Serrapeptase enzyme supplement side effects, benefits
Research studies, dosage and use as proteolytic enzyme Information, safety and medical uses, 10,000 iu, 20,000 iu, and 40,000 iu, review of safety profile

March 1 2017

Serrapeptase or Serratiopeptidase, an enzyme isolated from a microorganism in silkworm, is widely used in clinical practice in Japan. Until more is known about the long term benefit and side effects, we recommend limiting daily dose to 20,000 units and taking breaks from use.

Comment and review
Serrapeptase appears to be a supplement with some clinical potential, however much more research is needed before we determine what clinical role this enzyme has in medicine. In the meantime, only use this natural product under medical supervision until more studies determine the full spectrum of serrapeptase side effects and benefits.

Conditions where it has been studied
Chronic airway lung disease
Chronic ear, nose or throat disorders
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Serrapeptase has even been studied in certain cases of edema after an operation or injury.

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The silkworm has serrapeptase (also known as Serratio Peptidase or serratiopeptidase), a proteolytic enzyme. This enteric coated product is of the highest quality available. It is manufactured by a FDA approved facility. You can be sure you are getting exactly what you pay for.

Serrapeptase, isolated from the microorganism Serratia E15,  is naturally present in the silkworm intestine which allows the emerging moth to dissolve its cocoon. Clinical use in Europe and Asia spans over three decades.

Serrapeptase 200mg
SerratioPeptidase (20,000 units enteric coated granules –  120,000 units per gram)

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Suggested use: The label says one or two serrapeptase tablets or pills once or twice a day, but we suggest you limit your use to one tablet daily until more research is available. Do not exceed 5 tablets a week until more research is published. We don’t suggest using 40,000 units since the benefits and risks on this high dose are not clearly understood. Discuss with your doctor regarding its use before self-medicating.

Q. My wife would like to know how long it takes for it to start working in her system. She would also like to know how long she will need to take it, will it be something she will need to take temporarily or will it be long term, or would that depend on the condition she is taking it for. She has fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens syndrome, and was born with spastic cerebral palsy. Any clinical information regarding treatment of these conditions with serrapeptase would also be appreciated.
A. Due to limited human research with this proteolytic enzyme, it is difficult to predict its effects on the various conditions you mention. We suggest her doctor review the research on this product and suggest whether it is worth trying.

Side effects – caution, how safe is it?
A review of the medical literature indicates rare cases of pneumonitis or allergic skin reactions. As with any supplement or medicine, rare cases of other side effects are possible. Over the past 3 years we have had four individuals who have mentioned side effects, and these were minor aches and pains after taking serrapeptase daily for a few weeks. For this reason, we suggest limiting use to one tablet a day and taking at least 2 days off each week until we find out whether these cases were just coincidence or true side effects from serrapeptase.

I just received my order and was wondering if it is something you take every day, or for a certain amount of time and take some time off and then take again. i am just concerned about toxic effects from serrapeptase taking everyday?
Since little human research is available in the West, it is preferable to take breaks from use until we learn more about the full clinical effects and side effect profile of serrapeptase. At this time we don’t have full knowledge of potential allergic reactions, side effects, cautions or dangers, and how it interacts with medicines and other supplements. We also don’t have a full understanding of which medical conditions it is most effective for. Therefore, limit your use to maximum 5 tablets per week.

Brain tissue
I would like to ask if any body knows whether serrapeptase would get rid of scar tissue in the brain.
We have not seen such research on brain tissue yet.

Breast implants
Will the serrapeptase eat the “non-living” breast implants I have had surgically inserted?
We have no reason to believe this would occur.

Carpal tunnel syndrome
A preliminary trial of serratiopeptidase in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.
J Assoc Physicians India. 1999.
Twenty patients with carpal tunnel syndrome were evaluated clinically. After baseline electrophysiological studies, these patients were given serrapeptase 10 mg twice daily with initial short course of nimesulide. Clinical and electrophysiological reassessment was done after 6 weeks. Sixty five percent of serrapeptase cases showed significant clinical improvement which was supported by improvement in electrophysiological parameters. Recurrence was reported in four cases. No significant side effect was observed. Serrapeptase therapy may proved to be a useful alternative mode of conservative treatment. Larger study may be further helpful to establish the role of serrapeptase therapy in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Ear, nose and throat inflammation
Evaluation of Serratia peptidase in acute or chronic inflammation of otorhinolaryngology pathology: a multicentre, double-blind, randomized trial versus placebo.
J Int Med Res. 1990.
The efficacy and tolerability of serrapeptase were evaluated in a multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 193 subjects suffering from acute or chronic ear, nose or throat disorders. Treatment lasted 7-8 days, with the drug or placebo being administered at a rate of two tablets three times a day. After 3-4 days’ treatment, significant symptom regression was observed in treated patients. There was also a significant reduction in symptoms after 7-8 days for patients in both treatment groups but the response was more marked in those patients receiving the active drug. Statistical comparison between the two groups confirmed the greater efficacy and rapid action of the serrapeptase against all the symptoms examined at both stages. Tolerance was found to be very good and similar for both groups. It is concluded that serrapeptase  has anti-inflammatory, anti-edemic and fibrinolytic activity and acts rapidly on localized inflammation. Serratiopeptidase is anti-inflammatory.

What is the ideal serrapeptase dosage to take for chronic sinusitis. I’ve had that all my life. I need relief and not drugs.
Science does not have this answer yet.

Lung disease and mucus
Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase in patients with chronic airway disease.
Respirology. 2003.
Patients were randomly assigned to oral treatment and without serrapeptase 30 mg/day for 4 weeks. Patients collected sputum samples for about 4 hours in the morning on the day the trial began and 4 weeks later. Part of each sputum sample was weighed and then completely dried and reweighed. The percentage solid component, viscosity and elasticity of the sputum were measured. Mucociliary transportability index was measured using ciliated bovine trachea ex vivo. After 4 weeks of treatment, sputum weight in the morning, percentage solid component, viscosity and elasticity of sputum, sputum neutrophil count, frequency of coughing and frequency of expectoration significantly decreased. Serrapeptase may exert a beneficial effect on mucus clearance by reducing neutrophil numbers and altering the viscoelasticity of sputum in patients with chronic airway diseases.

Multiple sclerosis
Does serratiopeptidase have any possible benefits for people with multiple sclerosis condition. I wonder how it influences autoimmune problems. People with multiple sclerosis in general have other problems with inflammation, pain, and so on.
A search on Medline using the keywords serrapeptase multiple sclerosis or using the keyword serratiopeptidase did not reveal any published studies.

I have a pacemaker, will the serrapeptase eat it since is “non-living?
We doubt it has an effect.

Serrapeptase or Serratiopeptidase research review
The effect of proteolytic enzyme serratiopeptidase in the treatment of experimental implant-related infection.
J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006.
Infection around an implanted orthopedic device is a devastating complication, and the treatment of infections involving slime-forming bacteria is especially difficult. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a proteolytic enzyme, serratiopeptidase, in the eradication of a periprosthetic infection in an in vivo animal model. In sixty Sprague-Dawley rats, the medullary canal of the right femur was drilled through the intercondylar notch and was inoculated with a Staphylococcus epidermidis strain with a high slime-producing capacity. The cavity was filled with polymethylmethacrylate cement, and a Kirschner wire that had contact with the knee joint was inserted. None of the animals received any treatment for two weeks. One group received serratiopeptidase enzyme injections into the knee joint in addition to antibiotic therapy for four weeks, and the other group received intra-articular saline solution injections together with the same antibiotic therapy. Serratiopeptidase was effective for eradicating infection caused by biofilm-forming bacteria in this experimental animal model. The antibiofilm property of the enzyme may enhance antibiotic efficacy in the treatment of staphylococcal infections.

Intestinal absorption of serrapeptase in rats.
Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 1994.
A sensitive sandwich enzyme immunoassay for serrapeptase, an orally available anti-inflammatory proteinase, was established. Serrapeptase in the plasma was determined after its oral administration (100 mg/kg) to rats. The peak concentration was observed between 30 min and 2 h after administration. These results indicate that orally administered serrapeptase was absorbed from the intestinal tract and transferred into the circulation in an enzymically active form.

Serrapeptase and nattokinase
There is a product out called that combines both nattokinase and serrapeptase enzymes. Is it advisable to take such a combination enzyme product?
Few human studies are available with either nattokinase or serrapeptase and hence it is very difficult to know what kind of effect the combination formula would have. To be on the safe side, it is advisable to learn how serrapeptase alone and nattokinase alone work for you before considering the combination.

Interactions with medications
Can serrapeptase cause adverse reactions when taking meds for high blood pressure such as Norvasc and Avapro? Because my mom takes those and they really afflict her badly.
We personally do not have enough experience with this nutrient and have not seen clinical trials regarding interactions with medications to have an answer to these questions.

My father has found benefit using serrapeptase for his leg claudication. He can now walk twice as far, but still not much, about 400m, but he is 81! There is mention of it breaking down plaque. If the effect of that is to clear the arteries, wouldn’t you expect it to reduce blood pressure?
This is a good questions but we prefer to wait for studies regarding its influence on blood pressure before going out on a limb and making a statement that may turn out not to be accurate.

Q. I tried serrapeptase swallowed as a pill and did not notice much effect on me. Then I tried it under the tongue, and so far I have very good results. I have noticed a sharp decline in my post-op inflammation. Please note that using this product of yours under the tongue is like chewing sandpaper. If it proves to be beneficial you may want to reformulate it in such a way to be gentler to tender tissue.
A. This is an interesting way to use it. We have no idea if it works better under the tongue or how safe it is to take it this way.

Q. I saw on your web site that there is at least one other person who has had a negative experience with this enzyme. I too was disappointed and shocked as it caused me extreme muscle and joint pain after two weeks. And it sounded like a product that could have really helped me. I took 2 caps serrapeptase (40,000 units each) on an empty stomach one hour before breakfast. I did this for about three weeks. After I stopped the serrapeptase I did notice some improvement, but it has been a week since then, and I’m still in a lot of pain, joints and muscles.
A. We find this strange since this potential serrapeptase side effect has not been mentioned in the medical literature, yet you are the second person who has reported it to us in the past 3 years. We will keep monitoring this. Perhaps the dosage was too high.

Q. I thought I’d let you know my experiences with serrapeptase (Serralone 400mg per capsule). I started using it in the hope that it would help reduce the appearance of my varicose veins (I am only 32). As it is also an anti-inflammatory I thought it may also help with my adult acne as my infections are prone to being very swollen and red. Well, it seems to have certainly helped with the acne swelling, my spots are not as inflamed and angry looking but I have developed an awful lot of spider/thread veins that I never had before and I didn’t notice and difference to my varicose veins. I have stopped taking it now as I am worried about the thread vein situation worsening.

Are you able to advise serrapeptase dosage and length of time that you consider safe to take the supplement (I have been taking it for chronic sinus infection as well as osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondilytis) and what sort of breaks you consider best.
The reason we do not have specific dosages and length of use is because there are hardly any human studies that can give us these answers. Hence, until we know more, we feel it is best to take frequent breaks and discuss with your doctor on further details. Your doctor may wish to read this page on serrapeptase.

Q. I refer to a category of systemic enzymes which are fibrolytic —  fibrolytic enzymes break down fibrin and reduce or prevent scarring. Examples of these are serrapeptase and nattokinase. So, more precisely, could a fibrolytic enzyme like serrapeptase possibly reduce the fibrosis in an inflammation damaged esophagus (as in eosinophilic esophagitis) or an inflammation-damaged airway, as seen in asthma? Both undergo eosinophilic inflammation and with time, remodeling which includes fibrosis.
A. We really do not know, there is so little research done with serrapeptase, hopefully we will know more in the next few years.

Q. Are there any studies saying whether or not serrapeptase would be helpful in costochondritis? Also, why would spider veins be a symptom of serrapeptase use?
A. I am not sure why spider veins are related to the use of serrapeptase. I have not seen research regarding serrapeptase and costochondritis.

Q. I have read a lot about serrapeptase from your website and I am wondering how it will help with scar tissues formed after myomectomy surgery of six years ago.  I read in your website that only little research has been done with edema which I interpret to mean scar tissues; is this correct.
A. Edema is fluid accumulation in tissues, it is not a scar. We don’t have any research on serrapeptase and post myomectomy scar formation.

Q. How is serrapeptase manufactured? Do they kill silkworms to do it? I have several friends who are interested in a serrapeptase product but they are all vegetarians.
A. Serrapeptase is made by specific bacteria found in the gut of silkworms and these bacteria “digest” their cocoons. That is the extent of our knowledge, the exact steps are not revealed to us by the manufacturer.

Q. I’m adding to your data re joint/muscle pain side effects – I ordered the enzyme from Nutri-Health – object was relief of sciatic pain from traumatic injury of several years ago, on the theory that the nerve might be irritated by scar tissue. Total relief after 48 hours (4 doses of 20,000), but I continued it for a few more days to see if it would help with knee pain from torn meniscus. Overall achiness and finally real pain kept increasing to the point that I was finding it difficult to move when I found your site with the few references that matched my experience. I recovered from that effect after 2 days and stayed off the enzyme for a couple of weeks. Last week I tried it again to be certain and within 2 days began the pain once again. This time I have stopped the serrapeptase for good. There is probably no interaction involved as I take no prescription drugs, but do take many antioxidants and other supplements that reduce inflammation. However, I do test positive for rheumatoid arthritis although I am symptom-free through a strict diet.


Am currently take another serrapeptase brand it is 10 mg , the pills you carry are 20,000 units. How does your dosage compare taking two pills per day of the product I have?
The serrapeptase product formulated by Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D. is 200 mg. This product is made by a FDA approved and inspected facility and can be fully be relied on to be accurate. We have no idea of the quality of other products sold by other companies and how they measure their dosage or the accuracy of their dosage.

Different misspellings that have been seen include serapeptase and sierrapeptase

Additional pages on this website
L-asparaginase is an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-asparagine.
Ficin is a enzyme found in the fig tree.
Safranal is an extract from the spice saffron or Crocus sativus
Salvia officinalis, also known as sage, has beneficial chemicals including carnosic acid and carnosol.
Seselin, found in wild lettuce
Quantitation of serrapeptase in formulations by UV method in the microplate format.
Curr Drug Deliv. 2008 Oct; ICMR, Dept of Pharmaceutics, Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy, Hosur Road, Bangalore-560027, India.
Serrapeptase is an anti-inflammatory, proteolytic enzyme isolated from the microorganism, Serratia sp. HY-6. Very few methods are available for the quantification of serrapeptase. Serrapeptase enzyme was estimated in formulations by using microplate readers which uses the principle of vertical photometry. Further this method was validated and the robustness of this method was checked by estimating the drug in various formulations including liposomes and marketed tablet formulations. The proposed microplate UV-method for determination of serrapeptase in formulations is novel, simple, inexpensive, fast, specific and robust. Thus this method could be a better alternative for regular estimation of drug in the various marketed formulations of serrapeptase

I saw your blog on serrapeptase use and effects. This is very important. A few years ago I began having some serious health issues and felt the standard conventional medical treatments did me more harm than good. I was very successful in reversing many issues with the help of the computer and research.
I began to have very problems with my feet. They were very swollen and painful, so much so that all I could wear was what we call thong sandals made of rubber. They looked terrible with my lovely business suites. In researching the symptoms and talking to my doctor we determined it to be neuritis for which there is no cure. (They always say that.) I found Serrapeptase on a website being suggested as a cure for this problem, this was about 2005. I was desperate, this problem had gone on for about a year and was getting worse all the time so much that I could hardly walk. My size was not an issue, 5’6” and 130 pounds and I was not diabetic. I began to take Serra. 40,000 units 2 or 3 times a day for about 2 weeks I think,,,,hard to remember. It was miraculous. The swelling began to recede the pain went away and my feet felt great! The only negative side effect was urticaria. I broke out in hives terribly and could not reverse it no matter what I took so my doctor, who I often consulted before I took anything, gave me a steroid shot and Zantac then it began to go away. I have not used the product sense and my foot problem never returned however it is very difficult to find attractive shoes that feel comfortable but that may be due to being 58 years old. I have recently noticed a mass of spider veins on the front of my ankles along with some varicose veins on my legs and was considering the serrapeptase for the problem that’s when I found your website.
It was worth the hives to get rid of the neuritis. The whole episode cost me about $100-$150 for the office visit and supplements which is very inexpensive for the wonderful results for which there is no cure. I am hoping they will do more research on this enzyme so that it may be used safely. After reading comments on the site I have decided not to do anything for now.

I have ordered serrepeptase capsules but was curious if your product is made from a synthetic form or made from the actual silkworm extract?
It is made from the silkworm.

Wondering if you have any data about the idea that serrapeptase might dissolve non living body components like a teflon heart patch?
We have not seen such research regarding the influence on Teflon heart patch.

I read that a tablet is 50% more absorbed than a capsule? Is this true? I have read Dr Hans Nieper work that calcium taken in any form other than an orotate will cause arterial plaque! Why do people put it into the product below? It seems to me that it will show up in the urine if the serrapiptase works.
We have seen no evidence that compares a tablet to a capsule in terms of absorption. We have seen no studies that validate the point by Dr. Hans Nieper, who is no longer alive to say whether he still believes in his viewpoints regarding calcium ororate, that the other forms cause arterial plaque.