Supplements.

Are they magical capsules capable of eradicating nutritional gaps and supercharging the human body, or sham pills yielding expensive urine, only as powerful as their placebo? (Although, of course, the power of such should not be underestimated.) Self-proclaimed “biohackers” often laud the praises of supplements on one hand and scrutinize their efficacy on the other, all the while contemplating the ideal forms and routes to go.  

The goal of biohacking supplements often encompasses a broad if vague target of supporting immunity, wellness, or “the mitochondria.” Take for example NMN or NR, purported to boost the body’s NAD levels. Yes, I take these daily. Do I know if they’re actually boosting my NAD levels? It’s hard to know, so I’m just hoping for the best. Or take spermidine. Does it grant more years to your life? I suppose you can report back on your deathbed. (Unless, of course, such a concept becomes not applicable, if longevity technology has its way with immortality.) More concrete conclusions of cost/benefit can be made about supplements that affect a specific biomarker. Did that grass-fed spleen raise your iron? Did that berberine lower your blood glucose or HbA1c? Did that probiotic resolve your constipation or diarrhea? 

Rare is the supplement which boasts those broad-ranging effects of wellness, yet also very specifically address acute conditions, with evident results. I’m talking about that magic supplement which seems to do almost everything, and which people can point a finger to as being the cause. With scientific support to boot!

THE SECRET OF THE SILKWORM

 The beauty of silk and the power of the silkworm spinning its threads have been known for centuries in Asia, guarded as a national treasure for centuries. To this day, silk is one of the most sought after fabrics on earth. A new “secret” power of the silkworm has been emerging for past several decades in Japan, and more recently in the United States. While silk was the first secret power of the silk worm, a growing body of evidence is emerging regarding the potential of the enzyme it creates: serrapeptase.  

 Serrapeptase has been used for decades and recently has undergone many studies for its potential positive impact for a wide range of potential symptoms.  Utilized and well known in  Japan for decades but seldom discussed elsewhere. relatively few have heard of serrapeptase (yet), when you meet someone who has taken it, they tend to light up with a knowingness of having found some hiland. (The supplement has, after all, been used in Japan for decades.) I first started taking serrapeptase years ago for allergies: I’m worthless in a field of grass, and was shocked at how it almost instantly removed my congestion and runny nose like they were never a thing. Who needs Claritin? When I met my Intermittent Fasting Podcast co-host, Gin Stephens (NYT best-selling author of Fast Feast Repeat), she quickly identified as a non­-supplement person (which I completely respect). We were therefore a bit shocked when we realized there was, in fact, one supplement we both took, and swore by! As it turned out, serrapeptase was not only great for my allergies and inflammation, but it also could eradicate fibroids – Gin’s successful serrapeptase experience. 

And it doesn’t end there.

THE HISTORY

The Japanese silkworm uses the serrapeptase enzyme to break down the walls of its cocoon. Despite being relatively unknown in the US, Japan and Europe have implemented serrapeptase for a myriad of therapeutic uses for decades. The compound is now conventionally manufactured, cultivated from a gram-negative strain of bacteria. Serrapeptase’s proteolytic (protein-digesting) and fibrinolytic (blood clot-thinning) potential grant it an extraordinary number of benefits in the body, rivaling many pharmaceuticals, yet without their notorious side effects. Interestingly, while the majority of serrapeptase’s benefits are often ascribed to its epic proteolytic effects, mutant forms bred to not contain its protein-digesting potential still show powerful effects – like preventing biofilm formation – indicating multiple factors may be synergistically at play in its therapeutic potential. 

THE HEALTH BENEFITS 

 

Pain, Inflammation, And Healing

The powerful anti-inflammatory golden child of modern medicine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are known for their notorious side effects wreaking havoc on the gut, including indigestion and stomach ulcers. Clinical studies have shown serrapeptase produces better anti-inflammatory effects in rats compared to aspirin, and comparable effects to diclofenac sodium, without the side effects. In trials, serrapeptase can relieve pain in patients with root canals, toothaches, molar extractions, breast engorgement, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more. 

Serrapeptase’s pain-relieving effects may be thanks in part to its ability to modulate and break down inflammatory compounds (such as histamine, serotonin, and bradykinin) and preventing chronic inflammation in injuries. It affects cell adhesion molecules which are responsible for guiding the inflammatory response, controls temperature, and encourages healing and wound repair. Serrapeptase can drain excess fluid in wounded tissue, consequently reducing pain and swelling, and catalyzing tissue repair. In a study of 544 patients treated for peri-implantitis (inflammation in the connective tissue which leads to bone loss), serrapeptase helped repair bone lesions and accelerated the bones’ healing. Serrapeptase has also been shown to reduce C-reactive protein and myeloperoxidase, markers of inflammation. When looked at for its effect on the inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, in rats, serrapeptase was found to reduce glutathione depletion, lipid peroxidation, and nitrous oxide production.  

Interestingly, some studies have found serrapeptase works synergistically with NSAIDs, since it does not affect lipoxygenase enzymes, a primary target of NSAIDs, which are responsible for many of NSAIDs’ negative side effects. Yet other studies have found serrapeptase does not work in conjunction with some NSAIDs, indicating a conflicting mechanism of action. For this reason, I suggest replacing NSAIDs with serrapeptase, rather than adding them to it.

Heart Disease And Alzheimer's

With its fibrinolytic potential, serrapeptase has been shown to break down damaged and dead tissue, dissolve blood clots, and even remove arteriosclerotic plaques, cholesterol, and other fatty deposits from the arteries. That dissolving power even extends to amyloid plaque! In clinical trials, serrapeptase has been shown to rival the go-to anti-amyloid compound nattokinase’s ability to break down amyloid plaque and treat Alzheimer’s. This is likely thanks to serrapeptase’s proteolytic, antioxidant, and ultimately anti-amyloidogenic effects. Importantly, serrapeptase can dissolve amyloid plaques both in vitro (in a cell dish outside of the human body), and in vivo (taken as a supplement within the body). 

 Cancer

Serrapeptase has even been used in immunotherapy to treat cancer, which it may combat in part by removing dead cells from cancer sites, increasing the rate of target therapy. One study found combining serrapeptase with ashwagandha and vitamin C treated thyroid cancer, while another study found complete remission of a thyroid tumor after a year and a half of combination therapy involving serrapeptase.

"Upgraded" Fasting

Serrapeptase needs to be taken in the fasted state for proper escorting into the bloodstream. (Taken with food, it will likely instead just break down the food you are eating). Interestingly, many of serrapeptase's benefits are processes catalyzed by the fasted state. Fasting, for example, upregulates autophagy: the process in which the body breaks down old, broken proteins to recycle into something new. While serrapeptase does not equate to autopagy, it may enhance with this cellular  cleanup process due to its proteolytic potential! Like fasting, serrapeptase can also support inflammation reduction and pain relief. I love to support my fasts with serrapeptase, which synergizes the process. 

THE NEW FRONTIER OF ANTIBIOTICS 

A promising new frontier for serrapeptase is the war of antibiotic resistance. While many antibiotics can become defunct or lose potency with their increasing use, numerous studies have revealed that pairing serrapeptase with antibiotics increases their effectiveness. Serrapeptase can affect numerous mechanisms of bacterial virulence, including their ability to invade and adhere to cell walls. Serrapeptase may break down biofilms – protective matrixes which bacteria produce, and which can form a barrier to traditional antibiotics. Serrapeptase may eradicate and prevent future formation of biofilms, rendering bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics. In a rodent study, serrapeptase eradicated staph infection. In another study, 37.5% of rats became infected when treated with only antibiotics, while adding serrapeptase to the mix reduced infection rate to 5.6%. 

THE INGENUITY OF SELECTIVITY

One of serrapeptase’s most fascinating characteristics is its ability to “know.” It has a unique ability to dissolve dead tissue in injured areas, while not harming living cells. Like how the process of autophagy during fasting selectively targets damaged, old proteins to remove and recycle, serrapeptase holds a similar selective power. Studies have shown that serrapeptase specifically accumulates in damaged tissue rather than the blood stream. Once absorbed, it is directly distributed to inflammatory sites, perhaps by binding with plasma protease inhibitor alpha-1 macroglobulin. 

SIDE EFFECTS?

Does serrapeptase have a dark side? When it comes to side effects, they are largely absent, and only minimal if so. A natural compound that has been in use for decades, serrapeptase is generally considered safe. Most studies show no adverse effects, and those which do are relatively minor, often occurring when using high dosing to evaluate mechanisms of action and potential. Side effects may therefore be dose dependent, or when used in combination with other drugs.  For people  that do, report GI distress, which may be due to the specific brand or dosing, or taking with another medication that thins the blood or causes GI distress. Thus conventional wisdom is to start slow and  experiment for themselves, and lower the dose, switch brands, or cease use, if any side effects arise.   

FINAL THOUGHTS

I don’t like to think of myself as a supplement girl. In my dream world, we receive all the nourishment and support we need from ancestral whole foods and an active lifestyle, full of light and love. That said, I’m all for supporting our body’s vitality from the inside out, and serrapeptase fits the bill for supercharging the body in a myriad of shocking avenues. I started it for mere allergies, and have kept it in my life for so much more. From inflammation to brain fog to cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s prevention, serrapeptase seems to have something for everyone. Next time you fall into some silk sheets, or see a cocoon, maybe take a moment of gratitude for this powerful enzyme. 

AvalonX SERRAPEPTASE

Given my obsession with and appreciation for serrapeptase, it's not surprising I decided to make it for my first AvalonX supplement! I have learned so much about the supplement industry! While I thought there were "pure" serrapeptases on the market without toxic fillers, upon further investigation, I haven't been able to find any! ( (All the brands I can find have potentially toxic ingredients, or aren’t disclosing ingredients which is suspicious!) I've done extensive testing and formulation with MD Logic, to create the FIRST serrapetase on the market that is all of these things:

🐛 No toxic fillers🐛 Amber glass bottle to eliminate leeching of plastic into the supplements, our bodies, and planet 🐛 Non-GMO and BPA-free🐛 Gluten-free🐛 Vegan🐛 No common allergens like wheat, soy, dairy, shellfish, rice, peanuts 🐛 Lab tested for heavy metals and mold 🐛 Made in a GMP certified, US  facility

WANT IT?? Get on the email list for all the pre-order information (I imagine it will likely sell out!) at MelanieAvalon.com/serrapeptase

 

REFERENCES

Serratiopeptidase, A Serine Protease Anti-Inflammatory, Fibrinolytic, and Mucolytic Drug, Can Be a Useful Adjuvant for Management in COVID-19Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase on swelling, pain and trismus after surgical extraction of mandibular third molars

Serratiopeptidase: Insights into the therapeutic applications

Effect of some clinically used proteolytic enzymes on inflammation in rats

Comparison of anti-inflammatory activity of serratiopeptidase and diclofenac in albino rats

The treatment of breast engorgement with Serrapeptase (Danzen); a randomized double-blind controlled trial

Comparison between the pain relieving action of serratiopeptidase, NSAIDs and combination of both in the root canal treatment patientsA preliminary trial of serratiopeptidase in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome

Combination therapy including serratiopeptidase improves outcomes of mechanical-antibiotic treatment of periimplantitis

The role of serratiopeptidase in the resolution of inflammation

Serrapeptase and nattokinase intervention for relieving Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology in rat model

In vitro and in vivo insulin amyloid degradation mediated by Serratiopeptidase

Attenuation of subcutaneous insulin induced amyloid mass in vivo using lumbrokinase and serratiopeptidase

Enzyme-supported immunotherapy: case study and possible generalizationsRepression of fibrinolysis in scalded rats by administration of serratia protease

Impact of metformin and serratiopeptidase in obese patients with knee osteoarthritis.Russo S., Guarini E., Vesperini G. Evaluation of serratia peptidase in acute or chronic inflammation of otorhinolaryngology pathology: a multicentre, double-blind, randomized trial versus placebo

Preliminary Trial of Serratiopeptidase in Patients with Carpal Tunnel SyndromeSerratiopeptidase reduces the invasion of osteoblasts by Staphylococcus aureusA multi-centre, double-blind study of serrapeptase versus placebo in post-antrotomy buccal swelling

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