Have you ever noticed how children or younger adults don’t tend to scar as easily? Or that scars don’t fade or disappear as easily as you grow older? Perhaps you remember your mom telling you not to pick at a scab or it will scar. This adage is true to an extent, since a healing wound will overcompensate with extra tissue growth when the normal repair process is interrupted. Ideally our bodies are designed to repair and replenish areas of trauma. They also have the added benefit of naturally occurring systemic proteolytic enzymes that will dissolve excess scar tissue over time.
The problem is that our bodies only have so many of these enzymes. In today’s high stress world, there are many factors that trigger or simulate “picking at” areas of injury the body is trying to repair. The more the area requires repair, the faster the natural systemic enzymes are depleted as they try to reduce the excess tissue that overlaps and strengthens with each repair attempt.
Eventually, there just aren’t enough systemic enzymes left to break down the extra scar tissue (or fibrin). In addition, natural enzymes levels begin to diminish around age 30 no matter what. This includes digestive and systemic enzymes. As a result, many people find that supplementing with systemic enzymes may help.
Systemic Proteolytic Enzymes May Help Reduce Scar Tissue (Fibrin) *
- In breasts or uterus (Fibroid tumors)*
- After injury*
- After surgery*
When we think of scars, in general, we think of them as outside evidence of an old injury or surgery. The fibrin that makes up the scars we see, is also present inside the body. It’s a fibrous tissue that acts like a bandage in areas where the body is healing. Blood clots and fibrin interlocks creating a tough protective barrier over and around the injured site.
Ideally, our bodies will only build the necessary amount of fibrin in a repair site and naturally occurring systemic enzymes will dissolve extra tissue once the site is healed. Think of the difference between a wound covered in a thick scab versus the smooth, small bump that remains months later.
However, when our bodies are out of balance, these mechanisms no longer function correctly. As a result, excess fibrin builds and grows when there are not enough naturally occurring systemic enzymes available. This excess fibrin collects around areas of trauma, such as after a major surgery or injury. Excess fibrin may also be evidence of hormone imbalances such as estrogen dominance, and end up storing in areas of the body, such as the uterus or breast tissue.
How do Systemic Proteolytic Enzymes Reduce Scar Tissue After Injury or Surgery?
Systemic (proteolytic) Enzymes “eat” the fibrin proteins that make up scar tissue and have the unique ability to “know” what is necessary versus what is excess in the body. With adequate amounts of active systemic enzymes in the body, only a minimal amount of scar tissue remains after repairing the damage.
According to jonbarron.org, “Proteolytic enzymes dissolve (digest) proteins. Scar tissue is made of protein … Fibrin is another name for this type of scar tissue.”
As a part of the inflammation response, especially when there is an imbalance, chronic issue, or reduction in systemic enzymes, excess fibrin begins to build up. The body doesn’t have the resources to dissolve and remove it, so fibrin continues to produce.
Serrapeptase: Secret of Silk Worms Breaks Down Scars
Serrapeptase (serratiopeptidase) is a form of proteolytic enzyme supplement which breaks down protein into the smaller components of peptides and amino acids. It comes from the digestive system of the silk worm and is the substance used by silk worms to break down their cocoon! If you understand how strong silk is, you understand how strong serrapeptase is! It is the main ingredient in systemic enzyme formulas designed to reduce excess fibrous growth such as fibroid tumors or inflamed joints.
Bromelain and Papain: Proteolytic Plant Enzymes Reduce Swelling and Remove Dead Cells
By combining the additional proteolytic enzymes bromelain and papain in a systemic enzyme formula, additional factors which contribute to scaring such as swelling or dead cell build up, are also eliminated.
The amazing thing about systemic enzymes is that they only “target the excess or damaging fibrin/scar tissue and help regulate normal, healthy fibrin levels needed to recover from occasional incidents such as surgery or an injury.” – Systemic Enzyme Therapy, WorldNutrition.net
In a detailed article on Systemic Enzyme Therapy, World Nutrition describes the primary symptoms associated with excess internal scar tissue. This excess fibrin is the main component of fibrous cysts in the reproductive system, and blood clots. “Scar tissue and adhesions are the result of excess fibrin that accumulates when a lack of systemic enzymes prevents the body from knowing when to stop producing fibrin during the healing process.”
Excess Scar Tissue Can Make Things Worse
Perhaps the most notable reason to reduce scar tissue through systemic enzyme supplementation is that it can reduce the chances of further issues.* When an area of the body is already burdened by excess fibrin, and additional trauma occurs, the condition may worsen. New scar tissue forms over old scar tissue, creating a tougher barrier and more discomfort in areas such as joints or surgery sites.
Numerous European studies have shown that systemic enzyme use significantly reduces discomfort and increases recovery time for athletes as well as post-surgery patients.*
Dosage and Timing of Taking Systemic Proteolytic Enzymes
There are variations to the effects of initial use of systemic enzymes. Some may consider these side effects, but really they are just the normal symptoms of the elimination of excess fibrin. For this reason, it is recommended to start at a maintenance dose (amount listed as recommended dose on the package), and work your way up to a higher dose where you and your medical practitioner feel is best for your situation.
Taking higher levels 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. But a regular dose slightly above a maintenance level will eventually lead to a reduction in scar tissue or fibrin.*
Take Systemic Enzymes on an Empty Stomach!
Since proteolytic enzymes will also break down the protein in the food you eat, it’s important to take systemic enzymes on an empty stomach. This way none of the enzyme activity is lost to the digestive process. Look for a systemic enzyme which is enteric coated to ensure the capsule maintains all its integrity and active enzymes as it journey through the digestive system and finally dissolves in the large intestine where it will then enter the blood stream and begin to work.
Systemic Proteolytic Enzyme Products
Vitalzym Extra Strength capsules are a highly concentrated (168mg per serving) proprietary blend of enzymes including bromelain, papain, rutin, amylase, protease, lipase, amla, and serrapeptase. These potent proteolytic enzymes are designed to support health and promote healing and repair. It’s an extremely effective systemic enzyme blend with a high Serrapeptase content.
Vitalzym Original Hybrid Formula combines systemic and digestive enzymes for total system support. To be taken in between meals. It contains protease, serrapeptase, papain, bromelain, amylase, lipase, rutin and amla in the original concentration amounts.
SerraPhase potent systemic enzymes contains 10mg (20,000 IU) of serratiopeptidase per enteric-coated tablet. SerraPhase is a potent systemic protein enzyme that supports the body’s normal functions for overall muscle, joint, tendon and cartilage health and function. Serratiopeptidase has been used in Europe and Japan for over 30 years as a safe, natural systemic enzyme support.