The Issue: My Review of Serrapeptase

The Tissue:

In one of my previous posts about Interstitial Cystitis (IC), I listed many of the alternative medicine’s/supplements available to help treat IC. One of those supplements was Serrapeptase. I’m sure many of you have not heard of a supplement called, Serratiopeptidase (Serrapeptase). That’s because it is a proteolytic enzyme (digests proteins) derived from a certain strain of bacteria in the gut of the silk worm.

Research for Serrapeptase

Unfortunately since it isn’t a very well known supplement, the research for it is very hard to find. If you do discover some research, the big lingering question is one of trust. Since most dietary supplements and herbs are not regulated by the FDA, the companies that sell them don’t have to abide by the same rules of testing and researching that pharmaceutical companies do. Obviously, this poses a great threat to those of us suffering with an illness and looking for safe and effective alternative medicines. The only help we have from the FDA regarding dietary supplements and herbs is accountability. The FDA will monitor and hold the producers of a supplement responsible if their product turns out to have safety issues. Also, if the producer makes a claim that their supplement will help support (never cure or alleviate) a certain health condition, then that statement has to be backed by some sort of research.

How Did I Find Out About Serrapeptase?

I first heard the name mentioned on the Interstitial Cystitis Network (ICN) Facebook chat forum. Then I discovered it on a website touting that they know how to help ease the symptoms of IC with supplements. The website is called Even Better Now. It seems to be a credible company based in Arizona. Their main goal is to help introduce people to alternative medicine choices for certain health conditions. Apparently, the founder of the company also has/had IC. I’ve tried a lot of the supplements and herbs they recommend, not because this website told me to, but because I did my own research as well.

How Does Serrapeptase Work?

Serrapeptase can help reduce inflammation and pain in a manner that almost equals that of popular over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin. It does this by either dissolving the dead tissue that can get inflamed or preventing the production of the pain mechanisms coming from the inflamed area.

My Experience with Serrapeptase

Pertaining to the relief of my IC pain, I’m going to give Serrapeptase 3 out of 5 Chuck’s.

Why? Well because it didn’t always perform a miracle at relieving my bladder pressure and pain. It did reduce the symptoms and one time it actually took them away for the day. Since I’m treating Serrapeptase as a take as needed medicine, I take it only when my bladder pressure and pain become too much to handle. Another reason for the not so perfect rating is that I picked a brand that produced their Serrapeptase pills without enteric coating. Our stomach acids can break down the serrapeptase enzymes before they are able to enter the bloodstream through the intestines. Obviously this is a problem, so most manufacturers put a coating over their pills that doesn’t break down in the acidic stomach juices but does break down in the more basic intestine juices. I am wary of enteric coating however, because sometimes the coating contains a chemical known as phthalate. Pthalates are put into plastics to make them more flexible and have a human health safety concern attached to them. However, there are some manufacturers who make Serrapeptase pills with an enteric coating that doesn’t involve phthalates. So since I’ve been using the non enteric coated pills, which you can find here at iHerb.com, the relief I could have gotten from the Serrapeptase has been minimized, even though the amount of Serra enzymes in one of those pills far exceeded that of the enteric coated pills (more is not always better).

Summary

Since I just threw a bunch of information out at you I’m going to sum up my review on using Serrapeptase to help treat the symptoms of IC.

  1. I’ve got to mention this because it is always important. Make sure to ask your doctor if taking Serrapeptase is something you should be doing. That way you can at least get some kind of professional opinion.
  2. Buy Serrapeptase with enteric coating but buy from a manufacturer that doesn’t use enteric coating with phthalates in it. Usually it will be listed under “other ingredients”. I found this brand on iHerb.com that looks to be enteric coated without phthalates. I will write an updated post on it later to report any noticeable differences in pain relief.
  3. Try taking the pills on an empty stomach. Let’s say at least 2 hours after a meal and maybe one hour before. I know this gets a little hard when your pain suddenly decides to rear its ugly head at random times.
  4. Don’t take it on a daily basis. This same advice is not something someone with constant daily pain wants to hear, but I’m going to be cautious since the effectiveness and safety research is so fragmented and a little all over the place. So try taking it on an as needed basis and definitely not more than the recommended amount on the bottle.

By the way, if you would like to order some supplements from iHerb.com and you are a new costumer, use this referral code at checkout so you can get $5 off: FEX822

Does anyone else have experience with Serrapeptase? Feel free to leave a comment or a question.

For more information on the regulation of dietary supplements and on Serrapeptase see the following:

Aviva.ca

Life Extension Magazine

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Alerts and Advisories

Dietary Supplements Alerts and Safety from the FDA

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