Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice. You Must Read This. Health is Wealth
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) is a cactus-like plant that grows in subtropical regions of the world, including the southwestern United States. It has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of conditions, including hair loss, minor cuts, and burns.1
Today, many people drink aloe vera juice to aid digestion, regulate blood sugar, improve oral health, and more. However, research supporting these benefits is limited, and ingesting aloe vera may have some potential side effects.
Rich in Antioxidants
Aloe vera is rich in powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize harmful free radicals in the body.2
Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals the body forms during normal metabolic processes. At high concentrations, they can cause cellular damage, leading to the development of cancer and other chronic diseases.3
However, further research is needed to determine the antioxidant content of aloe vera juice and whether it can protect against chronic disease.
Good Source of Vitamin C
One cup of aloe vera juice provides around 10% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C.4
Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that helps the body absorb iron. It also supports the immune system and the production of collagen, a protein vital to wound healing and skin health.5
May Help Treat Gastrointestinal Disorders
The outer pulp of aloe leaves, called latex, contains aloin. Aloin is an organic compound that gives the plant laxative properties. It may treat constipation by stimulating bowel movements.6
A review of studies found oral administration of aloe vera may help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including constipation and diarrhea.7
Another study showed consuming aloe vera syrup effectively reduced gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, including heartburn, belching, food regurgitation, and nausea. Effects were similar to those produced by conventional medicine.8
Another small study in 44 patients with mild or moderate ulcerative colitis (UC)—a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract—found daily consumption of 200 milliliters of aloe vera gel was more effective than the placebo at reducing disease activity.9
While aloe vera does have laxative properties, it’s important to note the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a ruling in 2002 that required manufacturers of over-the-counter laxative products to remove aloe as an ingredient due to a lack of evidence confirming its safety.1
May Help Control Blood Sugar
Aloe vera has been used for years in traditional medicine to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Current research on the plant’s benefit for diabetics is limited but appears promising.
A review of studies highlighted aloe vera’s potential to reduce blood sugar levels, increase insulin levels, and improve the health of cells in the pancreas, including the cells responsible for insulin production.10
Another study in people with prediabetes found taking 300 mg of aloe vera extract twice a day for four weeks led to significant improvements in fasting blood sugar.11
Many of the studies on aloe vera and blood sugar have been conducted in rats. There is not enough human-based research to confirm if the same benefit would apply to humans.
May Support Oral Health
Aloe vera has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can potentially benefit oral health. It is sold in several forms for oral use, including toothpaste, mouthwash, or gel.
According to a review that included six randomized control trials involving 1,358 individuals, aloe vera mouthwash was as effective as the traditional treatment, chlorhexidine, in reducing gum inflammation. However, it was not as effective in reducing plaque buildup.12
Another small study found aloe vera toothpaste was as effective as traditional fluoride toothpaste in improving periodontal index and gingival scores in people with gingivitis.13
Aloe vera mouthwash may also reduce the severity of radiation-induced mucositis, a condition that causes swelling and irritation in the mouth.
One study found aloe vera mouthwash to be as effective as benzydamine mouthwash, a common anti-inflammatory agent for managing oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer.14
Nutrition of Aloe Vera Juice
The nutrient content of aloe vera juice can differ between brands. Some products may contain added sugar to improve flavor or added nutrients to enhance their nutritional profile.
However, an 8-ounce (1 cup) serving of plain aloe vera juice typically includes:4
Fat: 0 grams (g)
Carbohydrates: 9.3 g
Sugar: 9.3 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sodium: 20 milligrams (mg)
Vitamin C: 9.4 mg, or 10% of the DV
Aloe vera juice is a low-calorie beverage that can be a hydrating alternative to sugary drinks and fruit juice. It also contains antioxidants, various polysaccharides, and small amounts of iron and calcium.2
Animal and human studies have shown the polysaccharides—a type of carbohydrate—in aloe vera may help improve the immune system’s response to response to illness and disease.15
Risks of Aloe Vera Juice
While the topical application of aloe vera is generally considered safe, oral consumption of aloe may cause side effects.
Animal studies have found consuming aloe vera leaf extract may cause gastrointestinal cancer in rats and mice. This is believed to be due to the compound aloin present in whole-leaf aloe vera extract.6
The International Aloe Science Council recommends oral aloe vera products contain less than 10 parts per million (PPM) of aloin. As a result, many commercial aloe vera juice products have been filtered using a process called decolorization to remove or reduce aloin levels.16
However, no labeling requirements are in place mandating the disclosure of aloin levels in aloe vera juice products. Also, the FDA does not regulate aloe vera juice, so its potency, purity, or safety is not guaranteed.6
Aloe vera consumption has been linked to the following side effects in human and animal studies:16
Low potassium levels
Hypersensitive skin reactions
However, larger human trials are needed to confirm these effects.
Oral consumption of aloe in gel and latex form is not recommended during pregnancy and while breastfeeding as its safety has not been established.1
Talk to your healthcare provider to check if it is safe for your health and determine how much you can safely consume.
Tips for Consuming Aloe Vera Juice
If you decide to drink aloe vera juice, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
Purchase aloe vera juice from reputable brands
Look for aloe vera juice that is certified organic by the USDA and free of additives, preservatives, and added sugar
Choose aloe vera juice products with less than 10 PPM of aloin
Start with a small amount to see how your body responds
Consume aloe vera juice as directed on the product label or as instructed by your healthcare provider to avoid potential side effects
Drink aloe vera juice plain or incorporate it into fruit smoothies for a nutrient boost
After opening, keep aloe vera juice refrigerated to maintain its potency and extend its shelf life
A Quick Review
Aloe vera juice has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that may help improve digestion, support healthy blood sugar levels, and improve oral health. However, certain compounds in aloe vera juice, especially aloin, may cause digestive discomfort and other side effects.
Further research is needed in humans to determine the potential benefits and risks associated with aloe vera juice consumption.
Talk with a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about incorporating aloe vera juice into your diet.
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