Learn about papaya seeds’ digestive enhancing enzymes, and why seeds from this fruit are an ally for liver health.
Papain and Chymopapain
A big reason papaya seeds are so commonly used in treating digestive issues is due to their high concentration of proteolytic enzymes, papain and chymopapain, which aid digestion in the breakdown of proteins. Adding papain in the form of dried, ground papaya seeds to your diet increases digestion (which reduces the work load on the liver), and improves nutrient absorption of high protein foods overall. Papain also acts as a powerful antioxidant by protecting the body from cellular damage from free radicals and acts to reduce inflammation in the liver.
Similar to papain, chymopapain dissolves proteins, just more slowly. In fact, papain and chymopapain share 126 identical amino acids. Chymopapain is often injected into spinal disks to dissolve damaged soft tissue structures that are causing pain and to reduce swelling.
Both of these compounds aid in liver health by reducing the digestive load on the liver, and assisting in the breakdown of large proteins for use by the body.
Studies have shown that treatment with papaya seed extract before drug induced liver toxicity (in animals) protected the liver and allowed for it to function normally throughout the trial. When eating the papaya fruit as well, the high fiber content further enhances the digestive properties, making the fruit itself an excellent aid for all matters of digestive ailments.
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