Are you considering taking Aloe Vera for Diabetes? We look into the pros and cons and show you the science behind it.
Approximately 23.6 million people suffer from Type 2 diabetes in the USA, and less than half of these folk have controlled their disease using either conventional medicine or other methods.
Type 2 Diabetes accounts for up to 90% of all diabetics, so it is much more common than Type 1 which is often diagnosed in childhood. Type 2 tends to be diagnosed later in life, but with obesity and junk food lifestyles it is being diagnosed younger and younger.
Type 2 is the one where the body produces insulin, but either doesn’t produce enough, or the cells of the body don’t respond properly to the insulin which is produced (insulin resistance). There is a good explanation here.
This condition is progressive and can lead to complications such as heart attacks, amputations, eye damage and kidney damage, so it is obviously very important to get it under control.
People with diabetes are almost twice as likely as those without the disease to try alternative therapies for their condition and one of these is herbal remedies. Aloe Vera is one of the better known supplements which people take, particularly in Turkey, Germany and Mexico.
Many people, particularly in Mexico, where Type 2 diabetes is becoming more and more common, believe in various herbal remedies for this condition. One of those is Aloe Vera which is often taken to help control blood sugar.
There are many animal studies which demonstrate that Aloe Vera gel taken internally can reduce blood sugar levels.
Few trials have been undertaken in humans, but those which have been done mostly show significant reductions in fasting blood glucose levels after treatment with AV. However, the number of studies is small and they had low numbers of participants. None of the trials have been independently reproduced, and each trial has used a different component, or dose of Aloe Vera.
This is a review of all the research done into Aloe Vera for Diabetes until 2010. There are a few more studies also showing promise for AV in 2013, but their results have not been highly significant.
So the conclusion from research done to date is that Aloe Vera could become an important treatment in the future, but it needs more research before it can become mainstream and prescribed by doctors.
It should be noted that there have been instances of toxic hepatitis (liver disease) in people taking Aloe supplements long-term.
It is thought that those affected were hypersensitive and also allergic to Aloe Vera, but it shows that it is very important to inform your doctor if you are taking any supplements especially if you become unwell.
YOU MUST CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TAKING ANY SUPPLEMENTS ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE ON ANY OTHER MEDICATIONS FOR YOUR DIABETES.
DO NOT USE ALOE VERA IF YOU ARE PREGNANT AND DO NOT USE IN CHILDREN WITHOUT MEDICAL SUPERVISION.
Just because all the research hasn’t been done on a plant or a substance doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, and sometimes the research will never be done because there just isn’t enough interest from big pharmaceutical companies or governments to fund the trials. Unfortunately, because that is the case, we may be missing out on many highly beneficial treatments such as Aloe Vera.
The problem lies in the fact that because of the small amount of data we have, we also have a small amount of information about the safety of these products.
So we would say, if you decide to try Aloe Vera for Diabetes be careful, keep a close eye on your symptoms and don’t take it without medical supervision if you are already on medications for your condition.
As with any ‘natural’ remedy you should remember that just because it is natural it is not necessarily safe. If you do decide to try it, read our Side Effects and Precautions first and consult a doctor if you become unwell while taking it. Make sure your doctor knows about all the medicines you are taking even if they are herbal, supplements, capsules, or juices.
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