Known primarily for their anti-inflammatory properties, the group of enzymes extracted from pineapples is called bromelain. Some people take bromelain to ease indigestion or reduce swelling associated with injury, sinusitis or arthritis. You may see pineapple pills or bromelain touted as weight-loss supplements, but little evidence exists to support their use as diet aids. Always ask your physician before taking any new supplements.
Bromelain is extracted from the juice and stem of pineapples, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. First discovered by scientists about 100 years ago, bromelain is a collection of enzymes found specifically in pineapples. The enzymes digest protein and are a traditional therapy for indigestion, among other health issues. Bromelain supplements are considered more therapeutic than whole pineapple because the extracts are more concentrated than they are in the whole fruit. Look for bromelain supplements in capsule or tablet form.
Manufacturers of pineapple pills, which are also sold as bromelain, bromealin or bromelin, claim that the supplement aids weight loss. One maker advertises that the pills help people lose weight by reducing appetite, increasing energy, boosting metabolism and targeting fat cells in the abdominal area. According to the American Cancer Society, advocates of bromelain for weight loss believe it to be a fat-burner that eliminates the need for diet or exercise.