Most of us have a scar or two somewhere on our bodies. Big or little, thick or thin, these scars are “badges of honor” to some and unsightly skin defects to others. Regardless of how you feel about your external scars, they are permanent evidence of an old injury or surgery. They also serve an important purpose in repairing the area that has been injured.
Coincidentally, when there is external trauma to your body, there are scars that also form on the inside of your body. Fibrin, an essential protein that is produced during inflammation, not only creates the scars on the outside of your body, but is also present on the inside of your body. Typically, the body utilizes fibrin for blood clotting purposes, in order to help stop blood loss and infection. Blood clots and fibrin interlock to create a tough protective barrier of scar tissue over and around the injured site.
NORMAL SCAR TISSUE FORMATION
Your body uses the scar tissue to replace the previously healthy tissue. Ideally, only the necessary amount of fibrin will be built in a repair site. When the site is healed, naturally occurring systemic enzymes – mainly plasmin – within your body should dissolve any extra scar tissue. Enzymes are what keep most of our metabolic reactions in balance. Plasmin is an important enzyme in the blood that dissolves many blood plasma proteins such as fibrin clots. Essentially, fibrin creates a scar tissue “bandage” to protect and heal, and the systemic enzyme plasmin “peels it off” after the healing has finished – all part of a healthy inflammatory response to trauma.
ABNORMAL SCAR TISSUE FORMATION
As you age, or when your body is out of balance, you produce less plasmin. Unfortunately, fibrin levels continue to increase inside your body. Consequently, excess fibrin will build and grow when there are not enough naturally occurring systemic enzymes available to get rid of it. The extra fibrin collects around areas of trauma, such as after surgery, after an injury or from an infection. It turns soft tissue into a tough fibrous mass or band called an adhesion. Adhesions, typically considered unhealthy tissue, tend to maintain the biological markers of inflammation, such as swelling, redness and pain. The negative effects of adhesions may go unrecognized or not show up for years after injury or surgery.
Adhesions can form inside your body as a result of the following:
Surgery. Adhesions are common complications of surgery, particularly abdominal or pelvic surgery. These adhesions may bind two parts of tissue or organs together. They can cause small bowel obstructions, female infertility and chronic pelvic pain. C-sections and hysterectomies tend to create pelvic adhesions in organs such as the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes or bladder.
Infection. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), resulting from an infection, frequently leads to adhesions in and around the fallopian tubes. These adhesions can lead to infertility and an increased occurrence of ectopic pregnancy. Scar tissue can even form around the heart and restrict its function. Infections, such as rheumatic fever, may lead to adhesion formation on heart valves, which can impede efficiency.
Hormones. During menstruation each month, a woman sheds endometrial tissue. This tissue may implant in areas where it doesn’t belong, like the surface of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel and lining of the pelvic cavity. This abnormal growth of endometrial tissue is called endometriosis, and it can form serious adhesions that cause severe complications. Hormone imbalances such as estrogen dominance can also cause excess fibrin to build up and cause adhesions and fibroid tumors in breast tissue or the uterus.
COMPLICATIONS OF EXCESS FIBRIN
Excess fibrin is not only responsible for unhealthy scar tissue build-up, but it is also responsible for arterial plaque, abnormal blood clot formation and the spider web tissue that encases internal organs. It is a prime cause of aging and disease. Creating internal stagnation and sluggishness, fibrin decreases the body’s flexibility and youthful nature. Also, when additional trauma occurs in a part of the body that is already burdened by excess fibrin, the condition may worsen. New scar tissue will form over old scar tissue, creating a tougher adhesion and more discomfort.
Thankfully, ridding the body of excess fibrin can be accomplished by supplementing with an enzyme known as serrapeptase.
WHAT IS SERRAPEPTASE?
Discovered more than 40 years ago, scientists isolated serrapeptase (also known as serrapeptidase, serratia peptidase, nicolase and the super enzyme) from the Serratia species of bacteria located in the intestines of silkworms. It is a proteolytic enzyme, meaning that it breaks down protein into smaller components that the body can re-absorb. After weaving a silk cocoon and beginning the transformation to a moth, the silkworm releases Serratia from its gut. The Serratia produces serrapeptase, which then dissolves the silk cocoon. This allows the moth to emerge.
Scientists in India researched the enzyme to find out if it could be used therapeutically in the human body. They discovered that serrapeptase is a very powerful anti-fibrotic enzyme that boasts many benefits. You can not only take serrapeptase to help dissolve scar tissue, but it can also fight inflammation, improve your immune response and decrease pain.
WHAT DOES SERRAPEPTASE DO?
As a systemic proteolytic enzyme, serrapeptase dissolves the fibrin proteins that make up scar tissue and has the unique ability to recognize what is necessary and what is excess in the body. It also has the distinct ability to digest only non-living tissue and make proteins break down much faster. Because it is anti-fibrotic, serrapeptase is able to bring relief to many health conditions that are a result of abnormal thickening or scarring of fibrous connective tissue, a condition known as fibrosis.
This includes a variety of health conditions, such as:
- Atherosclerosis (plaque build-up on the arterial walls)
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Uterine fibroid tumors
- Scarring after injuries
- Surgery that causes scarring
- Scarring due to infection
- Blood clots (due to fibrin in the blood)
Because serrapeptase breaks down dead tissues and excess fibrin, it eliminates the body’s defense mechanism known as inflammation. It is an effective enzyme against inflammation in all forms, such as inflammation of the joints, the digestive system and other organs. With inflammation abated, the body is able to clean out the dead tissues and fibrin growths, allowing for the healing process to begin.
Serrapeptase is an extremely useful supplement for those suffering from inflammatory health conditions and autoimmune disorders like the following:
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
WHAT ELSE DOES SERRAPEPTASE DO?
Besides helping to rid the body of excess fibrin, serrapeptase supplements have other health benefits:
Pain Reliever. Serrapeptase acts as a healthy alternative to NSAIDs and powerful steroids that are used for pain control. It is known to help relieve most types of pain, including headaches caused by inflammation.
Mucus Thinner. When you are sick, serrapeptase makes it easier to blow your nose because it breaks down proteins in mucus, making it thinner. This helps with conditions such as sinusitis, bronchitis and allergies.
Antibiotic Assistance. When antibiotics are the best course of action for an infection, serrapeptase can help make them more effective. It weakens the biofilm around antibiotic-resistant bacteria, making it easier for the antibiotics to do their job.
HOW MUCH SERRAPEPTASE SHOULD BE TAKEN?
The dosage of serrapeptase varies depending on the condition you are trying to address, or whether you are using the enzyme for maintenance purposes. Most often, it is recommended to start on a maintenance dose (the recommended dosage on the package) and work your way up to a higher amount. You will want to discuss the proper dosing with a qualified heath professional because every situation is different.
Taking higher levels of serrapeptase isn’t necessarily more beneficial, though it will lead to faster results. Eventually, you will want to take enough to offset both normal and excess fibrin or scar tissue. The higher the dose, the more systemic enzymes there are at one time to break down scar tissue and help the body to eliminate it. However, a regular dose slightly above a maintenance level will eventually lead to a reduction in the adhesions.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED DOSE OF SERRAPEPTASE?
Serrapeptase labels vary by manufacturer. You may see the label on the supplements in milligrams (mg), serrapeptase units (SPU), or enzymatic units (EU). The conversion is usually 2000 SPU/EU per mg. The serrapeptase dosage below is based on the one most recommended.
Serrapeptase Dose: 10-60 mg (20,000-120,000 SPU/EU), taken two to three times daily – for a total of 30-180 mg per day.
WHEN SHOULD SERRAPEPTASE BE TAKEN?
Since proteolytic systemic enzymes, like serrapeptase, will also break down the protein in the food you eat, it’s important to take them on an empty stomach. This way, none of the enzyme activity is lost to the digestive process. It is recommended to take serrapeptase that is enteric coated to ensure that the capsule maintains its integrity and all active enzymes as it dissolves in your body and enters your bloodstream.
Serrapeptase Dosage Timing: Take on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before or two hours after a meal.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND SERRAPEPTASE?
Serrapeptase supplements are sold online and in stores. Make sure that you focus on the quality of the product, which means you should do thorough research and consult a qualified healthcare professional before buying it.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF SERRAPEPTASE?
Although serrapeptase has been researched and found to help with reducing scar tissue and other various conditions, it may also introduce undesired side effects. One of the most significant is Steven-Johnson syndrome, a rare condition characterized by the appearance of blisters throughout the body.
Other possible complications from taking serrapeptase may include:
- Erythema (redness) or dermatosis
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
Serrapeptase thins out the white blood cell-rich fluid that gathers around wounds, making them easier to drain and reducing inflammation. It also breaks down proteins in mucus, making it easier to breathe when you have a cold. So, if you are already taking medications or supplements that also thin fluids in your body, you should take caution when adding serrapeptase to your regimen. Drug and supplement interactions include:
Aspirin. Don’t take aspirin and serrapeptase together. Aspirin is a more powerful blood thinner.
Prescription Blood Thinners. If you are on any type of blood thinner, such as Warfarin or Clopidogrel, do not use serrapeptase.
Fish Oil. Fish oil is a mild-to-moderate blood thinner, and so is serrapeptase. Taking the two together may make your blood too thin. Consult your physician if taking both.
The bottom line: Keep serrapeptase and anything that thins your blood separate from one another. When your blood gets too thin, it has trouble clotting. Bleeding can get out of control, and you can develop spontaneous bruises or nosebleeds.
Always keep in mind, talk to a qualified physician if you have any questions or concerns about taking serrapeptase.