Pineapple Enzyme Bromelain Destroys Cancer Cells

By Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, PhD

As a science writer; my columns are for general health information only and not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. One thing I have also seen with natural remedy is that, no single plant alone treats cancer. You need amalgamation of evidence based ingredients to do this for synergistic purposes!

The drawback of Chemotherapy
According to Dr. Mercola “, One of the reasons why conventional cancer treatment is such a dismal failure in the United States is because it relies on chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs are, by their very nature, extremely toxic and typically work against your body’s natural ability to fight cancer, e.g. destroying host immunity instead of supporting it. One of the biggest drawbacks to chemotherapy is the fact that it destroys healthy cells throughout your body right along with cancer cells, a “side effect” that often leads to accelerated death, not healing.

Another devastating side effect of chemotherapy is the way it actually supports the more chemo resistant and malignant cell subpopulations within tumors (e.g. cancer stem cells), both killing the more benign cells and/or senescent cells within the tumor that keep it slow-growing, or even harmless.

As a result, this unleashes a more aggressive, treatment-resistant type of cancer to wreak havoc on the body. A handful of natural compounds have been discovered, however, which exhibit an effect called “selective cytotoxicity.” This means they are able to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells and tissue unharmed. This type of cancer treatment is intelligent, targeted and will not result in the death of the patient from “collateral damage” in what is increasingly a failed war not against the cancer being treated, but the patient’s own irreversibly devastated body”.

Bromelian in Pineapple destroys Cancer Cells leaving patient harmless

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The enzyme bromelain, found in pineapple, is one of several natural foods you can use to prevent cancer, fight cancer if you have it, and minimize the effects of radiation therapy that often cause as much damage to healthy cells as they do to cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is the most common form of treatment for cancer. It has been used for the past four decades despite the fact that it damages the body, weakening the immune system until it can no longer function properly. The cure is often worse than the disease, pushing scientists to search for natural cancer-fighting solutions. Research published in the journal Planta Medica by Báez et al in 2007 titled” In vivo antitumoral activity of stem pineapple (Ananas comosus) bromelain” found that bromelain was superior to the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil in treating cancer in an animal study.

“This antitumoral effect [of bromelain] was superior to that of 5-FU [5-fluorouracil], whose survival index was approximately 263 %, relative to the untreated control.” They stated.

What makes this work significant impressive is that the bromelain functioned without causing additional harm to the animals. The chemo drug 5-fluorouracil, on the other hand, has a quite unsuccessful and risky background though it has been used for nearly 40 years.

The GreenMedInfo(Selective Cytotoxicity Research)also writes:

“ As a highly toxic, fluoride-bound form of the nucleic acid uracil, a normal component of RNA, the drug is supposed to work by tricking more rapidly dividing cells — which include both cancer and healthy intestinal, hair follicle, and immune cells — into taking it up, thereby inhibiting (read: poisoning) RNA replication enzymes and RNA synthesis.…

When a person dies following conventional cancer treatment it is all too easy to “blame the victim” and simply write that patient’s cancer off as “chemo-resistant,” or “exceptionally aggressive,” when in fact the non-selective nature of the chemotoxic agent is what ultimately lead to their death.”

Notwithstanding, Selective cytotoxicity a unique gift only found in natural compounds; no chemotherapy drug has this property yet. Aside from bromelain, other examples of natural compounds that have been found to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells include:

• Vitamin C — Dr. Ronald Hunninghake carried out a 15-year research project called RECNAC (cancer spelled backward). His groundbreaking research in cell cultures showed that vitamin C was selectively cytotoxic against cancer cells.

• Eggplant extract: Solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (BEC), which is a fancy name for extracts from plants of the Solanaceae family, such as eggplant, tomato, potato, Bell peppers, and tobacco, also impact only cancerous cells leaving normal cells alone. Eggplant extract cream appears to be particularly useful in treating skin cancer. Dr. Bill E. Cham, a leading researcher in this area, explains:

“The mode of action of SRGs [glycoalkaloids solasodine rhamnosy glycosides (BEC)] is unlike any current antineoplastic [anti-tumor] agent. Specific receptors for the SRGs present only on cancer cells but not normal cells are the first step of events that lead to apoptosis in cancer cells only, and this may explain why during treatment the cancer cells were being eliminated and normal cells were replacing the killed cancer cells with no scar tissue being formed.”

Turmeric (Curcumin Extract): Of all the natural cancer fighters out there, this spice has been the most intensely researched for exhibiting selective cytotoxicity. Remarkably, in a 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, rats administered curcumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric, saw a decrease in experimentally-induced brain tumors in 9 out of 11 treated, while noting that the curcumin did not affect the viability of brain cells “suggesting that curcumin selectively targets the transformed [cancerous] cells.”

Enzymes Mechanism in the treatment of Cancer

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Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme (an enzyme that digests proteins). In the Planta Medica study by Baez et al published in 2007, it was injected directly into the abdominal cavity. According to Mercola ”Getting enzymes from your digestive tract into your bloodstream isn’t as easy as it would seem, as enzymes are very susceptible to denaturing and must be helped to survive the highly acidic environment in your stomach. They are often given an “enteric coating” to help them survive the journey through your digestive tract. And then, there is the matter of absorption. For nearly 100 years, medical dogma insisted that enzymes taken orally were too large to pass through the digestive tract wall.

Another study in 2014 by Afshin et al published in the J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 33(1): 92 titled” Bromelain and N-acetylcysteine inhibit proliferation and survival of gastrointestinal cancer cells in vitro: significance of combination therapy” also revealed that Bromelain and N-acetylcysteine significantly inhibited cell proliferation, more potently in combination therapy.

“We report for the first time to our knowledge the growth-inhibitory and cytotoxic effects of bromelain and N-acetylcysteine, in particular in combination, on a panel of gastrointestinal cancer cell lines with different phenotypes and characteristics. These effects apparently resulted from cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and autophagy. Towards the development of novel strategies for the enhancement of microscopic cytoreduction, our results lay the basis for further evaluation of this formulation in locoregional approaches to peritoneal surface malignancies and carcinomatosis”

A 2016 study also by Amini et al titled” Potentiation of chemotherapeutics by bromelain and N-acetylcysteine: sequential and combination therapy of gastrointestinal cancer cells” published in Am J Cancer Res. 2016 Jan 15;6(2):350-69 also attested to the fact that Bromelain and N-acetylcysteine are two natural agents with good safety profiles shown to have anti-cancer effects

According to the GreenMedInfo on Selective Cytotoxicity Research, there are mouthwatering researches that can indeed pass through your intestine intact and into your bloodstream and lymphatic system, where they can deliver their services to the rest of your body… one of the mysteries of medical science.

Now that we know this is possible, systemic oral enzymes have been used to treat problems ranging from sports injuries to arthritis to heart disease and cancer, particularly in European countries. But most of the research has been published in non-English language journals. Says Mercola.

In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that bromelain inhibits metastasis, stimulates both innate and adaptive aspects of immune function in macrophages and natural killer cells, reduced inflammatory cytokine release in rats injected intraperitoneally with lipopolysaccharide, and inhibited the growth of lung tumors in mice inoculated with tumor cells.

Ex vivo human clinical trials of bromelain have shown that oral doses of bromelain (3000 IF.I.P. units) in breast cancer patients for ten days enhanced monocyte cytotoxicity against breast cancer cell lines. Bromelain in doses of 3000 mg has been found useful in preventing postsurgical adhesions and is used, often in combination with other plant enzymes in the treatment of lymphedema.

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Weakened Pancreatic Enzymes and Cancer: any correlation?

The use of enzymes to treat cancer started in the year 1911 with John Beard’s The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer and Its Scientific Basis. Beard believed cancer was a result of diminished pancreatic enzymes, impairing the immune response. A study in 1999 titled” Evaluation of pancreatic proteolytic enzyme treatment of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, with nutrition and detoxification support” by Gonzalez NJ, Isaacs LL published in the Nutr Cancer. 1999;33(2):117-24 suggests he may have been right on target.

Ten patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer were treated with large doses of oral pancreatic enzymes (along with detoxification and an organic diet), and their survival rates were 3 to 4 times higher than patients receiving conventional treatment. Proteolytic enzymes can be helpful in treating cancer because they help restore balance to your immune system. Dr. Nick Gonzalez in New York City, NY has also done a lot of work on enzymes in cancer treatment and has written a book on the subject(

The Oral Systemic Enzymes, What You Need to Know postulated some of the ways proteolytic enzymes can be helpful in the fight against cancer are:

i. Boosting cytokines, particularly interferon and tumor necrosis factor, which are very important warriors in destroying cancer cells.

ii. Decreasing inflammation.

iii. Dissolving fibrin: Cancer cells hide under a cloak of fibrin to escape detection. Once the cancer cells are “uncloaked,” they can be spotted and attacked by your immune system. It is also thought that fibrin makes cancer cells “stick together,” which increases the chance for metastases.

iv. German studies have shown that systemic enzymes increase the potency of macrophages and killer cells 12-fold.

Luckily, many enzymes are found in the foods we consume—chiefly, raw foods. These directly help with your digestive process. “The more raw foods you eat, the lower the burden on your body to produce the enzymes it needs, not only for digestion but for practically everything. Whatever enzymes are not used up in digestion is then available to help with other important physiological processes. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to eat a diet rich in fresh, organic, raw foods. You may even want to try juicing some of your vegetables, and the core of your pineapple, as a way of getting more nutrients—and enzymes—into your body. In the event you use enzymes in supplement form, it is crucial that, in order for enzymes to be used systemically, they must be consumed on an empty stomach. Otherwise, your body will use them for digesting your food, instead of being absorbed into the blood and doing their work there”.Mercola advised

Alternative to Chemo for Cancer Treatment?

Dr. Gonzalez is on the front lines and actively engaged in helping people by coaching them with natural alternatives instead of toxic drugs and radiation for cancer. I would personally not hesitate to recommend him to a family member or a friend diagnosed with cancer. His website,, also contains information on how to become a patient, and everything a potential patient needs to know says Mercola.

Another source for more information about alternative cancer treatments, in general, is Suzanne Somers’ book, Knockout. She reviews Dr. Gonzalez’s work in one chapter, and Dr. Gonzalez personally recommends the book as a well-researched resource for anyone interested in getting more information.

Additionally, Dr. Gonzalez has written a series of books, two of which have already been published and received five-star reviews: The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer and One Man Alone: An Investigation of Nutrition, Cancer, and William Donald Kelley. Three others are in the works, one of which will contain 100 of Dr. Gonzalez’s case reports of patients with advanced cancer who successfully recovered from his program.

Doses are often expressed in terms of milk clotting units (MCU) or F.I. P. or sometimes in simple milligram weights. Adult safe oral doses range from 400- 4000 mg/day.

Bromelain is routinely used in naturopathic oncology to prevent post-radiation fibrosis and to reduce the risk of lymphedema. This practice is based on a small number of clinical studies in post-traumatic and post-surgical edema using Phlogenzym™ a German-manufactured combination enzyme formula containing bromelain

The use of bromelain in the prevention of post-radiotherapy fibrosis is supported by a Ukrainian paper reporting on the use of bromelain in preventing lymphogranulomatosis in cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.

Because bromelain has been shown to be generally safe in oral doses, integrative oncologists often use it for a variety of cancer-related conditions including post-radiotherapy fibrosis, post-surgical edema ileus, lymphedema, immunomodulation, and inflammatory bowel disorders. to be accessed at

i. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme found in the juice and stem of pineapples and is promoted to treat inflammatory conditions.

ii. Preliminary data suggest that oral proteolytic enzymes may play a role as adjuvants in cancer treatment; however, further research is needed.

iii. Evidence does indicate that bromelain is effective for treating osteoarthritis and burns.

iv. Patients taking anticoagulants should avoid bromelain since it can increase the risk of bleeding

v. For cancer treatment, you can mix bromelain (pineapple with pawpaw) the most effective remedy so far.

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Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a Research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Alternative Medicine –Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca City, Cyprus. A prolific science writer, product developer and scientists at RNG Medicine Research Lab& president of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine at Tema, Com 7 Post Office. Dr. Nyarkotey is the National President of the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana (AMAG). A registered alternative Medical practitioner by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC)with research interest on Naturopathic Urology/Oncology. He can be reached on 0541090045. E mail:

Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, PhD

Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, PhD, © 2018

Prof Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is an honorary professor of holistic medicine-Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University, Ukraine and the President of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine, Tema Community 7, Post office.Column: RaphaelNyarkoteyObu

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