5 Benefits of Serrapeptase, How to Get It and What to Know Before Taking
By: Spencer Brooks
February 19, 2020
- Serrapeptase, an enzyme that comes from silkworms, dissolves proteins in your intestine, in scar tissue and even in mucus. (This is a good thing.)
- Serrapeptase may help decrease inflammation, slow scarring and clear your sinuses when you have a cold.
- Serrapeptase weakens biofilms around antibiotic-resistant bacteria, helping you feel your best during a course of antibiotics.
- Read on to learn more about serrapeptase benefits, dosage and sourcing.
Serrapeptase is one of your body’s hard-working enzymes that can help you feel better and stay healthy. Serrapeptase is responsible for breaking down proteins into amino acids, which triggers the beginning of processes throughout your body. It may also have the coolest origin story of any supplement — read on to learn more.
What is serrapeptase?
Serrapeptase is an enzyme that makes proteins break down much faster.
Enzymes are compounds that control the speed at which your body’s vital processes happen. For example, starting in our mouth, and all the way through our stomach and pancreas, enzymes go to work breaking down the sugars, fats and proteins we eat into smaller micro-particles our bodies can absorb.
But enzymes do more than digest your food. Enzymes are essential to healing, protection from bacteria, keeping inflammation in check and keeping your body in top shape. “We all have an enzyme bank account in our bodies,” explains Matt Gallant, productivity expert, author and enzyme evangelist. “Everything from thinking to blinking, enzymes are involved. They’re the catalyst that kickstarts chemical and biochemical reactions in the body.”
Your body naturally makes serrapeptase. You can also take serrapeptase as a dietary supplement, usually in capsule form. This enzyme degrades dense proteins that most other enzymes can’t touch. For example, serrapeptase is solely responsible for breaking down fibrin, a particularly tough protein that accumulates in scar tissue.
Fun fact: The supplement form of serrapeptase comes from Serratia, a bioactive group of bacteria that evolved from the process that allows a silkworm to become a moth. Serratia are essential to the silkworm’s survival. After it weaves a silk cocoon and begins transforming into a moth, the silkworm releases Serratia bacteria from its gut. The Serratia produce serrapeptase. Because this enzyme eats through protein, it dissolves the silk cocoon, opening it up for the silkmoth to emerge.
You can take serrapeptase to help fight inflammation, improve your immune response and manage pain. Read on to learn how to supplement with serrapeptase.
The bottom line: Your body uses serrapeptase to break down proteins, which can help reduce inflammation and dissolve scar tissue. Your body makes serrapeptase on its own, but you can reap benefits from a serrapeptase enzyme supplement, too.
5 serrapeptase benefits you can actually feel
Serrapeptase’s benefits come from its protein-dissolving properties. This makes it a versatile addition to your biohacking toolbox. You can take serrapeptase for a few different reasons:
If you get injured, serrapeptase may help you bounce back faster. Serrapeptase decreases swelling after surgery and injuries, speeding up tissue repair. One study showed it helped reduce patient pain faster, and the authors recommended serrapeptase as an effective way to reduce swelling after surgery.
Serrapeptase also decreases inflammation, possibly because it thins fluids so they can drain from inflamed areas more easily and prevents excessive protein build-up. In a small-scale study of people with chronic leg-swelling, serrapeptase effectively reduced their edema, pain and cramps.
If you have a cold and your nose is stuffed up, serrapeptase can help. Serrapeptase makes it easier to blow your nose when you’re sick because it breaks down proteins in mucus and makes the mucus thinner.
Break down scar tissue
Serrapeptase dissolves fibrin, a tough protein that makes up scar tissue, and emerging research suggests that high doses of serrapeptase may reduce scarring. Reduced scarring can help you maintain a better range of motion and make that scar a little less noticeable.
Kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Even though they kill your helpful gut bacteria, sometimes antibiotics really are the best course of action. At those times, serrapeptase benefits you by making antibiotics more effective. It weakens the biofilms around antibiotic-resistant bacteria, making them more susceptible to antibiotics.
The bottom line: The serrapeptase enzyme performs a bunch of vital jobs. It can help you recover faster, break down scar tissue and fight inflammation.
Serrapeptase dangers and drug interactions
Serrapeptase makes thick fluids thinner. In the case of a cold or a persistently inflamed injury, that’s great. But if you’re already taking medications or supplements that also thin fluid, you should be careful about adding serrapeptase to the mix.
Serrapeptase drug interactions and supplement interactions include:
- Fish oil: Fish oil is a mild-to-moderate blood thinner, as is serrapeptase. The two together may make your blood too thin. Fish oil and serrapeptase aren’t necessarily dangerous together, but they can be in some cases. Definitely talk to your doctor about the pair.
- Aspirin: Aspirin is a more powerful blood thinner. Don’t take aspirin and serrapeptase together.
- Clopidogrel, Warfarin and other prescription blood thinners: Same as above — if you’re on any type of blood thinner, don’t add serrapeptase.
You probably shouldn’t take serrapeptase and anything that thins your blood at the same time. When your blood gets too thin, it has trouble clotting. Bleeding can get out of control, and you can develop spontaneous bruises or nosebleeds.
Keep in mind, this isn’t medical advice; talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about taking serrapeptase.
The bottom line: Before adding a new supplement to your routine, check with your doctor to see if there are any interactions with the medications you’re currently taking.
When should you take serrapeptase, and how much?
The best time to take serrapeptase is when you’re recovering from an athletic injury or a course of antibiotics.
The enzyme can go to work after you get a strain or pulled muscle, reducing inflammation and scar tissue. Take it during or after you’ve finished a course of antibiotics to help keep antibiotic-resistant bacteria at bay.
You’ll find the labels on serrapeptase supplements are listed in milligrams (mg), serrapeptase units (SPU) or enzymatic units (EU). The conversion is usually 2000 SPU/EU per mg. Be sure to follow the directions on the package or as directed by your doctor.
- Serrapeptase dose: 15-60 mg (30,000-120,000 SPU/EU) daily for swelling and pain reduction, and 30-60 mg (60,000-120,000 SPU/EU) per day for mucus reduction (no more than60 mg/120,000 SPU/EU total per day)
- When to take serrapeptase: Two hours after a meal.
- Best serrapeptase supplements: Doctor’s Best makes a good serrapeptase supplement. So does Source Naturals.
The bottom line: Check with your doctor before you start taking serrapeptase, but ask if it might be helpful when you’re recovering from an injury or a course of antibiotics, and only take it as directed.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of enzymes like serrapeptase that help you perform better. Learn more about how to take your supplements to the next level.
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