Is Bromelain Safe?

In order to avoid certain complications, you should understand the possible risks of bromelain. For example, safety concerns for bromelain can include possible allergic reactions or an increased risk of bleeding. It is also important to understand that the FDA does not regulate bromelain supplements, so you should choose a product made by a reputable manufacturer.

Safety of Bromelain: An Overview

Bromelain is a popular dietary supplement that is claimed to be beneficial for a variety of different uses. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking bromelain if you:
 
  • Have any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Have a bleeding disorder
  • Have any chronic or severe medical condition
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding.
     
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Bromelain Safety Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of bromelain include the following:
 
  • Bromelain may cause serious allergic reactions. You may be at a higher risk for bromelain allergies if you are allergic to any of the following substances:

 

    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Chrysanthemums
    • Cypress pollen
    • Daisies
    • Echinacea
    • Fennel
    • Flour
    • Grass pollen
    • Papain
    • Pineapple
    • Ragweed
    • Wheat
    • Marigolds.

 

  • Theoretically, bromelain could increase the risk of bleeding, including dangerous internal bleeding. This risk is probably most significant for people with a bleeding disorder or who take "blood thinner" medications (see Bromelain Drug Interactions).
     
  • As dietary supplements or food products, bromelain products are not as closely regulated as prescription (or non-prescription) drugs. They can be marketed without any proof that they are either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because a product is sold or advertised in the United States that it is safe or effective. Make sure to look for bromelain products that are made by a reputable manufacturer. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.
     
  • If you have a chronic or severe medical condition, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including bromelain.
     
  • It is not clear if bromelain is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (see Bromelain and Pregnancy and Bromelain and Breastfeeding).
     
 
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