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Serrapeptase is an enzyme derived from silkworms. It has anti-inflammatory effects and can help prevent blood clots, but these effects are somewhat unreliable.

Our evidence-based analysis on serrapeptase features 49 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Serrapeptase

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Serrapeptase is a proteolytic (protein destroying) enzyme from bacteria native to the digestive system of silkworms. It is the enzyme responsible for dissolving a silkworm’s cocoon.

Traditionally, serrapeptase has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. Today, it is marketed as a joint health supplement.

Unfortunately, many studies on serrapeptase were poorly structured, with inadequate control groups. The most recent data suggests that serrapeptase is not a very effective supplement, as far as joint health and inflammation is concerned.

Though serrapeptase has been detected in plasma after supplementation, the standard oral dose for serrapeptase is low, which means very little is absorbed through the intestines. This may be one of the reasons serrapeptase is unreliable and not very effective.

Serrapeptase has been found to have the ability to liquefy mucus and reduce bacterial biofilms (reducing bacteria’s ability to stick to surfaces and each other). This means serrapeptase may be able to reduce phlegm buildup, nasal discharge, lung symptoms of cystic fibrosis and help other compounds fight bacteria. Additional research is needed to confirm these effects.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

The standard dose for serrapeptase is 10-60mg.

Serrapeptase should be supplemented on an empty stomach, which is 30 minutes before a meal or two hours after a meal, three times a day. Most studies use 10mg of serrapeptase taken every eight hours.

More human evidence is needed to determine the optimal dose of serrapeptase. 10mg of serrapeptase is equal to approximately 20,000 enzymatic units.

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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Serrapeptase has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b Minor High See all 4 studies
Appears to reduce swelling and inflammation following surgery or trauma, although to a lesser degree than corticosteroids. There is a lack of practical evidence for the claims behind serrapeptase (instead, studies tend to only look at post-surgery inflammation)
grade-b Minor High See all 5 studies
When a decrease in inflammation occurs post surgery, there appears to be a concomitant reduction in pain; it tends to hover around a 1 point reduction on a VAS scale (scale of 1-10).
grade-c Notable Very High See all 4 studies
A somewhat notable decrease in mostly the viscosity of mucus (elasticity is somewhat unreliably decreased), due to the mucolytic properties of serrapeptase. This may be of use for both nasal discharge and lung sputum (cystic fibrosis)
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in breast tenderness and soreness has been noted with serrapeptase treatment in one study.
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
Related to the antiinflammatory effects, swelling and edema post surgery appear to be reduced.
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in symptoms has been noted, but the study was not structurally a good one; requires replication
grade-d Minor - See study
There appears to be a small decrease in symptoms, which is thought to be due to fibrinolytic properties of serrapeptase

Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Confounded with paracetamol[1]

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Things to Note

Also Known As

Serratiopeptidase, Serratia E-15, serralysin, serratiaprotease, Serratiopeptidase, Silk worm enzymes

Goes Well With

  • Antibiotics (reduces biofilm on bacteria, and thus enhances the ability of antibiotics to act upon bacteria)

Caution Notice

  • Due to potential fibrolytic activity, caution should be taken when pairing serrapeptase with moderately potent blood thinners (Fish Oil) and should not be paired with more potent blood thinners (Clopidogrel, Warfarin, Aspirin)

  • Serrapeptase, if it is to work, requires an enteric coated capsule

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Click here to see all 49 references.