How Does Our Serrapeptase Compare to Other Brands

by Jodi Shabazz May 24, 2018



Legit concern. After all, other brands appear to have a similar dose with only one capsule. The key word there is "appear." There are some very good explanations for this. Keep reading, and this article will address this question in depth. 

Biomedic Labs (Specialty Enzymes) has the largest share of enteric-coated serrapeptase in the world --- about 80%. In fact, other companies buy from Specialty Enzymes because the quality of their enzymes are bar none. Some companies are offering a cheap product, and you simply cannot compare those products with Specialty Enzymes. Cheap brands offer less than stellar quality products. Let's discuss.


One concern with some companies is that they use the measurement of IU instead of SPU. Several systemic enzyme manufacturers use IU to show the enzyme activity of their systemic enzymes irrespective of their type. IU stands for International Units, but this is not the same as the IU used for measuring vitamins (which uses a completely different test). When it comes to serrapeptase, they are claiming that the IU measurement is the same as the SPU measurement. As you can see the use of the IU measurement on systemic enzymes can be very confusing to consumers.

For this reason we recommend looking for supplements using the SPU or SU measurements to show enzymatic activity. SPU was designed and formulated specifically for the enzyme serrapeptase. The higher the SPU (SU), the more potent the enzyme.

The term, IU tends to be higher in the numeric value, and some companies use that to make themselves look better than they really are. Some other companies will use 'milligrams' rather than SPU or SU. Since enzymes have a specific activity level, it is not useful to mention milligrams. Therefore 1 gram of Serrapeptase (A) could have only 1/8 the activity of 1 gram of Serrapeptase (B); weight measurements of enzymes are completely independent of the strength. An enzyme can weigh a lot, but have very low enzymatic activity. If a systemic enzyme supplement doesn’t show the units of activity (e.g. SPU) ask the manufacturer or look for a different brand of systemic enzyme which does.


Serrapeptase is rated in SPU or serrapeptase units or even serratiopeptidase units. An SPU is equal to SU's, which many companies will simply use interchangeably although the SPU is the more scientifically adopted unit of measurement. All enzymes, including Serrapeptase, are rated by the enzyme's corresponding assay method. Enzymes and probiotics are rated differently than vitamins, minerals and other dietary nutraceuticals. Therefore, it would be misleading to describe the potency of enzymes in terms of milligrams or IU. The weight of a product's enzyme component is also independent of its strength. Enzymes have a concentration or activity level to indicate their potency. Furthermore, each enzyme has its own individual assay or test that can be performed to determine its activity. For example, the nattokinase enzyme, assay tests are conducted in FU's, or Fibrinolytic Units. Serrapeptase is assayed using the SPU or serratiopeptidase units (SU) testing method. 

Some brands are appearing to have higher potency than they likely do. They often use these terms, IU or MG, and claim that their product has 250,000IU per capsule. It very well may have 250,000IU per capsule, but how much of that is serrapeptase activity, how much is fillers, and finally, going by the serrapeptase standard measurements, how much SPU does it actually have? Do you get my drift? Other leading serrapeptase companies do not even put 250,000SPU in one capsule. It's always 250,000SPU per dose, which almost always equals two capsules.

This has me raising eyebrows at these other companies now who claim that their product has 250,000 of anything in one capsule at any rational, affordable price. And if they do have 250,000SPU, they probably have a much cheaper, less effective serrapeptase. For example, their serrapeptase may not be coated properly, so you cannot be sure how much of the serrapeptase actually reaches the small intestine fully intact. What if only half of the serrapeptase is reaching the small intestine? Specialty Enzymes make their own enzymes, and they start from growing them in their plants. So they know exactly what goes into each capsule, and how they interact with the body. 

If a company claims to have 250,000 IU in each capsule at a low price point, I’d take it with a grain of salt. Is it the same high quality serrapeptase as BioMedic? Is it enteric-coated with MAAC like BioMedic? Does most of the ingested serrapeptase reach the small intestine intact? Once in the small intestine, is it well absorbed into the system? BioMedic's enzymes dissolve in water easily, while some other enzymes do not. And being able to dissolve readily is one of the factors that determine how well enzymes are absorbed into the system.

Is all of this starting to make sense now? Let's move on.....and this is the more concerning part.


Another concern is that while some companies say they use Hypromellose, they also claim they do not use phthalate (plastic). These substances are often used in the enteric-coating process of serrapeptase, and they tend to go together. And even if what they claim is true, hypromellose is essentially plastic. Hypromellose has a friendly tone, but it is just an abbreviated name for hydroxypropyl methylcellulose. 

Hypromellose is chemically extruded from wood and/or cotton fiber. Although it is chemically extruded it is considered "safe for vegetarians" and, unfortunately, represented in a superficial manner as "natural."
The Codex Alimentarius lists hypromellose under carbon based substances as E464. The FDA has considered it "G.R.A.S." (generally recognized as safe)—without any further need for proof of harmlessness, even in larger amounts (see the following research conclusions arrived at by—note!—DOW Chemicals).

On the basis of the summarized toxicology literature as well as the JECFA toxicological evaluation of modified celluloses, including HPMC, Dow concludes that HPMC is GRAS for general use in food of at intake levels up to 20 g/p/d (GRAS Notice No. GRN 000213).[1]

So, the decision becomes ours on how much, if any, we are willing to ingest or use topically.

Hypromellose or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC)[2] is an inert, viscous and elastic semi-synthetic phthalate[3] polymer. Latter is worth repeating.

Please note: Hypromellose classifies as:

  • a semi-synthetic and
  • a polymer and
  • a phthalate!

Are the designations of "Polymer" and "Phthalate" raising warning flags yet?

As we have seen, hypromellose is finding common use as an emulsifier and thickening agent in medications, foods and commercial products as well as a slow-release mechanism[4] of choice for a huge number of supplements and prescription medications. Most commonly we encounter hypromellose as a gelatinous solution. When dissolved in water, it forms a homogenous colloid. However, in its solid (powdered) state, the higher its concentration, the lower the temperature[5] required to turn it into a combustible and prompt a powerful reaction when confronted with oxidizing particles and agents.
Latter particularly raises concerns when we consider the natural acidity and temperatures in excess of the specified threshold of 25 degrees Celsius inside our gastrointestinal tract. 

The fact that hypromellose is a semi-synthetic does not make it "only half as dangerous" when compared to any full synthetics. It still is a polymer, a broad class of compounds that includes everything from synthetics plastics (Bakelite, neoprene, nylon, polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC, synthetic rubber, silicon) to the natural polymers such as amber, cellulose (wood, paper), natural rubber, shellac, silk, wool.

It is classified as an inactive substrate, but who would knowingly ingest plastic? I wouldn’t trust a brand that goes out of their way to make their quality claim as fuzzy as possible.

Specialty Enzyme's enteric-coating process is completely different. It uses MAAC (methacrylic acid copolymer), which is a food grade substance. It has been around for over 70 years, and it is perfectly safe to consume with no reported adverse effect.

Many people have told me that certain brands of Serrapeptase makes them violently ill. But I see many excipients ("bulking agents", "fillers", or "diluents") listed under these other products' Supplement Facts. Compare that with Specialty Enzyme's products' Supplement Facts. Do you see how simple SerraRx is? Nothing but serrapeptase and a cellulose capsule. And their serrapeptase is enteric-coated with the MAAC, a food-grade compound. That is how these products are supposed to be --- clean and simple. On the other hand, other companies use many excipients, and a compound similar to plastic to enteric-coat the enzyme, just so that they can produce something cheap.

Considering all of this, Specialty Enzyme products are bargain. My question is why anyone would spend any amount of money on something whose main attraction is being a cheap brand. If you look for cheap products, there are many of them out there. Many products from China, for example, are dirt cheap.

Suppose you are shopping for a new car. Would you buy a car that works, or a car that is less expensive but often stalls on a freeway? Cars that stall inexplicably on a freeway have reasons to breakdown. The manufacturers of those cars know the reasons, but they choose to ignore them so they can offer their cars for less than the cars that work reliably, hoping the car buyers would not question how unreliable their cars are. The consumers are the ones who end up with the short end of the stick. The same thing happens in any industry, and this industry is no exception. 

The whole goal here on this site is to create another life. So, why would you put something in your body, your baby's future home for 9 months, that could potentially harm you? Not to mention, the possibility of the residue of these harmful ingredients being passed on to your baby, long after you have stopped taking them. So, yes, we want to get pregnant. But at what expense? Don't put your life or your future baby's life at risk by choosing to ingest a possibly harmful substance. This defeats the purpose. We want to be healthy. And we all want healthy babies. So, choose well.

Jodi Shabazz
Jodi Shabazz


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