October 26, 1964

Current Status of Enzyme Therapy

Author Affiliations

Fort Washington, Pa

JAMA. 1964;190(4):401. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070170142033

To the Editor:—  The AMA Council on Drugs, in reviewing the current status of enzyme therapy (JAMA188:875 [June 8] 1964), concludes that the therapeutic usefulness of enzymes, when administered systemically, has not been established. The "proposed mechanisms of action" are objected to as being "entirely theoretical."The Council, however, does admit that "All of these enzymes except alpha amylase have proteolytic properties, which form the basis for their use," but objects that, "The rationale for the use of proteolytic enzymes in the treatment of inflammation is based on experimental data." Certainly, there can be no objection to experimental data per se. The objection by the Council appears to be that experimental data do not parallel clinical data.This objection disregards recent studies which have demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of a mixture of proteolytic enzymes, bromelains. Seltzer found, in a double-blind study, that resolution of edema and ecchymoses in

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