Protease are very important in digestion as they breakdown the protein foods to liberate the amino acids needed by the body. Additionally, proteolytic enzymes have been used for a long time in various forms of therapy.
Their use in medicine is gaining more and more attention as several clinical studies are indicating their benefits in oncology, inflammatory conditions, blood rheology control, and immune regulation.
The biggest news and the greatest benefits to people with HIV came when protease inhibitor (PIs) were discovered and made into anti-HIV treatments. When people started taking them in combination with other drugs, the number of people who became ill from opportunistic infections, or died from AIDS, dropped by about 70%.
Proteolytic enzymes is responsible for digesting proteins in your food, which is probably one of the most difficult substances to metabolize. Because of this, protease is considered to be one of the most important enzymes that we have. If the digestive process is incomplete, undigested protein can wind up in your circulatory system, as well as in other parts of your body.
When you take protease in higher quantities, it can help to clean up your body by removing the unwanted protein from your circulatory system. This will help to clean up your blood stream, and restore your energy and balance.
There are six FDA approved protease inhibitors so far, they are:
- amprenavir (Agenerase),
- indinavir (Crixivan, lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra),
- ritonavir (Norvir),
- saquinavir (Fortovase), and
- nelfinavir (Viracept).
- Atazanavir (Zrivada) is the seventh protease inhibitor still under development. It is expected to be approved soon.
Protease refers to a group of enzymes whose catalytic function is to hydrolyze (breakdown) peptide bonds of proteins. They are also called proteolytic enzymes or proteinases. Proteases differ in their ability to hydrolyze various peptide bonds. Each type of protease has a specific kind of peptide bonds it breaks. Examples of proteases include: fungal protease, pepsin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, papain, bromelain, and subtilisin.
Protease inhibitors can affect the absorption of other drugs by the body. These are called drug interactions. Your health care provider should go over any potential drug interactions with you when starting a protease inhibitor.
It may be necessary to change or alter the dose of certain medications to make sure that the protease inhibitor can work properly. Some herbs and supplements, such as St. John's Wort and garlic supplements, can affect the level of protease inhibitors in your blood. You should always tell your health care provider if you are taking herbs and supplements.
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