Aloe Vera Juice: Does A Shot A Day Keep The Doctor Away?

Advertisements for aloe vera juice claim that it can do everything from cure cancer to get rid of unwanted belly fat. Here is the low down on aloe vera juice and some things you should know if you’re already, or thinking about, taking it.

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Aloe Vera juice has been on the market for several years as a nutritional supplement that promoters claim will help with digestion, boost immunity, aid in weight loss and energy regulation, and increase our vitamin, mineral and amino acid supply.

Some web sites maintain that it is a miracle potion that halts the growth of cancer tumors, lowers cholesterol, eases inflammation and arthritis pain, cures ulcers, IBS and Crohn’s disease.

While aloe vera juice may not be the Holy Grail of supplements for ending every chronic disease, it may play a role in several areas that you could benefit from.

Health Benefits

1.  Control Blood Sugar – Two human trial studies have shown that consuming aloe vera juice has a positive impact on lowering blood sugar in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes.  Although the studies were small, one involved 36 people and the other 67, both showed promising results.  Of the 36 individuals that participated in the study, those that took aloe along with the oral diabetes drug glibenclamide, showed definite improvements in blood sugar levels compared to those taking glibenclamide and a placebo.

The second study had 67 participants with diabetes and high cholesterol and compared the impact that oral aloe vera gel versus a placebo had on those conditions.  All 67 patients were also taking the diabetes medications glyburide and metformin.  After the two month trial, aloe was associated with lowering fasting blood glucose and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

2.  Ulcerative Colitis – In a controlled study of 44 participants with ulcerative colitis, those that took a dose of aloe vera gel daily appeared to have improved symptoms compared to people that were given a placebo.

3.  Boosts Immune System – Proving that taking a supplement boosts your immune system is very hard to do.  Some people claim that taking aloe vera keeps them from getting sick, but there really is no way to know that if they weren’t taking it they would have come down with an illness. Aloe vera does contain vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars and amino acids. It has vitamins A, C, and E which are antioxidants.  It also contains B12, folic acid and choline and provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, sodium and zinc plus 20 human required amino acids and seven of the eight essential amino acids.  Whether or not these compounds reduce inflammation and boost the immune system is inconclusive, however some small initial studies appear to have positive results.

Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera juice is derived from the succulent aloe vera plant that has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of conditions, mainly those of the skin. The clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner party of the aloe leaf has healing properties that is typically used to treat burns, wounds and skin. Aloe vera has been used in herbal medicine practices since the beginning of the first century AD.

In 2009 clinical studies determined that there is some preliminary evidence to suggest that ingesting aloe vera might be effective in reducing blood glucose, and lowering blood lipids along with a whole host of other health benefits including alleviating symptoms of depression and improving learning and memory. But, larger studies will have to be done before there is sufficient evidence to prove these claims.

Safety Concerns 

All supplements can become toxic if they are taken in large doses.  A little bit of aloe vera juice goes a long way and can be toxic and have adverse side effects if taken in large quantities. It may also interact with other medications that you’re taking, so if you’re taking prescription medicines, please ask your doctor before taking aloe vera.

A little aloe vera juice may go a long way.  So maybe a little is all you need.

Have you tried aloe vera juice as a supplement?

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