Everyone is talking about Aloe Vera for Weight Loss these days. So is it just another fad or is it really true that it works? We get down to the nitty gritty and bring you the actual facts.
Just because it comes from a plant and is natural doesn’t always mean it is safe. Look at deadly nightshade!
The fact that Aloe Vera is used for so many ailments means that it contains some powerful ingredients. These can interact with other medicines, drugs and supplements and cause side effects just like any medication. We have investigated the most important side effects – you can read about them here.
So we would advise that you consult your doctor and do not take particularly if you have any history of diabetes or heart disease or if you are pregnant.
Some people are also allergic to Aloes and there have been some reports of long term use being toxic to the liver. Whole leaf Aloe Vera was also shown to cause cancer in rats in one study, so we suggest products containing only AV Gel and not the yellow latex layer from the whole leaf.
It is possible that many people are losing weight on Aloe Vera because of its laxative effect. The layer just below the skin of the leaf of an Aloe plant is a bitter yellow latex which contains anthroquinones known for their laxative effect.
If you take a lot of that, you may lose weight, but it won’t be safe, because you can become dehydrated and lose potassium which can have serious consequences such as seizures, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks and paralysis.
So if you want to try using Aloe vera to try and lose weight, make sure you use a product with Aloe Vera gel only, which has an IASC Seal. This means that it conforms to safety standards and will have less than 10ppm of the anthroquinones. Also avoid products which say they contain whole leaf.
You will see a lot of hype about various detox diets which involve taking a lot of supplements and spending a lot of money. You may lose weight because you will be eating nothing but supplements for a few days, but whether the weight will stay off long term is debatable unless you also make some lifestyle changes.
A dietician we trust who is currently living in Bali has written a great page about this here.
We believe that sugar is one of the things which you really need to reduce in order to get your weight down, and it will greatly increase your health and well-being.
These books will show you how to keep your weight down long term, not just during a 3 week detox.
We recommend reading:
Fat Chance – Robert Lustig
Grain Brain – Dr Perlmutter
Since there actually is some evidence that Aloe Vera can help regulate blood sugar levels, you might want to try some of the better AV juices or supplements, along with a healthy change of lifestyle, but don’t expect miracles from supplements alone.