What Is Serrapeptase (Silkworm Enzyme)? (2022)

Serrapeptase is an enzyme derived from Serratia E-15, an intestinal bacteria a silkworm uses to dissolve its cocoon once it transforms into a moth. Serrapeptase is believed to exert anti-inflammatory effects to reduce pain and swelling, mostly of the upper respiratory tract. It is also used to relieve pain following minor surgery.

Serrapeptase was first isolated by scientists in Japan in the 1960s and soon after became a bestselling drug there (brand name Danzan), later finding its way onto drugstore shelves in Europe and North America as a dietary supplement.

Doubts about the drug's efficacy led its manufacturer, Takeda, to voluntarily withdraw it in 2011. Despite the recall, there are plenty of manufacturers that still produce serrapeptase supplements and point to its efficacy in clinical studies.

Also Known As

  • Butterfly extract
  • Serratiopeptidase
  • Silkworm enzyme

What Is Serrapeptase Used For?

Proponents of alternative medicine claim that serrapeptase can help treat a wide range of medical conditions. Chief among these are:

  • Pain and inflammation following oral surgery
  • Chronic upper respiratory concerns, including bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, and pharyngitis (sore throat)

Claims of health benefits of alternative treatments often extend beyond a substance's intended use, encompassing what seems to be an almost encyclopedic range of medical conditions.

With serrapeptase, proponents claim the enzyme can dissolve blood clots, alleviate symptoms of arthritis, prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and treat diabetes, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), leg ulcers, and fibrotic breast disease.

To date, there is no evidence that it can treat any of these conditions.

That is not to say there is no benefit to serrapeptase use. However, studies that make up the current body of research are often poorly designed or too small to be statistically relevant.

Here are a few that provide some of the more compelling pieces of evidence in support of serrapeptase use.

Oral Surgery

A small study published in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery suggests that serrapeptase may help alleviate pain and swelling resulting from dental surgery.

The study involved 24 healthy people, all of whom underwent the surgical removal of impacted molars. Half were given 1,000 milligrams (mg) of Tylenol (acetaminophen) plus 5 mg of serrapeptase three times a day for seven days, while the other group received the same amount of Tylenol with a placebo.

According to the researchers, in the seven days following surgery, the serrapeptase group had less cheek swelling (as measured by calipers) and pain intensity (as measured by numeric scale) than those given the placebo.

Despite the promising results, the conclusions were limited by the size of the study and the subjective nature of pain measurements.

Natural Remedies for Tooth Pain

Upper Respiratory Symptoms

Serrapeptase has long been touted for its ability to alleviate throat pain, hoarseness, and sinus congestion associated with upper respiratory infections and illnesses.

(Video) What is Serrapeptase?

According to a 2017 review published in the Asian Journal of Pharmacological Science, serrapeptase exerts effects similar to cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-2) inhibitor drugs like Aleve (naproxen) and Celebrex (celecoxib).

In addition to alleviating inflammation, serrapeptase also appears to break down exudates (fluids that seep out of tissue as a result of inflammation).

By exerting anti-inflammatory, anti-exudate, and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, serrapeptase could very well alleviate common upper respiratory tract symptoms. However, to date, there is little qualitative evidence of such benefits.

Of the available research, a 2003 study in the journal Respiralogy reported that four weeks of serrapeptase given at a dose of 30 mg daily reduced the amount and thickness of mucus coughed up by people with chronic bronchitis.

Despite flaws in the study design, the findings were significant enough to suggest that serrapeptase may play an important role in mucus clearance in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory diseases.

Can Antioxidant Foods Fight COPD?

Possible Side Effects

While serrapeptase has been used for up to four weeks in clinical research, little is known about its long-term safety. Common side effects tend to be mild but may include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Cough
  • Rash
  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions
  • Pneumonitis
  • Increase in abscess size

Although it is said to alleviate upper respiratory symptoms, serrapeptase has been known to cause pneumonitis (lung inflammation) in some. The condition appears triggered by a sudden drop in white blood cells called eosinophils and occurs mostly in elderly adults.

A 2016 report in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research also suggests that serrapeptase may increase the size of an abscess, in part by breaking down exudates in surrounding tissues.

Serrapeptase should not be used if you have an abscess of any sort, including an abscessed tooth. Doing so may facilitate the further spread of infection.

The safety of serrapeptase inpregnant women, nursing mothers, and children has not been established. Given the potential harms and uncertain benefits, it may be best that these groups avoid serrapeptase.

Natural Ways to Fight Inflammation

Interactions

Serrapeptase may interfere with blood clotting and should be avoided if you are taking blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) or Plavix (clopidogrel). Taking them together may cause easy bruising or bleeding.

For this same reason, you should stop using serrapeptase two weeks before a scheduled surgery to avoid excessive bleeding.

What Is Serrapeptase (Silkworm Enzyme)? (1)

(Video) Serrapeptase: the miracle enzyme

Dosage and Preparation

There are no guidelines for the appropriate use of serrapeptase. Doses of up to 60 mg daily have been used safely in short-term studies.

Serrapeptase supplements are readily sourced online and in certain health food and nutritional supplement stores. Most are sold as capsules, gelcaps, or enteric-coated tablets with doses ranging from 34 mg (20,000 international units, or IU) to 500 mg (300,000 IU). However, a dose of 60,000 IU to 120,000 IU (about 100-200 mg) has been used in studies.

As a general rule, it is best to avoid high-dose formulations. Not only are they more costly, but there is no evidence that higher doses are any more effective than lower doses.

Always use the smallest dose possible and never exceed the recommended dose on the product label. If side effects persist or worsen, stop taking serrapeptase and advise your healthcare provider.

To avoid stomach upset, take this supplement with food or choose an enteric-coated tablet, which dissolves lower down in the intestinal tract. This can also help slow the breakdown and deactivation of serrapeptase by stomach acids.

What to Look For

Dietary supplements are not strictly regulated in the United States. To ensure the highest quality, opt for brands that have been tested by an independent certifying body like U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.

If you are strictly vegetarian or vegan, double-check that gelcaps are made of a vegetable-based gelatins rather than animal-derived bovine or porcine gelatin.

Serrapeptase can be stored safely at room temperature. You should discard any supplement that has expired or shows signs of spoilage or deterioration (including changes in color, texture, or smell).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is serrapeptase?

    Serrapeptase (also known as serratiopeptidase and serralysin) is an enzyme that was discovered in the intestines of the Bombyx mori silkworm back in the 1960s. Alternative practitioners contend that it has medical properties and can be used to treat pain and inflammation.

    Learn More:Natural Ways to Fight Inflammation

    (Video) How SERRAPEPTASE ENZYMES Works in Your Body for Overall Health

  • What is serrapeptase used for?

    Serrapeptase was originally marketed under the brand name Danzan in the 1960s and is claimed by some to prevent or treat a wide range of health conditions, including:

    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Blood clots
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Chronic bronchitis
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • Endometriosis
    • Postoperative pain
  • How much serrapeptase should I take?

    There are no guidelines for the appropriate use of serrapeptase in any form. Doses of up to 60 milligrams (mg) daily have been used safely in short-term studies.

  • What are the side effects of serrapeptase?

    Serrapeptase appears well tolerated, although little is known about its long-term safety. Side effects may include:

    • Nausea
    • Stomach upset
    • Muscle aches
    • Joint pain
    • Cough
    • Rash (uncommon)
    (Video) Serrapeptase: Reduce Inflammation for Faster Recovery | Health Hacks- Thomas DeLauer
  • Who should not take serrapeptase?

    Serrapeptase should be avoided in people with an abscessed tooth as there is evidence it can promote the spread of infection to deeper tissues. Children and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid serrapeptase due to the lack of safety research.

  • Are there drug interactions with serrapeptase?

    Because serrapeptase can inhibit blood clotting, it should be avoided in people who take anticoagulants like Coumadin (warfarin) and Plavix (clopidogrel), as the combination may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

    Learn More:Warfarin and Herbal Drug Interactions

  • Is there any evidence serrapeptase works?

    A 2013 review in the International Journal of Surgery involving 24 different studies concluded that "the existing scientific evidence for serrapeptase is insufficient to support its use as an analgesic and health supplement."

    (Video) What Is The Difference Between: Serrapeptase, Nattokinase, and Lumbrokinase?

    Learn More:Analgesics Used for Chronic Pain

FAQs

What does serrapeptase enzyme do? ›

Serrapeptase, also known as serratiopeptidase, is produced naturally within the digestive tract of silkworms. It's a proteolytic enzyme, which means it breaks down nonliving protein tissue into amino acids. Silkworms use this enzyme to break down their cocoons at birth.

What does serrapeptase cure? ›

With serrapeptase, proponents claim the enzyme can dissolve blood clots, alleviate symptoms of arthritis, prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and treat diabetes, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), leg ulcers, and fibrotic breast disease.

What are the side effects of taking serrapeptase? ›

Some common side effects after taking Serrapeptase are nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, cough, poor appetite, blood clotting disturbances, muscle & joint pain, skin reactions and rashes.

How does serrapeptase make you feel? ›

Serrapeptase – also known as Serratio Peptidase – is a proteolytic enzyme. In other words, it digests proteins… Including those in the food that you eat! That means that, as a side effect, there's a small chance of stomach upset or nausea if they're taken with meals.

Can serrapeptase cause kidney damage? ›

More serious adverse reactions such as blood dyscrasias, kidney damage and cardiovascular effects have been noted.

Is serrapeptase safe long term? ›

When taken by mouth: Serrapeptase is POSSIBLY SAFE for adults when taken by mouth for up to 4 weeks. There isn't enough reliable information to know if serrapeptase is safe when taken for longer than 4 weeks.

Who should not take serrapeptase? ›

Serrapeptase should not be taken along with blood thinners — such as Warfarin and aspirin — other dietary supplements like garlic, fish oil, and turmeric, which may increase your risk of bleeding or bruising ( 13 ). Several side effects have been observed in people taking serrapeptase.

How fast does serrapeptase work? ›

One clinical study with 193 patients found that Serrapeptase reduced inflammation in the ears, nose and throat, as well as reduced overall pain in just eight days.

Does serrapeptase eat scar tissue? ›

Serrapeptase will reduce any inflammation in the area and break down the scar tissue without affecting healthy tissue. It has the added benefit of improving wound healing in general by clearing old or damaged tissue, including blood clots, mucous, cysts, arterial plaque, and fibrosis.

When should I stop taking serrapeptase? ›

Surgery: Serrapeptase may interfere with blood clotting. There is concern that bleeding may increase during and after surgery. Stop using serrapeptase at least 2 weeks before surgery is scheduled.

Can serrapeptase cause weight loss? ›

Serrapeptase has recently been promoted for weight loss. However, no studies — test tube or human — have examined whether serrapeptase affects fat loss. However, it has been suggested that serrapeptase may indirectly promote weight loss in people with overweight or obesity by potentially reducing inflammation.

Does serrapeptase improve circulation? ›

Serrapeptase has shown to improve circulation and reduce swelling by breaking down fibrin and inhibiting the formation of molecules that attract inflammatory cells to the site of trauma. Reducing swelling furthermore helps with pain.

How does serrapeptase help arthritis? ›

Researchers believe that enzymes like serrapeptase work to reduce inflammation by facilitating immune cell movement and regulating levels of lymphocytes at the site of inflammation. (2) It has been shown to help curb inflammation associated with: arthritis.

Can serrapeptase cause liver damage? ›

The serrapeptase enzyme may also be difficult for your liver to process if you have cirrhosis or other liver diseases. Serrapeptase side effects on the liver may make the condition worse.

Can you take serrapeptase everyday? ›

Dosing. The usual adult dosage of serrapeptase is 10 mg 3 times daily (maximum dose, 60 mg/day) taken 2 hours after meals, with typical treatment durations of up to 1 week when used as an anti-inflammatory agent and up to 4 weeks when used as a mucolytic agent.

What is the main cause of inflammation in the body? ›

Possible Causes

The most common reasons for chronic inflammation include: Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, where your body attacks healthy tissue. Exposure to toxins, like pollution or industrial chemicals. Untreated acute inflammation, such as from an infection or injury.

Is serrapeptase an anti-inflammatory? ›

Serine protease, the largest proteolytic family has been reported for several therapeutic applications, including anti-inflammatory. Serratiopeptidase is a leading enzyme which has a very long history in medical as an effective anti-inflammatory drug.

Does serrapeptase give you energy? ›

It can help to clear mucus, fluid, blood clots, debris and immune complexes from your body. In this way it helps to reduce pain, improve mobility and increase energy.

Is serrapeptase good for nerve pain? ›

Serrapeptase is an enzyme taken from the silkworm that has been found to aid painful conditions like back pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia osteoporosis, migraine headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It also has been proven to help with chronic nerve pain, which many people with spinal cord injuries experience.

What Vitamin gets rid of scar tissue? ›

Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by researchers at the University of California who suggested it had beneficial properties for skin, especially in support of wound healing and scar repair. It is the main lipid-soluble antioxidant in the skin.

How do you break down thick scar tissue? ›

Treatment to Break Up Scar Tissue
  1. Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy can be useful for breaking up scar tissue around a joint. ...
  2. Laser Therapy. ...
  3. Corticosteroid Injections. ...
  4. Shockwave Therapy to Break Up Scar Tissue. ...
  5. Surgery to Get Rid of Scar Tissue.
24 Mar 2021

How many units of serrapeptase should I take? ›

The standard dose for serrapeptase is 10-60mg. Serrapeptase should be supplemented on an empty stomach, which is 30 minutes before a meal or two hours after a meal, three times a day. Most studies use 10mg of serrapeptase taken every eight hours.

Can you take serrapeptase everyday? ›

Dosing. The usual adult dosage of serrapeptase is 10 mg 3 times daily (maximum dose, 60 mg/day) taken 2 hours after meals, with typical treatment durations of up to 1 week when used as an anti-inflammatory agent and up to 4 weeks when used as a mucolytic agent.

What does serrapeptase do to scar tissue? ›

Research shows serrapeptase possesses significant anti-inflammatory, proteolytic (protein dissolving) and fibrinolytic (fibrin dissolving) properties. It reduces scar tissue, improves tissue healing and supports a healthy respiratory system.

Does serrapeptase eat scar tissue? ›

Serrapeptase will reduce any inflammation in the area and break down the scar tissue without affecting healthy tissue. It has the added benefit of improving wound healing in general by clearing old or damaged tissue, including blood clots, mucous, cysts, arterial plaque, and fibrosis.

How many serrapeptase should I take a day? ›

‌‌‌‌Dosage Recommendations

The dosage of serrapeptase, like many other enzymes, is based not on weight (mg amount), but rather on enzyme activity in the form of units of serrapeptase units or SPU. For most applications, the dosage is 40,000 to 100,000 units up to three times daily.

Who should not take serrapeptase? ›

Serrapeptase should not be taken along with blood thinners — such as Warfarin and aspirin — other dietary supplements like garlic, fish oil, and turmeric, which may increase your risk of bleeding or bruising ( 13 ). Several side effects have been observed in people taking serrapeptase.

Can serrapeptase cause weight loss? ›

Serrapeptase has recently been promoted for weight loss. However, no studies — test tube or human — have examined whether serrapeptase affects fat loss. However, it has been suggested that serrapeptase may indirectly promote weight loss in people with overweight or obesity by potentially reducing inflammation.

Does serrapeptase cross the blood brain barrier? ›

Does Serrapeptase cross the blood-brain barrier? No matter the cause or location (even the blood brain barrier), Serrapeptase works to stop the inflammation. If this is not enough, it has the ability to dissolve any dead or non-living tissue that may be gumming, particularly mucus and pain-related inflammation.

What Vitamin gets rid of scar tissue? ›

Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by researchers at the University of California who suggested it had beneficial properties for skin, especially in support of wound healing and scar repair. It is the main lipid-soluble antioxidant in the skin.

How do you break down thick scar tissue? ›

Treatment to Break Up Scar Tissue
  1. Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy can be useful for breaking up scar tissue around a joint. ...
  2. Laser Therapy. ...
  3. Corticosteroid Injections. ...
  4. Shockwave Therapy to Break Up Scar Tissue. ...
  5. Surgery to Get Rid of Scar Tissue.
24 Mar 2021

How do you get rid of scar tissue permanently? ›

Keloid scars and scar tissue removal
  1. Steroid injections. Steroids are injected directly into the keloid scar tissue to help decrease the itching, redness, and burning sensations that these scars may produce. ...
  2. Cryotherapy. ...
  3. Pressure therapy. ...
  4. Surgery. ...
  5. Another option for keloid scar treatment is laser surgery.

How many units of serrapeptase should I take? ›

The standard dose for serrapeptase is 10-60mg. Serrapeptase should be supplemented on an empty stomach, which is 30 minutes before a meal or two hours after a meal, three times a day. Most studies use 10mg of serrapeptase taken every eight hours.

How do you dissolve scar tissue naturally? ›

Try it:
  1. Mix distilled water — a little at time — into 2 tablespoons of baking soda until it forms a paste.
  2. Wet your scar with distilled water and then apply the paste to the wet scar.
  3. Hold the paste in place with a warm compress for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the area and repeat daily.

What is the best systemic enzymes? ›

Perhaps the best-known example of systemic enzymes is NSK-SD® nattokinase, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure and may help sustain cardiovascular health. The claims for nattokinase are corroborated by 25 years of scientific research and testing.

Does serrapeptase help arthritis? ›

Serrapeptase is used for painful conditions including back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, carpel tunnel syndrome, migraine headache, and tension headache.

Does serrapeptase give you energy? ›

It can help to clear mucus, fluid, blood clots, debris and immune complexes from your body. In this way it helps to reduce pain, improve mobility and increase energy.

Videos

1. The Miracle of Serrapeptase & Proteolytic Enzymes Revealed | The Cabral Concept #1775
(Stephen Cabral)
2. Super Miracle Enzyme for Scar Tissue, Arterial Plaque, Breast Cyst, Painful Joints - Dr Mandell, D.C
(motivationaldoc)
3. What Is Serrapeptase?
(TheJDocRealMinute)
4. What is Serrapeptase - The miracle enzyme
(CrossMediaBranding)
5. Serrapeptase, What Dose Should I Take For.....?
(TheJDocRealMinute)
6. Serrapeptase: A Natural with Lots of Promise: But Does it Work? :
(Ford Brewer MD MPH)

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