By Alfred Garbutt, D.C.

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Aloe vera is a plant of African origin that is related to the lily. Aloe vera means true aloe  in Latin. The healing benefits of Aloe vera have been recorded throughout the world for  thousands of years. The American medical and pharmaceutical communities most likely  have not accepted it because it can’t be patented nor a prescription written for it.  Nevertheless, there are a significant number of records and research articles about the  benefits of Aloe vera.

I have been studying therapeutic nutrition for over 26 years and have frequently read  about these benefits. There was the occasional stomach upset in a child that would  respond but overall I witnessed little results with the Aloe products available. I didn’t  want to waste people’s money so I stopped recommending the internal use of Aloe Vera  until this past year.

My continual study of therapeutic nutrition brought me across vital information as to  why the previous products had little, if any benefit.

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They were lacking or low in a key active ingredient that was necessary for the body to  heal itself. This active ingredient is called mucopolysaccharide (MPS), which is a long  chain of sugars that bond with water. In the body this type of natural chemical glues cells  together, lubricates joints and enhances the immune system.

Mucopolysaccharide polysulphate (MPS) has been used in medicine as an anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic agent for over 50 years. Its chemical structure permits considerable hydrogen bonding with adjacent water molecules, which effectively leads to hydration of the surrounding tissue. In addition, it stimulates endogenous hyaluronate synthesis, resulting in an increase in water-binding capacity and viscoelasticity of the skin. (1)

Over 95% of the Aloe products on the market are either diluted or improperly processed.  Using only the inner gel of the Aloe vera leaf provides a lower concentration of MPS.  The outer leaf and rind have 200% more of the active ingredient than the inner gel.  Processing the plant with high heat also destroys many of the beneficial ingredients  of Aloe. The best products should be cold processed using the whole leaf with the  aloin removed. Aloin is the irritating chemical in the plant that can cause diarrhea or  intestinal cramping.

Ivan Danhof, M.D., Ph.D. is considered the leading expert in the world on Aloe vera. Dr.  Danhof states, “The only material shown to have beneficial effects in scientific studies are attributable to the polysaccharides.” Experts in the subject recommend between 600 –  1,200 mgs of MPS per day for a healthy adult. Unhealthy people would commonly use  1,200 – 3,000 mgs per day, those with severe diseases using much higher amounts.

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The vast majority of Aloe vera products available in the USA have 0 – 1,400 mgs MPS  per liter. Even with the best of these, you would need to drink one liter each day to get  enough of the mucopolysaccharides. When I found a product that was 10 times the  concentrate with over 12,000 mgs MPS per liter, I finally saw the results with my patients  that I expected and wanted. Whenever you buy Aloe vera products for internal use,  always check how much MPS is in the bottle. If you must drink 1-3 liters per day to  equal 3-4 ounces of a 10 times concentrate then that cheaper bottle is not truly the most  economical for what you get.

A few of the body problems that doctors are researching or using Aloe vera for are:  mouth and stomach ulcers, intestinal disorders such as irritable bowel, to expel worms,  sleep disorders, chronic vaginal irritation, inflammation associated with diabetes,  digestive problems, viral infections, excess yeast (candida) in the bowel and stressed  immune system.

Aloe vera is a plant widely used in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries. It is widely known for its antibacterial and skin-healing properties.

Interestingly, aloe vera may also be an effective remedy against stomach ulcers.

In one study, aloe vera consumption significantly reduced the amount of stomach acid produced in rats suffering from ulcers.

In another study in rats, aloe vera had ulcer-healing effects comparable to omeprazole, a common anti-ulcer medication.

However, few studies have been done in humans. In one, a concentrated aloe vera drink was used to successfully treat 12 patients with stomach ulcers.

In another study, taking antibiotics with 1.4 mg/pound (3 mg/kg) of aloe vera daily for six weeks was as effective as the conventional treatment at healing ulcers and reducing H. pylori levels.

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Aloe vera intake is considered generally safe and the above studies show some promising results. However, more studies in humans are needed. (2)

Research suggests that aloe vera juice or supplements could have a number of possible benefits for people with diabetes:

  • Lower fasting blood glucose levels. A 2015 study suggests that taking aloe vera gel can help people achieve better fasting blood glucose levels, as well as reduce body fat and weight. (3)

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There are medical doctors doing research with cancer and AIDS patients taking very  large doses of concentrated Aloe vera and observing promising responses.

A 10 times concentrated Aloe gel can also have remarkable benefits for the skin when  applied topically. Aloe can penetrate deep into the tissues where it can moisturize, have  antiseptic properties, stimulate the growth of new healthy cells and have a cleansing  detoxifying effect. A morning and evening application of pure Aloe gel can be a simple  yet beneficial procedure towards slowing down the deterioration of your skin, especially  if you live in Southern California which is technically a desert. We just artificially make  it look green by pumping in a lot of water during the summer months.

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