Benefits of Aloe Vera

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Vitamins and Minerals Are Among the Many Benefits of Aloe Vera.

Aloe vera is a plant most famous for its ability to soothe sunburns, but its healing abilities go beyond skin deep. While the plant is frequently used in topical skin care and cosmetic products like creams, lotions, soaps, and shampoos, it’s also incredibly beneficial when ingested. Aloe vera is loaded with nutrients, soothes digestion, heals skin, and helps the immune system. In fact, aloe is a legitimate superfood with the ability to heal inside and out.

Nutrients Found in Aloe Vera

Aloe vera possesses many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support a healthy body[1] including:

  • Vitamin A (beta-carotene)—An important vitamin for a healthy immune system, organ function, and reproductive health.[2]
  • Vitamin C—You know this one, it provides powerful antioxidants and immune support.
  • Vitamin E—Protects against free radical damage. It may even offer benefits for heart health.[3]
  • B-12
  • Folic acid
  • Choline
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc [1]

Internal Health Benefits of Aloe Vera

  • Supports cardiovascular health[4]
  • Contains prebiotics[5]
  • Supports digestion[6]
  • Boosts the immune system[6]
  • Helps Heal Wounds[7]
  • Moisturizes the skin[6]
  • Resists Harmful Organisms[8, 9]

Aloe vera is great for flushing toxins and waste from the digestive tract[10], which helps the body absorb nutrients more efficiently. This also supports circulation and helps distribute oxygen-rich blood to cells throughout the body.

Supports Cardiovascular Health

Aloe may even hold the key to regulating cholesterol. You may have heard about “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is a type of “good” cholesterol. HDL travels through your blood collecting unused LDL (low-density lipoprotein—“bad” cholesterol). These unused LDL molecules can damage arteries and harm your heart. Ridding your body of them benefits coronary and circulatory health.[11]

In one study, 5,000 patients were given aloe vera along with a high-fiber diet. Researchers found that overall HDL cholesterol increased. Individuals with diabetes showed the greatest improvement.[4]

Despite being dubbed “bad” cholesterol, every cell in your body requires some LDL. Problems arise when excessive LDL in a person’s system clogs arteries and leads to heart attack or stroke. Of primary concern is the combination of high LDL and triglycerides. Triglycerides, which are fat cells that store energy, actually make up the most common type of fat in your body.[12] High levels of triglycerides in your blood means that you aren’t burning all that excess energy, which subsequently turns into fat. Triglyceride levels under 150 mg/dL are considered normal, with 200 mg/dL considered high.[13] Some research has shown that consuming aloe vera is good nutrition to encourage normal LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Supports Digestion and Gut Health

Aloe vera contains at least eight different beneficial enzymes—alliinase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase.[1] Bradykinase can help reduce skin irritation when applied topically,[14] while catalase helps protects cells from oxidative damage.[15, 16] Other enzymes help your gut break down fat, sugar, and other nutrients.

Aloe supports gut health in other ways as well. It provides fatty acids like campesterol, β-sitosterol, and lupeol, which soothes occasional inflammation. [1] Recent research shows that aloe has some potential as a prebiotic and could be used to support probiotic colonies and overall gut health.[5]

Aloe vera has a cytoprotective action, meaning it helps to increase stomach mucosal production at a cellular level. Because of this trait, it’s sometimes included in ulcer medication. [17]

Aloe Vera Supports the Immune System

Aloe vera can also help support a healthy immune system. Studies show some aloe species contain two powerful substances that help the immune system—acemannan and aloctin A. These active components suppress harmful organisms and contain antioxidants that protect cells from damage.[6]

Aloe could have some interesting immune-boosting properties. Acemannan, in particular, shows great promise. Both in vivo and animal testing found that acemannan activated cytokines and macrophages that in turn stimulated the immune system. Further research has found that aloe extract effectively protected mice from exposure to harmful organisms.[6]

Skin Care Benefits

We can’t talk about the benefits of aloe vera without mentioning its role in skin care. One of the traditional folk uses of aloe vera is as an effective topical burn or cut remedy. Multiple studies have confirmed that it speeds the healing of skin wounds and stimulates cellular rejuvenation. Additional research found that aloe gel assists new cell growth, and decreases healing time and for first- and second-degree burns. In human studies, aloe vera gel was found to improve skin integrity in dry, cracked skin and reduce irritation, wrinkling, and redness.[6, 18]

Adding Aloe Vera to Your Diet

The benefits of adding aloe vera to your diet are easy to see. Make this superfood, with its many vital nutrients, a staple in your healthy life. One popular way to have quick, easy access to this natural wonder is by growing your own aloe vera at home. Aloe vera grows easily and reproduces quickly. For those looking for an even easier method, there are many aloe vera products, such as juices and supplements, that you can add to your diet.

When you take aloe vera in any form, the nutritional content and bioavailability of key constituents, like acemannan, is very important. We’ve created an excellent aloe vera supplement called Aloe Fuzion™, which is made from 100% organic inner leaf aloe vera. If you’re looking for a convenient, natural way to add an incredibly bioavailable form of aloe vera to your diet, you cannot go wrong with Aloe Fuzion.

References (18)
  1. Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D G Saple. "Aloe Vera: A Short Review." Indian Journal of Dermatology 53.4 (2008): 163–166. PMC. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  2. Mora, J. Rodrigo, Makoto Iwata, and Ulrich H. von Andrian. "Vitamin Effects on the Immune System: Vitamins A and D Take Centre Stage." Nature reviews. Immunology 8.9 (2008): 685–698. PMC. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  3. "Vitamin E: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals." National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 3 Nov. 2016. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  4. Agarwal O.P. "Prevention of atheromatous heart disease." Angiology. 1985 Aug;36(8):485-92.
  5. Gullón, B., et al. "In Vitro Assessment of the Prebiotic Potential of Aloe Vera Mucilage and Its Impact on the Human Microbiota." Food Funct. 6.2 (2015): 525-31. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  6. Braun, Lesley, and Marc Cohen. "Herbs and Natural Supplements, Volume 2: An Evidence-Based Guide, Volume 2." Elsevier Health Sciences, 30 Mar. 2015. Print.
  7. Dat, Anthony D., Flora Poon, Kim Bt Pham, and Jenny Doust. "Aloe Vera for Treating Acute and Chronic Wounds." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2012): Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  8. Gupta, Rajendra Kumar, et al. "Preliminary Antiplaque Efficacy of Aloe Vera Mouthwash on 4 Day Plaque Re-Growth Model: Randomized Control Trial." Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences 24.2 (2014): 139–144. Print.
  9. Nejatzadeh-Barandozi, Fatemeh. "Antibacterial Activities and Antioxidant Capacity of Aloe Vera." Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 3 (2013): 5. PMC. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  10. Cock, I. E. "The Genus Aloe: Phytochemistry and Therapeutic Uses Including Treatments for Gastrointestinal Conditions and Chronic Inflammation." Progress in Drug Research Novel Natural Products: Therapeutic Effects in Pain, Arthritis and Gastro-intestinal Diseases(2015): 179-235. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  11. "LDL and HDL: “Bad’ and ‘Good’ Cholesterol." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Mar. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  12. Chen, Michael A. "Triglyceride Level." MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Oct. 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  13. Ghannam, Nadia, Michael Kingston, Ibrahim A. Al-Meshaal, Mohamed Tariq, Narayan S. Parman, and Nicholas Woodhouse. "The Antidiabetic Activity of Aloes: Preliminary Clinical and Experimental Observations." Hormone Research 24.4 (1986): 288-94. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  14. Dawid-Pać, Renata. "Medicinal Plants Used in Treatment of Inflammatory Skin Diseases." Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postȩpy Dermatologii I Alergologii 30.3 (2013): 170–177. PMC. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  15. Imlay, James A. "Pathways of Oxidative Damage." Annual Review of Microbiology 57.1 (2003): 395-418. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  16. Hybertson, Brooks M., Bifeng Gao, Swapan K. Bose, and Joe M. Mccord. "Oxidative Stress in Health and Disease: The Therapeutic Potential of Nrf2 Activation." Molecular Aspects of Medicine 32.4-6 (2011): 234-46. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  17. Ranade A.N., Wankhede S.S., Ranpise N.S., Mundada M.S. "Development of bilayer floating tablet of amoxicillin and Aloe vera gel powder for treatment of gastric ulcers." AAPS PharmSciTech. 2012 Dec;13(4):1518-23. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.
  18. Korać R.R., Khambholja K.M. "Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation." Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jul;5(10):164-73. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.

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