"Neprinol: The Healthy Alternative to Ibuprofen."
By Aimee Vasse- Biochemist and a Member of the Cpt-Colnago Women's Professional Cycling Team
The overuse of Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs "(NSAID's)" is all too common among athletes, professional and amateur alike. Cyclists tend to be on the extreme side of the spectrum; one is hard-pressed to find a stage racer who is not toting a family-sized bottle of ibuprofen. According to studies, doctors, and sports medicine professionals, systemic enzymes provide a safer and more effective solution.
While ibuprofen and other NSAID's might relieve the pain, "an absence of symptoms does not mean the absence of a problem," affirms Dr. Laurent Bannock, D.Sc.
The whole point of NSAID's is to manage a condition, not to solve a problem. NSAID's buy you time and are a real band-aid solution. "We have to understand inflammation is an amazing mechanism that helps your body repair injury; the process has lots of benefits, which we need to respect," he notes.
Discovery Health host Dr. Bannock treats patients at the Santa Fe Center for Nutritional Medicine. Here he also studies the effects of systemic enzymes, such as those contained in Neprinol, a multi-enzyme formulation manufactured by Arthur Andrew Medical.
The human body manufactures some 3,000 enzymes, the great majority of which are necessary for life. However, when we age--which, contrary to popular understanding, begins at 27--our production of enzymes decreases. The resulting enzyme deficit manifests itself as atherosclerosis, less pliable scar tissue, and a general delay in injury healing (1). Our ancient predecessors remedied this problem by ingesting enzyme-rich raw foods. However, today's norms of cooking and processing foods leave the typical Western diet almost devoid of enzymes altogether.
Dr. Bannock conducted a multi-patient study (2), written up in the Issue of The Doctors' Prescription for Healthy Living. Here, he used digital blood microscopy and laboratory blood testing to show Neprinol's efficacy in alleviating syndromes from cardiovascular disease to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Other studies conducted on Neprinol's key ingredients show that these enzymes also decrease post-operative swelling (3), thin mucous secretions (4), inhibit bacterial and viral infection (1, 5), and quell autoimmune disease (1).
For the purpose of cyclists and other athletes, however, the next few paragraphs will focus on Neprinol's ability to reduce swelling and inhibit pain in a safe and effective manner. The two principle enzymes in Neprinol are serrapeptase and nattokinase. The former, technically called "serratio peptidase," is produced by a bacterium of the genus Serratia living symbiotically inside the silkworm intestine. Secretion of this protein-digesting enzyme, or protease, enables the silkworm moth to digest the protein fibers that comprise its cocoon. Likewise, serrapeptase is able to digest excess inflammatory proteins, as well as dead tissue inside the human body. Because the enzyme works only on specific substrates, there is no concern that it will harm living tissue. In fact, one of Neprinol's other synergistic ingredients, rutin, actually promotes the growth of healthy tissue. Serrapeptase relieves pain not only by reducing inflammation, but additionally blocks the release of pain-inducing amines from inflamed tissue (2).
Nattokinase also is a protease, but it targets fibrin, a protein that cross links to form blood clots. While some blood clots are necessary to prevent internal or external bleeding, others cause stroke, heart attack, and lack of blood flow to the site of injury. Nattokinase's fibrinolytic, or fibrin-digesting activity results from its resemblance to the human enzyme, plasmin, which is expressly designed for the same purpose. Nattokinase is produced by a bacterium, Bacillus natto, found in a fermented Japanese soybean product similar to cheese. It first was discovered by University of Chicago scientist Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi, MD, who dropped some of his lunch into a petri dish containing an artificial thrombus, or blood clot, causing it to dissolve completely within 18 hours.
The body naturally regulates its use of serrapeptase and nattokinase to optimize the inflammatory process, along with systemic responses. Therefore, unlike other drugs, which may not work after long-term use, these two enzymes pose no risk of negative biofeedback or dependency; nor is it possible to take an overdose. Doctors caution against excessive use of any food or drug, but research studies providing massive doses of the enzymes have been unable to find a lethal dose (1). Neprinol has no known side effects, but is not recommended for use in hemophiliacs or in patients taking prescription blood thinners like Coumadin, Heparin, or Plavix.
On the contrary, NSAID's like ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxin sodium, and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors, can cause morbidity and mortality, even when patients adhere to the recommended dose. Furthermore, these drugs block pain receptors, so pain is masked and permanent injury "is" more likely.
The most pernicious offense of these drugs, however, is that they work by inhibiting the circulating immune complex (CIC). When the immune system senses injury, it sends out a CIC specifically tagged for the injury site. When the CIC reaches the site, it causes pain and swelling, which deters use of the injured body part to avoid further damage. Presence of the CIC also serves to recruit other enzymes and co-factors to the injury site.
Some CIC's, however, exist in the body on a more permanent basis, such as those essential to kidney function and protection of the mucosal lining in the intestines. NSAID's do not discriminate between necessary and superfluous CIC's. Therefore, they can cause intestinal bleeding and kidney failure (1). Furthermore, NSAID's inherently are toxic to the liver, and COX-2 inhibitors have been implicated in increased risk of heart attack and stroke. 20,000 Americans die yearly from NSAID use, and another 100,000 are hospitalized for intestinal bleeding, kidney damage, or liver disease (1).
Inflammation in itself is beneficial, but the inflammation cascade often is self-perpetuating due to irritation it causes at the site of an injury. Neprinol, however, and enzymes in general, are able to distinguish between necessary and redundant inflammation because of their natural regulation by the body. Also, because of their substrate specificity, enzymes can distinguish between CIC's associated with the inflammatory response, and those used to maintain the kidneys and the intestinal lining.
"We've lost respect for our body's design; we have to understand that the body created inflammation for a reason. The process must be optimized rather than inhibited," says Bannock.
Neprinol is available at http://www.fibromedica.com/ For more information, please call (888)-436-0966. If you would like to speak with Aimee directly you can reach her by phone at 313-570-2522 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Wong W. "What Are Systemic Enzymes and What Do They Do?"
2. Bannock L. "The End of Heart Disease and Arthritis." The Doctors' Prescription for
Healthy Living. NEED DATES, PAGES, etc.
3. Tachibana M, Mizukoshi O, Harada Y, Kawamoto K, Nakai Y. "A Multi-Centre,
Double-Blind Study of Serrapeptase Versus Placebo in Post-Antrotomy Buccal
Swelling." Pharmatherapeutica. 1984; 3(8): 526-30.
4. Nakamura S, Hashimoto Y, Mikami M, Yamanaka E, Soma T, Hino M, Azuma A,
Kudoh S. "Effect of the Proteolytic Enzyme Serrapeptase in Patients with Chronic
Airway Disease." Respirology. 2003. Sept; 8(3): 316-20.
5. Nouza K. "Physical Activity and Immune System. Systemic Enzyme Therapy in
Prevention and Treatment." Medicina Sportiva Boh. Slov. 1997. 6(2): 41-45.