Serrapeptidase is an enzyme produced by the bacterium Serratia marcescens. It is also known by many other names, including serratiapeptase, serratia peptidase, serratio peptidase and serralysin. Serrapeptidase is a proteolytic enzyme, or protease, meaning that it breaks proteins down into smaller polypeptide chains.
S. marcescens grows in the intestine of the silkmoth, known scientifically as Bombyx mori. The primary purpose of serrapeptidase is to dissolve the cocoon when the moth emerges from it. Scientists first isolated S. marcescens from the silkmoth during the late 1960s. Serrapeptidase is produced commercially by purifying cultures of S. marcescens.
The proteolytic activity of serrapeptidase has made it a popular health supplement in Asia and Europe for more than 25 years. It also has wide clinical use in these regions, primarily for treating inflammatory disorders. Common trade names for serrapeptidase preparations include Aniflazyme and Danzen.
Serrapeptidase isn’t currently available for sale in the United States and other countries due to safety concerns over its source, although it is available over the Internet. The growing recognition of its efficacy has led to great interest in serrapeptidase within the US health supplement market. The potential for a serrapeptidase-like enzyme in the US market has resulted in the development of such a protease complex from a safe source organism.
Serrazimes® is a protease complex that is produced by the National Enzyme Company in the United States. It’s derived from the fungus species Aspergillus melleus and Aspergillus oryzae and has a molecular weight of about 50,000 Daltons. Serrazimes® is intended to be an alternative for serrapeptidase in dietary supplements, especially in markets where serrapeptidase is unavailable.
Serrazimes® is an alkaline metalloprotease that activates the Hageman factor, a plasma protein involved in the coagulation of blood. It also activates the kinin–kallikrein system, which plays roles in coagulation and inflammation. Additional actions of Serrazimes® include the inhibition of the IgA and IgG immune factors as well as the plasma proteins alpha-2-antiplasmin, alpha-2-macroglobulin and antithrombin III.
An enzyme’s serrapeptidase activity can be determined by measuring its ability to hydrolyze a standard casein substrate. This assay shows that Serrazimes® is a 1:1 substitution for serrapeptidase, meaning that Serrazimes® and serrapeptidase have the same proteolytic activity in vitro. An in vivo trial also shows that protease from A. melleus provides better anti-inflammatory activity than serrapeptidase and has fewer side effects. Serrazimes® is therefore an adequate substitution for serrapeptidase in anti-inflammatory products and may be the better choice in some cases.
Serrapeptidase can inhibit inflammatory responses. Additional benefits of this enzyme include heart health, respiration support, and antibacterial activity.
Studies show that serrapeptidase can reduce the inflammation of mucous membranes and the viscosity of mucous. These effects may help to support healthy breathing patterns.
Serrapeptidase may enhance the activity of antibiotics such as ampicillin. Studies also show that protease from A. melleus increases erythromycin’s ability to sterilize bronchial mucosa.
Serrapeptidase and other proteases may support heart health by inhibiting the formation of blood clots and plaque in the arteries.
Serrapeptidase’s ability to support healthy inflammatory conditions derives primarily from the degradation of fibrin, which is a protein involved in blood coagulation. Serrapeptidase may also manage inflammatory conditions by inhibiting cytokines, which are pro-inflammatory proteins.
Unhealthy inflammatory conditions are generally the most significant indications that you could benefit from serrapeptidase. These signs typically include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia. Serrapeptidase may also help conditions involving swelling such as laryngitis, sinusitis and post-operative swelling. Some sources of discomfort like headaches, ear infections and sore throats may benefit from serrapeptidase. Additional reasons to take serrapeptidase also include cardiovascular conditions such as atherosclerosis.
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