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Why I stopped taking Aloe Vera Juice


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#1 Stardock

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:25 AM

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So I was recommended to take Aloe Vera juice by a pharmacist for constipation and digestion problem.

I've been taking lifestream biogenic aloe vera juice 80mL a day for 6 months now but I stopped today because I learnt about the potential danger from this person:

http://www.ibsgroup....loe-vera-juice/

Aloe vera is a wonderful short term healer for the gut, but we are warned against its long term use because it is a laxative & will turn the intestinal walls form a healthy pink to black. Please read on. Posted ImageAloe Vera & I.B.S Because aloe is well-known as a gentle external treatment for minor burns and skin irritations, it's easy to assume that it would be safe for use internally as well. This is not necessarily true. Even though aloe vera is a plant, and thus "natural", it is still classified by the FDA as a Class 1 harsh stimulant laxative. There are substances called anthroquinones and anthrones in aloe, which produce a laxative effect by increasing colonic peristalsis and intestinal water content, by opening chloride channels of the colonic membrane to cause a net reduction of liquid absorption by the colon.In plain English, this means that aloe causes faster and stronger contractions of the colon - something that people with IBS are already overly prone to, and which can cause violent abdominal cramps, painful spasms, and diarrhea. The safety of aloe is another concern. All anthranoid laxatives (not just aloe, but senna and cascara sagrada as well) can cause melanosis coli, cathartic colon, and possibly increase the risk of colonic cancer. (In fact, genotoxicity studies show that aloe-containing laxatives pose cancer risks to humans even when used as directed.) Melanosis coli, normally a benign condition, is characterized by black pigmentation of the colonic wall, and is almost always attributable to anthranoid laxatives such as aloe, cascara, or senna. Melanosis coli usually develops 9 months after initiating the use of anthranoid laxatives, and typically disappears just as quickly after the drug is discontinued. In severe cases, however, it may reduce bowel function and make constipation worse. In advanced cases of melanosis coli, the inside lining of the colon becomes pitch black instead of the normal light pink. Cathartic colon is the anatomic and physiologic change in the colon that occurs with chronic use of stimulant laxatives such as aloe (chronic use is defined as more than 3 times per week for at least 1 year). Signs and symptoms of cathartic colon include chronic constipation, bloating, a feeling of fullness, abdominal pain, and incomplete fecal evacuation.Radiologic studies of a patient with cathartic colon will show: an atonic colon (the colon lacks the normal muscle tone) and a redundant colon (the laxative use has stretched out the colon to twice the normal length, and the bowel has developed redundant coils of bowel tubing that loop back and forth in the abdominal cavity). As if this isn't bad enough, chronic use of aloe can also lead to serious medical consequences such as fluid and electrolyte imbalance, steatorrhea, gastroenteropathy, osteomalacia, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. When aloe is discontinued, radiographic and functional changes in the colon may only partially return to normal because of permanent drug-induced neuromuscular damage to the colon. What's really scary about aloe is that it's a very common ingredient in all sorts of liquid vitamins, energy boost drinks, and other health supplements, and these product labels won't note that aloe is a laxative. Aloe is even specifically marketed to people with IBS as a "digestive aid", or "soothing to the bowel", with an emphasis on the fact that it's an all-natural plant ingredient, which again just hides the fact that it is without a doubt a harsh stimulant laxative. At this point, products derived from aloe gel and intended for internal use have not been proven effective against any disease or disorder, but the dangers seem clear. I would err on the side of caution and avoid aloe altogether, as it seems to me that its well-established risks far outweigh any potential (and as yet unproven) benefits. ---------------------------------------------There are many products now on the market which contain Aloe, & I believe the last count for actual companies that bottle the juice from the plant, or buy it in bulk is now around 287 world wide!There is no doubt whatsoever that when used topically on burns, scalds,rashes & even sun-burn, Aloe has NO equal. It soothes & helps the area affected to heal rapidly, & because of those qualities I always have a plant by the back door for this purpose, but by the evidence now available such as mentioned above, I must ask you this question: Will you be constantly consuming Aloe in any form now knowing of these risks?? I CERTAINLY WILL NOTJust a warning to anyone taking Aloe Vera Juice for IBS.


I did some research I agree with him that Aloe Vera juice is NOT safe and I certainly don't want to increase my chance of getting Colon Cancer. So I immediately got rid of it.

I feel like I can't trust pharmacists any more. I thought pharmacy supplements were regulated better than this.

Why does pharmacy sell supplements that have not even been proven to be safe? I thought it was just the Health Stores that sells dodgy supplements like lithium orotate over the counter.


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#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:02 PM

Not sure about where you are but in the USA supplements are regulated as a food rather than a drug (at least in the US) and it doesn't matter who sells it the regulation are equally lax.

There is some debate if the compounds in laxatives that darken the wall of the colon cause cancer. More likely seems they may not, but there have been concerns over the years. They also do not seem to be as likely to cause cathartic colon (even if they make the colon dark) as ones that were pulled off the market long ago.

Everyone here complains about how big pharma is just interested in money but there is a large push back from the supplement industry and huge expensive scare campaigns launched any time any additional regulations are suggested for the vitamin and supplement industry. Here we have some independent labs that at least do test to see if they have what the label says it has (and an astonishing number of them, even supposedly good brands, even sold at the pharmacy) do not have in the pill what the label claims is in there.

You can't assume any supplement is safe, effective, or most of the time the ingredients really tell you what is in the pill. That being said, there are a lot of good brands and a lot of well made supplements, you just have to do a lot of leg work to figure it out.

You can get aloe that is just the gel part (not the latex which is the laxative) but you have to be able to trust the manufacturer. Anything made with whole leaf (usually what they call juice) will have some latex in it. Often you can't find out how much until you see how much it loosens the stool.
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#3 nigol

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:31 PM

is Aloe ferox (Cape Aloes) leaf inner juice powder the same thing?

#4 Kathleen M.

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:16 AM

From what I can google, it has a higher percentage of the anthroquinone (that is what makes herbal stimulatory laxatives a stimulatory laxative and what stains the colon) than Aloe vera.

Doesn't matter if it is senna, cascara or aloe the active chemical in all these plants is similar. They may vary a bit, but the active ingredient is very similar/same chemical class.
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#5 annie7

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:29 AM

Kathleen--thanks so much for your information.

i've been wondering quite a bit about aloe after reading someone's recommendation for Super Aloe 450. i bought a bottle but have been reluctant to use it, having read negative things about aloe in general.

of course, i'm on stimulants (dulcolax) anyway per my gastro's advice since i have slow transit constipation which has been refractory to everything else so maybe using aloe wouldn't make much of a difference anyway--my colon already doesn't work--lol... or maybe aloe wouldn't help as senna quit working for me several months ago..

these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#6 Kathleen M.

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:33 AM

Hard to know if it would work. I might stick with the pharma version just because the dose per pill is regulated and checked where with herbs it can vary a lot even if they say they standardize it (depends on how much effort the company really puts in vs what they say they do).

I probably wouldn't take both the Aloe and the dulcolax but it may be worth occasionally switching back and forth if you seem to have a tendency to get acclimated to a medication and fight off the effects after awhile.
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#7 annie7

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:23 PM

thanks, Kathleen. that originally was my plan--switching back and forth since yes i do have a tendency to build up a tolerance to meds. i had been alternating (not combining, of course) senna, cascara sagrada and dulcolax but then senna quit. so i was looking for an alternative. thanks!

these are just my own thoughts. for expert medical advice please contact a health care professional.


#8 BrandonJ280

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:11 AM

I've taken aloee vera juice before and couldnt tell any difference on helping me out. Taking supplements and proper diet is a better way of helping major digestion problems like ibs for example. Doctors told me a bunch of things and meds to take but i've learned alot more by doing my own research and educating myself on as much i could find on ibs and it lead to other things i've learned. MasterSupplements makes great products for digestion problems check out the website. Even if you dont buy any they have alot of useful info to read bout digestion on each of their individual websites.
Taking it one day at a time

#9 Trace2u

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

Hi, I was concerned with the comments about aloe vera being highly laxative and containing "substances called anthroquinones and anthrones in aloe".

There needs to be a differentiation here between WHOLE LEAF and INNER FILLET aloe vera. I consume only INNER FILLET aloe vera which does not have high laxative effect or the toxic substances mentioned. I have never heard anyone suffering from toxic effects from the inner leaf gel, but have heard many from consuming whole leaf.

The aloe from Aloe Vera Africa is made from the inner gel only and you can get more information on http://www.aloevera4healthplus.com/

#10 Stardock

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:10 PM

So it's the whole leaf that's unsafe? Then I guess I have overreacted then. The lifestream biogenic aloe vera juice only contains "Aloe barbadensis inner gel juice". But I'm still reluctant to take it now that I've read the dangers of Aloe Vera.

#11 nigol

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

so whats the difference between juice and capsules?

and @Trace2u so consuming it regularly is okay then?

#12 pip x

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:24 AM

I remember a good few years ago buying aloe vera juice from a well known health shop in the UK. I read somewhere how good it is supposed to be for IBS symptoms. After a couple of months of taking at the dosage on the bottle (then lowering it) and past the bad side effects it gave such as heartburn i began suffering from awful back and stomach pain.There was a locum from Holland at my GP's surgery and he said that i was actually overdosing on the aloe vera juice which was causing all the bad symptoms i was having. I havent touched it since and not suffered those awful pains since either. Whether it was actually due to the aloe juice or not i dont know.



#13 nigol

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:22 AM

is aloe vera good for other things other than constipation?



#14 leebe20

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:36 AM

Aloin is what causes the laxative effect of Aloe Vera....Most health store Aloe Vera products remove Aloin. People saying that Aloe Vera can turn the intestinal walls black are just scare mongering if your taking it at the recommended dose no such problems should occur.



#15 Kathleen M.

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

If the aloe is being sold as a laxative they certainly do leave it in (so I don't know about most, maybe none where you are happen to be sold for the laxative part, but there are here in the USA).  Anything whole leaf whether you buy it from a health food store or or a pharmacy will have the aloin still in it.  If it is part of a "colon cleansing" preparation they usually leave it in as for some reason diarrhea is considered cleansing. smile.png

 

There are gel only preparations.  Juice drinks will vary, and if it tastes bitter it still has a good portion of the aloin still in it.  A fair number of the juice preparations here in the USA are sold as laxatives rather than just GI soothers.

 

Now the dark pigmentation seems likely to be mostly harmless so I wouldn't mention it to scare people, but that if they use a lot of herbal laxatives of any kind don't be surprised if you get that finding when you have a colonoscopy.  It is common to see in people using any herbal laxative at the recommended doses with regular use in the USA, but like I said it sounds really scary but it isn't a big risk if you do get it. There are reports in the medical lit of about 10 months of aloe use at the recommended dose (in a preparation for laxative purposes) can cause it, so I wouldn't say it can't happen.

 

They may also be regulating herbal medications in the UK a lot more than in the USA.  Here basically you have no idea what they put in the capsule as so many of them don't really have the amount or sometimes even the ingredient on the label.   You have to hope it is a company you can trust, and too many of them you can't.  We've had a couple of instances of something getting really popular and in one year they sell several times more of the popular herb the weight of the entire worldwide crop, just in the USA alone.  It is unlikely we will actually regulate any of these things any time soon.


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#16 J T

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:37 AM

This should help clear things up. http://www.nutraingr...ogenicity-study This is the most non-biased summary of information concerning the matter I could find. It includes brief information on each study done on the subject. Also note the Dr.'s comment at the bottom which raises a good point.

 

As a previous user said there is a big difference between INNER FILLET/GEL/JUICE and WHOLE LEAF products. Most aloe vera products, even the whole leaf ones, are low in aloin and no where near the levels likely used in these experiments. (Note that nowhere in these experiment findings do they mention what part of the plant nor how much was used). If you are using inner fillet products (I use Lily of The Desert products) you are getting something like a TRACE amount. This is directly from Lily of The Desert's FAQ page:

 

What is Aloin / Aloe Latex / Anthraquinones / Yellow Sap?

 

Between the outer rind of the aloe leaf and the inner fillet lies the yellow sap (aloe latex) that contain anthraquinones (aloin). When taken in extremely high doses, aloin can be harmful. Unfiltered aloe contains approx. 10,000 parts per million of aloin.

Lily of the Desert aloe products contain a safe level of less than 1 part per million of aloin. They are safe to use daily.

 

All in all, I will continue using aloe in moderation because it makes a big difference for me in managing my IBS. 

 

PS Always keep a critical mind and triple - or quadruple - check anything you read or hear; either on the internet, in a book, an article or ANYWHERE. wink.png



#17 dharvest

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:34 PM

It's not the aloe vera itself or whether it is whole-leaf or just the inner gel.  It's all about the anthraquinones (aloin, aloe emodin, etc.).  Any product that removes the anthraquinones is safe to take long term.  If the label doesn't say it has removed the anthraquinones or if the aloe vera is sold as a laxative, you should avoid taking the product.  The International Aloe Science Council recently published an article that explains the studies.  Here is the text of the article:

IASC debunks CSPI aloe warning
International Aloe Science Council
Sun, 2013-08-25 20:16

The International Aloe Science Council (IASC) responded to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recent news release telling consumers to avoid taking aloe vera orally, with what IASC executive director, Devon Powell, called "some simple facts." 

 

Recently published studies on consumer products showed no carcinogenic effects
Several manufacturers of aloe vera products for oral consumption published studies on their products to demonstrate their safety. Each of these studies concluded that there were no carcinogenic effects in mice or rats. "These studies provide significant data demonstrating that aloe vera products manufactured according to IASC standards for aloin content are safe," said Powell.

 

Purified (decolorized) aloe vera: no known carcinogenic concerns according to internationally recognized cancer organization 
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently published aloe vera carcinogenicity information, and determined that unpurified whole leaf aloe vera juice is possibly carcinogenic to humans due to its aloin content. The IARC report also noted that purification by decolorization removes the toxic latex constituents of concern. "The powerful laxative effect from ingesting unpurified aloe vera products would make it obvious if that's what people were consuming," said Powell. "IARC clearly understands that decolorized whole leaf aloe vera juice is devoid of the toxic chemicals that have caused so much concern, yet CSPI seems willing to make uninformed and sensational comments that will only serve to confuse and frighten consumers despite the facts." 
 

The vast majority of aloe vera products for oral consumption are decolorized, or purified 
Decolorization, or purification, is the process of removing laxative constituents from aloe vera raw materials during processing. The IASC has produced a video on the process of decolorization. This process uses an activated charcoal filtration step to ensure that aloe vera juice finished products are virtually free of toxic constituents found in aloe vera latex. 

 

The NTP test article is chemically distinct from what is found in consumer products for oral consumption 
The IASC tested the aloe vera study material used by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in their animal studies and, as expected, found the major aloe vera latex laxative component, aloin, present in substantial quantities of a few percent of the total. This is not the ingredient that consumers ingest from the vast majority of commercially available aloe vera products. Additional details on the NTP study can be found by reading the IASC's position paper or by contacting the IASC.



#18 Andi Davies

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:54 PM

So I was recommended to take Aloe Vera juice by a pharmacist for constipation and digestion problem.

I've been taking lifestream biogenic aloe vera juice 80mL a day for 6 months now but I stopped today because I learnt about the potential danger from this person:

http://www.ibsgroup....loe-vera-juice/


I did some research I agree with him that Aloe Vera juice is NOT safe and I certainly don't want to increase my chance of getting Colon Cancer. So I immediately got rid of it.

I feel like I can't trust pharmacists any more. I thought pharmacy supplements were regulated better than this.

Why does pharmacy sell supplements that have not even been proven to be safe? I thought it was just the Health Stores that sells dodgy supplements like lithium orotate over the counter.

I know we're all entitled to our opinion ( as I'm going to voice mine ) but a little knowledge is dangerous! As long as you have all the information,you can then make a decision on consuming Aloe and it's health benefits. There are hundreds of companies selling Aloe to drink but our company is the only one who takes it from the field to the consumer. The only part we use, is the inner gel which does not include anthroquinones or anthrones as these are found in the leaf membrane/latex/Aloin and root. Many other companies use the whole plant which includes these ingredients.There are some others who claim only to use the inner gel but they don't use the Aloe barbadensis miller plant or grow it or have access to our patented natural stabiliser. They also dilute it and add other ingredients, we don't.  So in reply to your concerns, Aloe has been consumed daily for 35 years by millions of our customers across the world ( $1.8 billion worldwide turnover and 50% of this is the drinking gel) Our company also offer a no questions asked money back policy.  I'm in the UK but we are a global company so supply is no problem. Should you want more information, please facebook me on www.facebook/andi.davies.79 or email: formula1corp@aol.com Best regards Andi



#19 Andi Davies

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:55 PM

is Aloe ferox (Cape Aloes) leaf inner juice powder the same thing?

Any manufactured Aloe products such as dry freeze, powder or capsules will have had most of the good ingredients removed. Aloe, I recommend is as pure as consuming the gel straight from the plant as we have a natural patented stabiliser and that's all that's added. This plant is grown, hand picked, filleted and bottled and distributed to the consumer. We have a 35 year company history consumed by millions daily ( $1.8 billion global turnover & 50% is the drinking gel ) We also have a no questions asked money back guarantee. Contact me if you should want any more information on: email: formula1corp@aol.com or www.facebook/andi.davies.79



#20 Andi Davies

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 02:08 PM

From what I can google, it has a higher percentage of the anthroquinone (that is what makes herbal stimulatory laxatives a stimulatory laxative and what stains the colon) than Aloe vera.

Doesn't matter if it is senna, cascara or aloe the active chemical in all these plants is similar. They may vary a bit, but the active ingredient is very similar/same chemical class.

Please be more specific with your comments or at leasts ensure that your facts are 100% correct.  Anthroquinone is part of the leaf and is not found in the centre of the plant which is the only part we use. We grow the plant ( have done for over 35 years ) and we only use it to produce our own products. Many millions of sufferers are benefiting from our product Please e mail me if you wish to discuss further formula1corp@aol.com







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