Thanks to Lori Glenn of the American Botanical Council for this information. Lori is the editor of their excellent news service, HerbClip:
Pineapple contains beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. However, the pineapple is best known for the enzyme bromelain which digests protein and reduces inflammation. Bromelain has the potential to decrease pain, edema, and platelet aggragation (as well as aforementioned inflammation), and it may also increase the effect of antibiotics. Bromelain has been used in the treatment of upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and sinusitis. It has the potential to aid in burn treatment and may aid skin grafting.I would add that even when the digestive tract is doing its job well, there are enough toxins present in the environment and the food we eat to make it worth considering adaptogens to help the body do well despite the toxins.
Bromelain is being tested now for use in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also be useful in the treatment of other connective tissue disorders including scleroderma, bursitis, and tendonitis.
Because this enzyme has digesting ability, bromelain is being examined for its possible use in the treatment of amyloidosis, the buildup of a protein-like substance, amyloid, which can cause damage to the kidney, liver, and heart.
Along with enzymes such as amylase (which digests starch) and lipase (which digests fat), bromelain is an important component in maintaining healthy digestion. While children have an abundance of digestive enzymes to process food, adults who have consumed a largely processed, cooked food diet have used up a large portion of their digestive enzyme supply. Live, organic food contains the enzymes necessary to bring this back in balance and aid in digestion. Processed and cooked foods -- not at all. Enzyme supplementation can therefore aid in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Many maladies are linked to the body's inability to process toxins; the inclusion of enzymes, whether through supplements or live organic foods, allows the digestive system to process these toxins more effectively.