Papain is an enzyme that is found in green papaya (papaya that is not quite ripe). It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years because of its many health benefits which include treating wounds and cuts, stings and burns and internal illnesses. Nowadays, papain is also used in cooking as a meat tenderiser. The tremendous health benefits of the papain enzyme are now also available as a health supplement from the Papaya Digestion store.
People of South America have traditionally used the papain properties of papaya as a meat tenderizer. The papaya or papain is applied to meats for a short period of time, just enough time for the papain to weaken the the protein bonds of the meat. Leaving the papaya or papain on the meat for too long will make the meat too mushy.
And papain is similar to the enzyme bromelain found in pineapples. Both of them are proteolytic enzymes, meaning that they help digest proteins found in food. Most commercial meat tenderizers contain papain, bromelain or both. Papain is similar to the stomach enzyme pepsin, which breaks down meat, egg and dairy proteins during digestion.
Papain cuts the protein chains in the fibrils and also in the connective tissue, disrupting the structural integrity of the muscle fiber, and tenderizing the meat.
Besides, papain can be used as a digestive enzyme that helps break down certain types of food in the stomach. Papain dissolves protein tissue when it comes in contact with certain types of meat. Papain protein digesting enzymes work by breaking the peptide bonds in proteins resulting in smaller amino acids and peptides, which are assimilated by the body. Consequently, it's often used in cooking and baking as a meat tenderizer.
Papain has a soothing effect on the stomach and helps the stomach break down protein easily. Red meat, fish and certain types of vegetables high in protein can be broken down and absorbed by the stomach readily with the help of a digestive enzyme. Papaya enzyme also has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, helping speed up the healing process after a burn or injury.
Papain has also been used in skin and burn treatments. It has been used in traditional or alternate medicine for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties in treating bedsores, burns, skin ulcers, and wounds. Papain should not be used on open wounds, but is used on dry and healed wounds to remove dead skin.
Though Papain has so many benefits, but there are some precautions which must be observed when we use this enzyme.
On September 23, 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned companies to stop marketing ophthalmic balanced salt solutions and topical drug products containing papain by November 4, 2008. The FDA said, "Papain-containing drug products in topical form historically have been marketed without approval..." According to the FDA's statement on the subject, "These unapproved products have put consumers' health in jeopardy, from reports of permanent vision loss with unapproved balanced salt solutions to a serious drop in blood pressure and increased heart rate from the topical Papain products," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
So we must pay attention of the side effect of Papain. Papain can create problems for people who have hemophiliac traits or simply put blood cloying issues as it adds to the already thin consistency of blood. People with weakened intestina powers of nutrition absorption, suffering from malabsorption syndrome, are generally asked to avoid Papain. Besides pregnant women must take extra care when use Papain without consulting a doctor.
In a word, Papain has manifold benefits. But it is always good for you to place your body over everything else. Always seek guidance of a doctor to know the good and the bad effect of the product.
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