Can Aloe Vera Treat the Symptoms of Diabetes?
Aloe vera is a plant that has a variety of uses. Therefore, nowadays you can find it in all kinds of products, from skin lotions to moisturizing drinks. People consider it to have several beneficial properties and also has the potential to treat various diseases.
While this is a positive development, the researchers point out that it hasn’t yet been possible to identify the exact compounds in the plant that help improve blood sugar levels.
However, some people consume aloe vera as part of their diet to keep their glucose levels as stable as possible. Of course, always with the approval of their treating physician.
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Why aloe vera has potential
The aloe vera plant contains several bioactive compounds that can be beneficial to your health when used sparingly and wisely as part of a healthy lifestyle.
For example, many people believe it helps improve digestion, regulate intestinal transit, and improve the health of your skin. In addition, due to its antioxidant content, it can help delay aging and thus prevent the appearance of premature imperfections.
Here are some interesting facts that indicate why it could be beneficial to your health when included in a balanced diet:
- According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), aloe vera gel contains mainly water and polysaccharides. It also contains amino acids, sterols, tannins, and enzymes.
- The aloe vera gel, which is slightly bitter, transparent, and viscous, shouldn’t be confused with the juice, which is bitter and yellowish.
- Aloe-emodin is a substance present in aloe vera. Specifically, it’s a type of compound called anthraquinone, which has anti-inflammatory effects.
- In another study in rodents, it was observed that aloe vera leaf extract had a positive effect in reversing hyperglycemia. However, its effect on humans is still unknown.
At the moment, aloe hasn’t been approved as a drug. However, it’s had positive effects in clinical trials, experiments with rodents, and applications among people.
So, could you use it to treat diabetes? Perhaps yes, in the future, when more has been found out. However, for now, aloe vera remains a natural remedy whose benefits are based -mainly- on what popular beliefs indicate.
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Don’t overdo it
Consuming aloe vera on a daily basis may not be as beneficial as you might think. This is because it has a laxative effect that could cause unfavorable reactions in some people. These include things such as an upset stomach, cramps, or diarrhea.
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic:
“While aloe gel is generally safe if used as recommended, oral use of aloe latex presents certain safety concerns. In fact, taking 1 gram of aloe latex per day for several days can cause kidney damage and could be fatal.“
In view of its laxative effect, it’s necessary to be cautious when consuming aloe vera. And in case you want to do it on a daily basis, you should consult with your doctor and follow their instructions. By taking the sufficient amount indicated by the professional, it wouldn’t be necessary to overdo it. After all, consuming more aloe won’t make you healthier.
If you’re following drug treatment, experts recommend abstaining from consuming it. This is because interactions may occur, as with other foods.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t consume aloe vera if you’re taking antiplatelet drugs, anticoagulants, diabetes medications, diuretics, laxatives, or other medication.
Of course, in case you want to consume aloe vera as an adjuvant treatment for diabetes, you should always first consult your doctor to find out whether it’d be helpful or not. Also to know what the most appropriate doses are, among other important aspects.
Finally, you shouldn’t ever forget that the only way you’ll obtain the benefits of this plant will be by using it in moderation.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Hamman, J. H. (2008). Composition and applications of Aloe vera leaf gel. Molecules. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules13081599
- Ahlawat, K. S., & Khatkar, B. S. (2011). Processing, food applications and safety of aloe vera products: A review. Journal of Food Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-011-0229-z
- Rajeswari, R., Umadevi, M., Rahale, C. S., Selvavenkadesh, S., Kumar, K. P. S., & Bhowmik, D. (2012). Aloe vera: The Miracle Plant Its Medicinal and Traditional Uses in India. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry.
- Radha, M. H., & Laxmipriya, N. P. (2015). Evaluation of biological properties and clinical effectiveness of Aloe vera: A systematic review. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcme.2014.10.006
- Abo-Youssef, A. M. H., & Messiha, B. A. S. (2013). Beneficial effects of Aloe vera in treatment of diabetes: Comparative in vivo and in vitro studies. Bulletin of Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University. https://doi.org/10.1109/TIE.2013.2275903