make it interact with other drugs. While that can create some risks (as we will discuss in the bromelain side effects section below), it also creates opportunities for stacking.

As a nootropic enthusiast, the first time you see bromelain might be in combination with an ingredient called quercetin or curcumin. In both of these cases, bromelain acts to improve the absorption rates of these compounds.

If you are using either of these substances (but particularly quercetin), it might be worth taking the bromelain. That being said, many quercetin supplements already have bromelain stacked within.

Finally, bromelain can increase the absorption of glutathione, which is considered one of the most effective anti-oxidants currently available.

Side Effects of Bromelain

One of the major side effects of bromelain is interaction with other drugs. For one, it can increase the absorption of certain blood thinners (like heparin), which can increase the risk of excessive bleeding [9]. This supplement can also increase the absorption of certain drugs like penicillin [10], which may not be a good thing.

Bromelain Dosage

The proper bromelain dosage will depend on your desires and needs. At the lower range, it is useful to use 400 – 540 mg / day. Studies show that at these lower doses, the drug is tolerable and does not come with many adverse side effects [11].

However, at the higher end of the dosage range, 900 – 1800 mg, the results have been mixed with some people claiming negative side effects [12].

If you are just getting started with bromelain it is recommended to start at the lower end of the range and only then work your way up. Also keep in mind that it is virtually impossible to eat enough pineapple to attain these doses.

How and Where to Buy Bromelain

Bromelain is relatively easy to find online. There are numerous brands of bromelain for sale, but it is best to find one that is trustworthy. It so happens the Source Naturals brand of bromelain is also one of the more affordable options.

It is often best for people who are using bromelain to do so with a specific purpose. This is one reason why you can buy bromelain combined with quercetin. There are also situations where you can purchase bromelain with other ingredients to increase their absorption.

Bromelain Reviews

There is not much evidence about bromelain from a review perspective. Many people who are using bromelain do not have a subjective feeling associated with the drug. In fact, for many people bromelain reviews are more theoretical than experiential.

If you are planning to buy bromelain, take the reviews with a grain of salt. In most cases, this is a drug that is going to increase absorption of other compounds and has theoretical benefits. It does not have tangible benefits that you can experience or “feel” in any relatable way.

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  12. Ibid.
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Nootropedia is meant to be a resource for individuals researching drugs and supplements that are good for brain health, otherwise known as nootropics, and thus we are the Nootropics Encyclopedia. Because of our in-depth coverage of this topic, our community has requested that we cover other brain health topics and "lifehacks" so that has become the focus of Nootropedia.