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A–Z of nutritional supplements: dietary supplements, sports nutrition foods and ergogenic aids for health and performance—Part 29
  1. M K Ranchordas1,
  2. N Burd2,
  3. D S Senchina3,
  4. L M Burke4,
  5. S J Stear5,
  6. L M Castell6
  1. 1Department of Sport, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Department of Human Movement Sciences, University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Biology Department, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, USA
  4. 4Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia
  5. 5Performance Influencers Limited, London, UK
  6. 6Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to LM Castell, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6HG, UK; lindy.castell{at}

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Introductory remarks

Part 29 includes two supplements which are traditionally paired (phlogenzym and wobenzym) and which have been popular in the Eastern Bloc countries though hardly, if at all, used by athletes in the UK and USA. Phosphatidylserine (a phospholipid present in cell membranes) and plant sterols (several of which have been dealt with in the previous issues of this series) are also discussed here.

Phlogenzym and Wobenzym

M K Ranchordas

The active ingredients found in phlogenzym are the hydrolase trypsin, the endopeptidase bromelain and the bioflavonoid rutin. Trypsin is a digestive enzyme produced by the pancreas and secreted into the small intestine, where it hydrolyses proteins. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme obtained from pineapples, and rutin is a bioflavonoid found in many plants, fruits and vegetables but the richest source is buckwheat. Similarly, wobenzym also contains trypsin, bromelain and rutin but also includes the proteolytic enzyme papain, the endopeptidase chymotrypsin and pancreatin which is an extract from the pancreas of animals that contains pancreatic enzymes.

Phlogenzym and wobenzym are commonly known as hydrolytic enzymes or systemic enzymes and have been purported to possess anti-inflammatory, fibrinolytic and analgesic properties as well as having positive effects on oedema. Studies investigating the efficacy of phlogenzym and wobenzym in the athletic population are lacking but several studies have investigated their effects on recuperation following injury, disease and health.1,,7

In a double-blind prospective randomised study, phlogenzym was compared with diclofenac in the treatment of activated osteoarthritis …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.