The Silkworm Supplement: 4 Benefits of Serrapeptase and Why You Should Take It (2023)

  • What Is Serrapeptase?
  • How Does Serrapeptase Work?
  • 3 Potential Health Benefits of Serrapeptase
  • Potential Serrapeptase Dangers and Side Effects
  • How to Take Serrapeptase

Serrapeptase is a dietary supplement that comes from the gut bacteria of silkworms. It’s becoming popular as an anti-inflammatory and general pain reliever[*].

The Silkworm Supplement: 4 Benefits of Serrapeptase and Why You Should Take It (1)


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Serrapeptase may also help with asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, blood clots, and ear, nose, and throat disorders. It even shows promise as a way to break down scar tissue[*][*].

You may be wondering if this is just another flash-in-the-pan nutritional supplement, or whether it’s right for you or not. Read on to learn how serrapeptase works and how it might help.

What Is Serrapeptase?

Serrapeptase — also known as serratiopeptidase or Serratia peptidase — is a proteolytic enzyme.

That means serrapeptase breaks down protein molecules into their amino acid building blocks. Serrapeptase is particularly good at dissolving dense, fibrous proteins, like those that make up scar tissue.

Serrapeptase is produced by two bacteria: Serratia sp. or Serratia marcescens. Serratia bacteria were originally found in the intestines of silkworms in the 1960s.

Scientists soon found that the serrapeptase generated by these bacteria allowed silkworm moths to dissolve their dense silk cocoons[*].

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Though serrapeptase is a relatively new dietary supplement in the United States and Canada, it’s been used in Europe and Asia for several decades. The use of serrapeptase has shown promise in improving several health problems, from postoperative swelling to breast engorgement to bronchitis[*].

Nowadays, serrapeptase is becoming popular for its possible anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, as well as for its ability to improve your immune system defenses[*].

How Does Serrapeptase Work?

Proteolytic enzymes like serrapeptase break down proteins into smaller molecules called amino acids.

Proteins are large, sprawling strands of hundreds (sometimes thousands) of amino acids, held together by chemical bonds. Serrapeptase comes in and splits those bonds, disintegrating proteins into smaller and smaller parcels, and eventually into single amino acids[*].

This is a good thing because the amino acids are the compounds that your body actually uses to rebuild tissues, create neurotransmitters, and produce hormones, amongst other functions[*].

The Silkworm Supplement: 4 Benefits of Serrapeptase and Why You Should Take It (2)

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3 Potential Health Benefits of Serrapeptase

Before moving on to potential serrapeptase dangers, find out why this supplement may be a good option for a variety of medical conditions, particularly when it comes to inflammation and pain relief.

The Silkworm Supplement: 4 Benefits of Serrapeptase and Why You Should Take It (3)

#1: It May Reduce Pain and Inflammation

Pain, swelling, and inflammation are all closely related. Your inflammatory response — if it’s working properly — generates pain and swelling in response to infection or injury, then starts to disappear as the problem goes away.

Swelling is a protective mechanism in which your body floods a damaged area of your body with immune cells. These immune cells help with wound healing.

Pain is protective too. It’s your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Without pain, you wouldn’t know when you’re injured.

But sometimes, pain and inflammation can get out of control. Serrapeptase supplementation may help.

There have been quite a few clinical trials on serrapeptase and inflammation:

  • Dental surgery: Serrapeptase enzyme is as effective as prescription steroids at reducing pain and swelling after dental surgery[*].
  • Breast pain: In one study, serrapeptase improved breast pain from swelling in 86% of participants, which could make it useful for premenstrual or period pain relief[*].
  • Carpal tunnel: Serrapeptase improved chronic inflammation and pain from carpal tunnel syndrome in a study conducted on 20 people[*].
  • Sinus surgery: Patients who had surgery for damaged sinuses showed significantly less swelling and faster recovery after taking serrapeptase[*].
  • Venous disease: Serrapeptase reduced pain, swelling, nighttime cramps, and edema in 20 patients with inflammatory venous disease (IVD). IVD is often the culprit behind varicose veins[*].

Serrapeptase seems to be a strong alternative to over-the-counter painkillers, like ibuprofen, when it comes to relieving short-term pain, inflammation, and swelling.

That said, make sure you talk to a qualified healthcare professional for medical advice before using this enzyme after surgery or for a chronic illness. It’s important to learn all about potential serrapeptase dangers or side effects.

The Silkworm Supplement: 4 Benefits of Serrapeptase and Why You Should Take It (4)


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#2. It May Improve Respiratory Health

Chronic respiratory issues like asthma, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, and obstructive pulmonary disease affect the health of millions across the globe. Respiratory issues have become more common in the last couple of decades, driven partly by airborne pollutants that harm delicate human airways[*].

Several studies suggest serrapeptase can help relieve chronic respiratory conditions.

In one study, a group of Japanese researchers tested serrapeptase supplements (vs. placebo) in 29 patients with chronic airway disease.

After four weeks of treatment, the serrapeptase group had decreased phlegm thickness, fewer phlegm immune cells, and less coughing. Serrapeptase thinned out mucus and cleared the patients’ airways, likely by dissolving mucosal proteins[*].

In another double-blind study, people with chronic ear, nose, or throat disorders showed significantly more symptom relief than a placebo group after taking serrapeptase for a week. Serrapeptase reduced inflammation and cleared blocked passages of mucus and debris[*].

#3: It May Reduce Heart Disease Risk and Scar Tissue

Fibrin is a protein that helps clot your blood and forms scar tissue. You want the right amount of fibrin to heal wounds and prevent blood loss, but fibrin is also a major component of arterial plaques and can contribute to heart disease[*].

Fibrin is also a primary component of scar tissue. Serrapeptase has been shown to dissolve fibrin in rats and researchers suspect that it could break down and clear scar tissue in humans while keeping the living tissue intact[*][*].

Potential Serrapeptase Dangers and Side Effects

Serrapeptase has been popular in Asia and Europe for a long time, but it’s only in the last couple of decades that major research on serrapeptase has picked up[*].

Since it’s so new, there haven’t been good long-term safety studies. However, short-term human studies report rare and mild adverse reactions to serrapeptase, including[*]:

  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Muscle aches or joint pains
  • Nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Decreased blood clotting

The major side effect to watch for here is a decrease in blood clotting. It can be a problem if you’re taking blood thinners, such as clopidogrel or warfarin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or acetaminophen.

Also be mindful if you combine serrapeptase with other natural supplements, like fish oil, which are mild-to-moderate blood thinners and can create problems.

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If you have any health issues, always talk to your doctor beforehand to avoid any potential serrapeptase dangers.

How to Take Serrapeptase

Serrapeptase should be taken on an empty stomach — otherwise the enzymes will simply digest your food. That’s why most healthcare providers will suggest you opt for enteric-coated capsules, which will ensure the release of the enzymes is done in your intestine instead of in your stomach.

There are no published guidelines for dosage, but most clinical studies have used 10 to 60 mg of serrapeptase per day. This translates to 20,000 to 120,000 SPU (serratiopeptidase activity units) — the unit typically displayed on product labels[*].

You can get serrapeptase in pill form at most health food stores and online, and less commonly in liquid form.

It’s always a good idea to start with the lowest dose of any supplement and work your way up over a matter of weeks.

Do Serrapeptase Dangers Outweigh the Benefits?

Serrapeptase seems to be useful for managing pain, inflammation, and swelling, as well as for chronic breathing issues like asthma or bronchitis.

In theory, serrapeptase may help break up scar tissue and reduce the risk of heart attack, although there haven’t been human studies on it yet.

If you’re looking to manage inflammation or recover from an injury, it may be worthwhile to try serrapeptase. You can also use this complete guide to inflammation to learn how to get rid of inflammation and feel your best with diet and lifestyle changes.

If you’re looking for any more helpful healthy tips, consider checking out these articles:

The Silkworm Supplement: 4 Benefits of Serrapeptase and Why You Should Take It (5)


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What does serrapeptase do for your body? ›

Serrapeptase is most commonly used for reducing inflammation — your body's response to injury. In dentistry, the enzyme has been used following minor surgical procedures — such as tooth removal — to reduce pain, lockjaw (spasming of the jaw muscles), and facial swelling ( 3 ).

Is serrapeptase safe to take daily? ›

Clinical studies haven't evaluated the safety of long-term use, so people with long-term chronic inflammatory conditions may want to be particularly cautious. Dangers of serrapeptase may include inhibition of the formation of blood clots and, in rare cases, hemorrhages.

Does serrapeptase really work? ›

Other studies have shown that, when used together with antibiotics, serrapeptase can be very effective, especially against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Several studies have shown that serrapeptase has qualities that make it an effective anti-inflammatory agent.

When should I start taking serrapeptase? ›

For best results, serrapeptase should be taken on an empty stomach. In regards to speeding up the recovery from surgeries, the general protocol has been to start serrapeptase the day before the surgery, once in the evening after surgery, and then up to 3 times daily for 5 days following the surgery.

How does serrapeptase make you feel? ›

Serrapeptase can cause pneumonitis (lung inflammation) in elderly adults. This happens due to a sudden drop in white blood cells. Some common side effects after taking Serrapeptase are nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, cough, poor appetite, blood clotting disturbances, muscle & joint pain, skin reactions and rashes.

Are there any side effects to serrapeptase? ›

Safety considerations: Serrapeptase may cause side effects, including rash, stomach pain, and joint pain.

Is serrapeptase good for joints? ›

Further, Serrapeptase supports healthy inflammatory response in joints and the cardiovascular system in general. As you've most likely experienced, inflammation in any part of the body can cause ongoing pain and discomfort.

Why does serrapeptase make some people sick? ›

Serrapeptase – also known as Serratio Peptidase – is a proteolytic enzyme. In other words, it digests proteins… Including those in the food that you eat! That means that, as a side effect, there's a small chance of stomach upset or nausea if they're taken with meals.

Can serrapeptase dissolve lung scar tissue? ›

The fibrinolytic enzymes serrapeptase and nattokinase have been shown to be effective in removing fibrous scar tissue [7,8].

How much serrapeptase can I take per day? ›

The usual adult dosage of serrapeptase is 10 mg 3 times daily (maximum dose, 60 mg/day) taken 2 hours after meals, with typical treatment durations of up to 1 week when used as an anti-inflammatory agent and up to 4 weeks when used as a mucolytic agent.

How does serrapeptase help arthritis? ›

Researchers believe that enzymes like serrapeptase work to reduce inflammation by facilitating immune cell movement and regulating levels of lymphocytes at the site of inflammation. (2) It has been shown to help curb inflammation associated with: arthritis.

Can you drink coffee after taking serrapeptase? ›

Yes, since there is no evidence to suggest that it is not safe to take serrapeptase with coffee or other caffeinated drinks. However, some people may experience minor gastrointestinal distress if taking serrapeptase with coffee.

Does serrapeptase cause weight gain? ›

Serrapeptase has recently been promoted for weight loss. However, no studies — test tube or human — have examined whether serrapeptase affects fat loss. However, it has been suggested that serrapeptase may indirectly promote weight loss in people with overweight or obesity by potentially reducing inflammation.

Is it better to take serrapeptase in the morning or night? ›

Serrapeptase must be taken on an empty stomach in order to obtain the systemic anti-inflammatory benefits. If you consume it with a meal, your body will use it to digest the food in your intestines. Therefore most people find it easiest to take serrapeptase first thing in the morning. You can eat half an hour later.

Is serrapeptase good for high blood pressure? ›

It prevents and dissolves blood clots, promotes healthy circulation, and supports normal blood pressure. It also helps maintain healthy C-reactive protein levels (CRP). CRP is an inflammation marker and a serious risk factor for heart disease. Will Serrapeptase and Nattokinase cure your Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Does serrapeptase dissolve cholesterol? ›

Fibrinolytic: Serratiopeptidase is known to dissolve blood clots and artherosclerotic plaques by breaking down fibrin and other dead or damaged tissue [2]. It can also remove deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, and cellular waste inside the arteries.

Is serrapeptase an anti-inflammatory? ›

Serine protease, the largest proteolytic family has been reported for several therapeutic applications, including anti-inflammatory. Serratiopeptidase is a leading enzyme which has a very long history in medical as an effective anti-inflammatory drug.

How long can I take serrapeptase? ›

When taken by mouth: Serrapeptase is POSSIBLY SAFE for adults when taken by mouth for up to 4 weeks. There isn't enough reliable information to know if serrapeptase is safe when taken for longer than 4 weeks.

What is the best supplement for internal scar tissue? ›

VITAMIN E. Vitamin E helps to protect the body's tissues from damage by ensuring red blood cells are healthy, drastically reducing the size of scars. Foods that contain vitamin E are avocados, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

What heals internal scar tissue? ›

Astym treatment is effective at reducing or eliminating internal scar tissue or adhesions. Once the scar tissue and adhesions are reduced or removed, stiffness and aches and pains often go away. Astym's resolution rates (outcomes) for scar tissue and adhesion-related pain are impressive.

What does serrapeptase do to scar tissue? ›

It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Clinical studies have shown that it is effective in reducing swelling and edema and metabolizing scar tissues in the body [3], [4] and particularly useful for post-traumatic swelling, fibrocystic breast disease and bronchitis [5], [6], [7], [8].

Is serrapeptase good for lungs? ›

Research shows serrapeptase possesses significant anti-inflammatory, proteolytic (protein dissolving) and fibrinolytic (fibrin dissolving) properties. It reduces scar tissue, improves tissue healing and supports a healthy respiratory system.

How much serrapeptase can you take in a day? ›

Dosing. The usual adult dosage of serrapeptase is 10 mg 3 times daily (maximum dose, 60 mg/day) taken 2 hours after meals, with typical treatment durations of up to 1 week when used as an anti-inflammatory agent and up to 4 weeks when used as a mucolytic agent.


1. Serrapeptase: Reduce Inflammation for Faster Recovery | Health Hacks- Thomas DeLauer
2. How Much Serrapeptase Should I Take?
3. Serrapeptase for Inflammation and Pain - Professional Supplement Review | National Nutrition Canada
(National Nutrition)
4. Serrapeptase: A Natural with Lots of Promise: But Does it Work? :
(Ford Brewer MD MPH)
5. Serrapeptase - serrapeptase benefits - what is serrapeptase - what is serrapeptase good for
6. Serrapeptase:The Powerful Enzyme That Can Help Relieve Chronic Inflammation Related To Lung Problems
(Whole Family Products)
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