Everyone feels pain, and yet, it’s such a personal sensation that each of us should handle it differently. Painkillers are not the right or the only solution, especially when it comes to chronic pain, so it’s important to know your alternatives. Helping your body adjust to the pain with natural medications will make you stronger and one such supplement, serrapeptase, sounds promising.
Serrapeptase is a protein enzyme that is extracted from the digestive system of the silkworm, which uses that enzyme to break down its cocoon. In the U.S., serrapeptase is used as a dietary supplement to treat painful conditions such as joint pain, back pain, and other conditions caused by inflammation. (11)
How It Works
The general evidence supports that serrapeptase helps fight inflammation by breaking down protein, although in some studies there were positive results while in others the enzyme had no effect. (9)
A study compared the effect of serrapeptase and dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug, on participants who underwent molar extraction surgery. (6) The researchers noticed that although the supplement was not as effective as the drug, it did reduce pain and swelling the first day after the surgery.
How To Use Serrapeptase Safely
Who Can Take It
Serrapeptase is safe for most adults if taken orally for up to 4 weeks, but the long-term side effects are not clear yet. Pregnant women and women who breastfeed should avoid taking it because there aren’t yet any studies that can confirm whether it’s safe to use, even short-term. (11)
If you have a bleeding disorder you should also avoid serrapeptase. If you hurt or injure yourself and bleed, serrapeptase won’t allow your blood to clot and close the wound. If you’re going into surgery, you should stop taking it at least 2 weeks before the surgery is scheduled because it might increase bleeding during or after the surgery. You should also avoid it if you take anticoagulants, which are drugs that slow down blood clotting, because it may interfere with your medications. (11)
How Much You Should Take
Thus far, the only research available on appropriate dosage is about sinus surgery. Research suggests to take 10 mg of serrapeptase by mouth 3 times on the day before surgery, once in the evening after surgery, and 3 times per day in the following 5 days. (11)
We have also researched well-known supplement brands who make serrapeptase to give you more information on appropriate dosage. Two brands recommend taking 1 tablet per day on an empty stomach, (7, 12) one brand suggests to take 1 to 2 tablets per day between meals, (13) and another recommends taking 1 tablet daily but also advises to check in with your healthcare practitioner for more accurate directions. (10)
The Risk Of Popular Painkillers
Many studies have linked popular painkillers like acetaminophen and NSAIDs to health conditions such as liver damage, ulcers, kidney failure, and stroke risk. Research has also shown that the severity of these heath conditions can increase with frequent and chronic use of these drugs. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are related to 41,000 hospital admissions and 3,300 deaths every year. (5)
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs include Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen, and Naproxen, among others. (2) Chronic use of these over-the-counter drugs by older adults can cause gastrointestinal issues, kidney failure, heart disease, peptic ulcers, and it can even affect your central nervous system. You can be at risk of developing these conditions as early as the first month of treatment. (5)
Acetaminophen is combined with other drugs such as Tylenol, Anacin, and other cold medicine. (4) Chronic use of acetaminophen has been known to cause liver damage for decades.
One of the first studies that linked this ingredient to fatal liver damage was published in the ’70s. The patients in the study took 5 to 8 g of acetaminophen every day for several weeks and over time they developed toxic hepatitis, which happens when your liver is exposed to toxins and becomes inflamed. (1)
More recent studies support older research and prove that acetaminophen can poison and damage your liver. One of those studies reports that acetaminophen is responsible for half of all liver failure cases in the U. S. (3)
How To Relieve Pain and Inflammation Naturally
You can try adding serrapeptase to your natural medicine cabinet, but if you think that it doesn’t work for you, you can also try relieving pain and inflammation with these natural alternatives.
Learn how curcumin, a compound in turmeric, can fight inflammation.
Make frankincense water with Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, which inhibits the production of inflammatory molecules in your body.
Make your own herbal capsules with pain-relieving devil’s claw.
Eat one teaspoon of ginger daily and let its antioxidant properties combat inflammation.
Try these supplements if you’re looking for popular alternatives to serrapeptase specifically for joint pain.
Replenish the natural glucosamine in your joints with a glucosamine supplement to minimize pain and increase the durability of your joints.
Lubricate your joints with chondroitin, which draws water and nutrients to cartilage.
Try a NEM (natural eggshell membrane) supplement, which may be helpful with joint stiffness and pain. (8)
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
(1) Barker, J. D., De Carle, D. J., & Anuras, S. (1977). Chronic Excessive Acetaminophen Use and Liver Damage. Annals of Internal Medicine, 87(3), 299-301.
(2) Griffin, R. M. (2005). Pain Relief: How NSAIDs Work.
(3) Hinson, J. A., Roberts, D. W., & James, L. P. (2010). Mechanisms of Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Necrosis. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, (196), 369–405.
(4) Hitti, M. (2009). Acetaminophen Safety: FAQ.
(5) Marcum, Z. A. & Hanlon, J. T. (2010). Recognizing the Risks of Chronic Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use in Older Adults. Annals of Long-Term Care, 18(9), 24–27.
(6) Murugesan, K., Sreekumar, K., & Sabapathy, B. (2012). Comparison of the roles of serratiopeptidase and dexamethasone in the control of inflammation and trismus following impacted third molar surgery. Indian Journal of Dental Research, 23(6), 709-713.
(7) Rona, Z. P. (n.d.). Conquer inflammation with Serrapeptase.
(8) Ruff, K. J., DeVore, D. P., Leu, M. D., & Robinson, M. A. (2009). Eggshell membrane: A possible new natural therapeutic for joint and connective tissue disorders. Results from two open-label human clinical studies. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 4, 235–240.
(9) Serrapeptase. (n.d). In Examine.
(10) Serrapeptase. (n.d). In Trophic™.
(11) Serrapeptase. (n.d.). In WebMD.
(12) SERRAPEPTASE 120,000 SU – 90 ENTERIC VEGGIE CAPS + BONUS ITEM!. (n.d.). In National Nutrition.
(13) Serrazimes® 20,000 Units Veg Capsules. (n.d.) In NOW®.