Aloe Vera Articles & Research

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Skin permeation enhancement potential of Aloe Vera and a proposed mechanism of action based upon size exclusion and pull effect

Authors: Louise Cole, Charles Heard

The aim of this study was to determine in vitro the potential of Aloe Vera juice as a skin permeation enhancer; a secondary aim was to probe the extent to which Aloe Vera itself permeates the skin. Saturated solutions of caffeine, colchicine, mefenamic acid, oxybutynin, and quinine were prepared at 32 degrees C in Aloe Vera juice and water (control) and used to dose porcine ear skin mounted in Franz diffusion cells with water as receptor phase. Receptor phase samples were taken over a 48 h period and permeants determined by reverse-phase HPLC. For caffeine and mefenamic acid no significant enhancements occurred between Aloe Vera and water as vehicles (p>0.05). However, for colchicine, oxybutynin and quinine the presence of Aloe Vera within the formulation provided enhancements (p < or = 0.05). Enhancement potential was dependent upon the molecular weight of the drug in formulation, with the enhancement effect attributable to as yet unidentified components within the Aloe Vera. Colchicine, with a molecular weight of 399.44, achieved the best enhancement with an enhancement ratio of 10.97. No correlation with lipophilicity was apparent. In a further experiment, where freeze-dried Aloe Vera was reconstituted at 200% residue level, permeation of quinine was 2.8 x that from normal Aloe Vera, providing further evidence for the presence of an enhancing factor within Aloe Vera. Certain, although unidentified, components of Aloe Vera readily permeated skin and the relative amount by which they permeated skin was inversely related to the molecular weight of the drug in solution, thus enhancement ratio. A new mechanistic rationale is proposed whereby larger drug solutes inhibit the permeation of Aloe Vera components, but also are then able to interact more effectively with the enhancing factor and be subject to the pull effect.

A Phase III study on the efficacy of topical aloe vera gel on irradiated breast tissue

Authors: Sue Heggie, Guy P Bryant, Lee Tripcony, Jacqui Keller, Pauline Rose, Mary Glendenning, Jenny Heath

The aim of the study was to see if topical aloe vera gel would be beneficial in reducing the identified skin side-effects of radiation therapy, including erythema, pain, itching, dry desquamation, and moist desquamation, when compared with aqueous cream. The secondary aim was to assess the effect of other factors known to predict severity of radiation skin reaction, ie, breast size, smoking habit, and one or more drainages of lymphocele after surgery, on other skin side effects. A Phase III study was conducted involving 225 patients with breast cancer after lumpectomy or partial mastectomy, who required a course of radiation therapy using tangential fields. Patients were randomized to either topical aloe vera gel or topical aqueous cream to be applied 3 times per day throughout and for 2 weeks after completion of radiation treatment. Weekly skin assessments were performed by nursing staff. Aqueous cream was significantly better than aloe vera gel in reducing dry desquamation and pain related to treatment. Subjects with D cup or larger size breasts experienced significantly more erythema, regardless of treatment arm. For subjects who had undergone lymphocele drainage, the aloe vera group experienced significantly more pain than the aqueous cream group. Within the aqueous cream arm, smokers were significantly more likely to experience itching within the treatment field than were nonsmokers. Within the aloe vera arm, subjects who had undergone one or more lymphocele drainages after surgery were significantly more likely to experience erythema and itching within the treatment field than those who did not have drainage. In this study, aloe vera gel did not significantly reduce radiation-induced skin side effects. Aqueous cream was useful in reducing dry desquamation and pain related to radiation therapy.

Aloe vera

Authors: A D Klein, N S Penneys

We review the scientific literature regarding the aloe vera plant and its products. Aloe vera is known to contain several pharmacologically active ingredients, including a carboxypeptidase that inactivates bradykinin in vitro, salicylates, and a substance(s) that inhibits thromboxane formation in vivo. Scientific studies exist that support an antibacterial and antifungal effect for substance(s) in aloe vera. Studies and case reports provide support for the use of aloe vera in the treatment of radiation ulcers and stasis ulcers in man and burn and frostbite injuries in animals. The evidence for a potential beneficial effect associated with the use of aloe vera is sufficient to warrant the design and implementation of well-controlled clinical trials.

Antioxidant properties and PC12 cell protective effects of APS-1, a polysaccharide from Aloe vera var. chinensis

Authors: Jun H Wu, Chen Xu, Cheng Y Shan, Ren X Tan

Through a combination of anion-exchange and repeated gel chromatographies, APS-1 was isolated from fresh leaves of Aloe vera L. var. chinensis (Haw.) Berger (an edible and medicinal plant widely cultivated and consumed in China) as a principal polysaccharide composed of mannose and glucose (ca. 18:5) with its molecular weight around 2.1 x 10(5). In a dose-dependent manner, APS-1 was demonstrated to be free radical scavenging in superoxide and hydroxyl radical assays, inhibitory to the copper-mediated oxidation of human low density lipoprotein (LDL), and protective against hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-induced lesion to rat PC12 cell (pheochromocytoma cell line). The result suggested that APS-1 could be of considerable preventive and therapeutic significance to some free radical associated health problems such as coronary heart ailments, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Furthermore, the finding shed as well fresh light helpful for a better understanding of the health-benefiting potential of the edible plant consumed by the Chinese people for a couple of centuries.

Effect of Aloe vera preparations on the human bioavailability of vitamins C and E

Authors: J A Vinson, H Al Kharrat, L Andreoli

There are no literature references describing the effect of consumption of Aloe vera liquid preparations on the absorption of water- or fat-soluble vitamins. There is a very large population worldwide which consume vitamins and many people also consume Aloe. Thus we report the effect of Aloe on the human absorption of vitamins C and E, the most popular vitamin supplements. The plasma bioavailability of vitamins C and E were determined in normal fasting subjects, with eight subjects for vitamin C and ten subjects for vitamin E. In a random crossover design, the subjects consumed either 500 mg of ascorbic acid or 420 mg of vitamin E acetate alone (control), or combined with 2 oz of two different Aloe preparations (a whole leaf extract, or an inner fillet gel). Blood was collected periodically up to 24 h after consumption. Plasma was analyzed for ascorbate and tocopherol by-HPLC with UV detection. There was no significant difference in the areas under the plasma ascorbate-time curves among the groups sincerely due to large differences within the groups. For comparative purposes the control area was 100%. The Aloe Gel area was 304%, and Aloe Whole Leaf 80%. Only Aloe Gel caused a significant increase in plasma ascorbate after 8 and 24 h. For vitamin E, the results for the relative areas were control 100%, Gel 369%, and Leaf (198%). Only the Aloes produced a significant increase in plasma tocopherol after 6 and 8 h. Both Aloes were significantly different from the control after 8 h. Aloe Gel was significantly different from the baseline after 24 h. The Aloes slowed down the absorption of both vitamins with maximum concentrations 2-4 h later than the control. There was no difference between the two types of Aloe. The results indicate that the Aloes improve the absorption of both vitamins C and E. The absorption is slower and the vitamins last longer in the plasma with the Aloes. Aloe is the only known supplement to increase the absorption of both of these vitamins and should be considered as a complement to them.

Evaluation of antioxidant potential of aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis miller) extracts

Authors: Yun Hu, Juan Xu, Qiuhui Hu

The polysaccharide and flavonoid concentrations of two-, three-, and four-year-old Aloe vera were determined, and their antioxidant activities were evaluated compared to BHT and alpha-tocopherol by the DPPH radical scavenging method and the linoleic acid system at 100 microg of soluble solids per mL of ethanol. The results showed that three-year-old Aloe vera contained significantly higher levels of polysaccharides and flavonoids than two- and four-year-old Aloe vera, and no significant differences in flavonoid levels were found between three- and four-year-old Aloe vera. All the aloe extracts showed significant antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity of Aloe vera extracts and reference compounds followed the order: three-year-old Aloe vera > BHT > four-year-old Aloe vera > alpha-tocopherol > two-year-old Aloe vera. The three-year-old extract exhibited the strongest radical scavenging activity of 72.19%, which is significantly higher than that of BHT at 70.52% and alpha-tocopherol at 65.20%. These data suggest that the growth stage plays a vital role in the composition and antioxidant activity of Aloe vera. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry.

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