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What's up with the Lectins in Aloe Vera? Should people with GI issues of any sort be drinking aloe?

by (2904)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created December 24, 2012 at 10:52 PM

According to WebMD (ew, I know) Aloe Vera contains lectins and aloin, which is a potential carcinogen but only in rats. Aloe as a human carcinogen hasn't been proven, but I suspect that the amount of aloin the rats were receiving were well above and beyond the dose you would find if you harvested your own aloe vera or bought AV juice/gel.

What lectins does Aloe Vera contain? I don't think I've ever heard of anyone cooking aloe or using it in cooking, so it's safe. If someone could shed light on this, that woul dbe great. Aloe is supposed to be a potent anti-inflammatory, especially for people with GI issues.

I found this interesting tidbit on an IBS forum:

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. Aloe 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 NOT.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 1:58 AM

"Aloe is. . .a potent anti-inflammatory, especially for people with GI issues."

IT IS(!) when one understands "Aloe" to mean the WHOLLY BENEFICIAL INNER LEAF GEL which HAS HAD ALL the anthraquinones and aloin effectively REMOVED in the initial processing.

The fact that this information is not more widely known is PRIMARILY the fault and failure of UNSCRUPULOUS MARKETERS of Aloe who are only interested in a fast buck!

Unfortunately, the medical industry won't help the situation by publishing the proper information but that's because they're interested only in selling drugs and surgery.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 1:41 AM

(cont.)

The above article is DISINFORMATION AND TOTALLY FALSE BECAUSE of the reasons I've already mentioned. It addresses "Aloe" deceptively and dishonestly by FAILING to differentiate between pure inner leaf gel that has been separated from the harmful constituents in the OUTER LEAF.

You can thank the medical industry for perpetuating these LIES about the wonderful benefits of CONSUMING PURE INNER LEAF ALOE VERA GEL free of anthraquinones, aloin and all the constituents in the outer leaf which have negative effects.

I've taken freeze dried gel daily for almost a year WITH ONLY GOOD BENEFITS.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 1:32 AM

This information is a perfect example of why I would never trust WEBMD! The info from BOTH SOURCES is deceptive and dishonest because it DOES NOT REVEAL THE VAST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INNER LEAF GEL and the harmful constituents (anthraquinones and aloins) in the outer leaf. The poster of the information perpetuates this GRIEVOUS DECEPTION.

Remember the medical industry (the AMA is nothing but a doctor's union!) cares only about PROFITS FOR THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY(!) and is responsible for the wrongful deaths of 100,000 people in the United States EVERY YEAR. DO YOUR RESEARCH! You HAVE the Internet!

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 1:22 AM

Pure inner leaf gel aloe will not create any problems with your intestines, will NOT cause them "to become black," and has NO RISK for cancer! The information disseminated about the finding of the risk for cancer are not credible BECAUSE they DID NOT reveal the truth that the information DID NOT TELL THE PUBLIC that the study was ON WHOLE LEAF ALOE AND NOT INNER LEAF ONLY!. In other words, the dissemination of the information was deceptive and dishonest for its FAILURE TO DIFFERENTIATE between inner and outer leaf characteristics. It WAS NOT RESEARCH ONLY ON INNER LEAF GEL! THAT'S DISHONEST!

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 1:10 AM

(cont.4)

different names but they come from the same farm and are processed with the same equipment, the same way. Natural Aloe is the name of the new company. That is the product which I now use every day and love it. It is a pure white freeze dried aloe completely free of anthraquinones and aloin and there are no negative effects. I've been taking the product on a daily basis for almost a year and it's done nothing but good for me.

Mannatech does not sell Manapol® by itself, but they do sell it in capsules combined with calcium and lecithin for an exorbitant MLM price.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 1:00 AM

(cont.3)

Originally, the process was patented and the Trademarked name of the product was 'Manapol', both owned by Carrington Labs and originally sold only by Mannatech.

Carrington Labs began to have financial difficulties and eventually went bankrupt. By that time the patent had expired. They sold the trademark name to Mannatech, who refused to buy the manufacturing plant and farm, which was sold to a group of Latin American businessmen who trademarked the new name for the product, which is Verapol.

Though Mannatech would like it to be kept secret, Manapol and Verapol are the same product with

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 12:50 AM

(cont.2)

Dr. Bill McAnalley, working for Carrington Labs (now defunct) researched what caused the rapid deterioration in the efficacy of the inner leaf gel and found it to be the aloin released when the outer leaf is cut! Dr. McAnalley's research discovered how to process the aloe. First, to completely separate the harmful anthraquinones and aloin by washing the gel in pharmaceutical grade alcohol and then freeze drying the aloe. The resultant product, according to Dr. McAnalley, was never found to deteriorate, although the manufacturing facility puts a five year shelf life on the product.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 12:43 AM

George's Aloe does not contain aloin or anthraquinones and will not cause those problems. You bought an aloe product from an unscrupulous manufacturer. This is why I previously mentioned that there is a great lack of integrity in the aloe industry. Don't buy just any aloe product. Read reviews and make sure you're buying only the inner leaf.

Now, it's very important that people understand that the aloin in the outer leaf DESTROYS the value of the inner leaf gel and that's way manufacturers REFUSE to tell their customers how they separate the aloin from the inner leaf gel!

(to be continued)

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 12:33 AM

There are no "risks" when taking only the beneficial inner leaf gel if it has been prudently separated from the anthraquinones and aloin in the outer leaf. It's MUCH EASIER and CHEAPER to process the whole leaf and unscrupulous manufacturers, along with those ignorant about the characteristics of the various constituents of the plant perpetuate myths..

Unfortunately, the inner leaf gel is so beneficial that there are many who are pleased to decieve the public on the benefits of this marvelous plant which has long been known to provide healing both internally and externally.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Your words are DISHONEST BECAUSE YOU DID NOT DIFFERENTIATE between the clear inner leaf gel which is IN NO WAY CARCINOGENIC and the green outer leaf which contains anthraquinones and aloin which attack the functional component of the CLEAR gel and render it ineffective both internally and externally, in addition to being the things that are considered cancer causing.

YOUR REFUSAL to distinguish between the two very different parts of the aloe plant is a HUGE ERROR and perpetuates FALLACIES AND LIES about aloe vera.

YOU OWE EVERYONE AN APOLOGY for your presumptuous and ignorant disinformation!

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 02, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Part 2

Regarding peristalsis, there are natural herbs that will significantly help you. One product that I personally know is good is Detoxilean by SwansonVitamins.

Also, if you think you need detoxing, Spirulina, Chlorella and Cilantro are all natural detoxers that are healthy for you and will remove accumulated toxins. If you like Cilantro, just load it up in your favorite dishes.

Remember the benefits of fasting for internal healing, but if you've got health problems do that with the guidance of someone who's qualified to help you. Use the Internet to confirm my words.

I hope you improve soon!

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 02, 2014 at 6:45 PM

It sounds to me that the company that supplies your aloe doesn't have a quality product. The inner leaf gel IS NOT A RISK FOR CANCER--ONLY the outer leaf!

If you like liquid, then I'd suggest George's Aloe, not because of personal experience, but because of the many recommendations I've heard for it.I'd also personally recommend Manuka honey because of my research and personal experience with it. Although it's very expensive (about $40 for a half kilo), it is an amazing product and will heal you internally. I recommend you take a good quality aloe product along with Manuka honey immediately!

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2
2904 · January 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM

^Eat some raw kidney beans

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41544 · December 29, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Meh, lectin phobia...

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6 Answers

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5
1
10994 · January 01, 2013 at 2:37 AM

Nobody should be consuming aloe in any significant amounts for prolonged amounts of time considering components in it have been found to be carcinogenic. Find another way, period.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Your words are DISHONEST BECAUSE YOU DID NOT DIFFERENTIATE between the clear inner leaf gel which is IN NO WAY CARCINOGENIC and the green outer leaf which contains anthraquinones and aloin which attack the functional component of the CLEAR gel and render it ineffective both internally and externally, in addition to being the things that are considered cancer causing.

YOUR REFUSAL to distinguish between the two very different parts of the aloe plant is a HUGE ERROR and perpetuates FALLACIES AND LIES about aloe vera.

YOU OWE EVERYONE AN APOLOGY for your presumptuous and ignorant disinformation!

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0
0 · July 02, 2014 at 6:24 PM

OOPS, forgive the "you're" for "your" in the 3rd sentence of the last paragraph.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0
0 · July 02, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Some people here need some serious education on aloe vera! There are many constituents of the plant and the con men who sell you whole leaf aloe are screwing you. The inner leaf gel, uncontaminated by the anthraquinones and aloin in the outer leaf will be a Godsend for IBS or any other digestive issue and can be used perpetually without negative side effects or harm! I take aloe every day and it's only beneficial. But, I would never consider that for one minute with "whole leaf" aloe! It's the outer leaf that causes all the problems. There are those who argue for benefits from the outer leaf, but the anthraquinones and aloin in outer leaf of aloe vera are seriously problematic and should be avoided.

Add Manuka honey to the mix and you've get two wonderful things. Make sure your aloe is either fresh or that you know the character of the manufacturer and the quality because the industry as a whole CANNOT be trusted.

There are many solutions and remedies for constipation. One thing you can probably safely assume is that you're deficient in magnesium and you can safely add that very cheap supplement to your diet along with several grams of Vitamin C. 400-1000 mgs of magnesium and 3-6 grams of Vit. C will probably instantly show an improvement with constipation but, of course, constipation is also affected by your diet so search out what things you're eating that negatively affect that and look at foods that will improve that, but one of doctors biggest crimes in this area is not telling their patients that magnesium supplementation might just completely eliminate constipation as a problem.

Regarding Vit. C, unless you're taking Vit. C with lysine (as part of the Pauling Therapy to reverse heart disease) then you should take only a gram of Vit. C at a time because your body will flush out the excess.

If you're a guy and you have any concern about heart disease, then go to PaulingTherapy dot com and look at their recommendations. It's something the medical industry won't tell you because they make too many millions in operations to tell you that you can stop and reverse heart disease with Vit. C, Lysine and Proline. I've seen a substantial improvement with the Pauling Therapy. BTW, don't fall for the "all in one" packages. It's cheaper and your products will last longer (moisture issues) if you buy the three products separately.

I love aloe. If you can tell the difference when you take aloe, you've got a decent product. If you can't, then, either your digestive system is in perfect shape or your aloe is crappy. Don't trust aloe producers. Buy only from companies who'll refund your money if you're not happy. I like the product I take so much, I became a distributor!

C414223de43d5247ef7f2cdfee24fdd7
0
0 · March 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I have been taking Aloe Vera for two years now. Everyday to promote peristalsis. I have serious IBS/constipation. Now it seems I don't have IBS. I have colonic inertia. The aloe vera helped. But now it does not. I did not know it caused the intestines to become black and was a risk for cancer. How long would a person need to take Aloe to have a risk of cancer? I took the recommended dose of one or two ounces a day.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 1:22 AM

Pure inner leaf gel aloe will not create any problems with your intestines, will NOT cause them "to become black," and has NO RISK for cancer! The information disseminated about the finding of the risk for cancer are not credible BECAUSE they DID NOT reveal the truth that the information DID NOT TELL THE PUBLIC that the study was ON WHOLE LEAF ALOE AND NOT INNER LEAF ONLY!. In other words, the dissemination of the information was deceptive and dishonest for its FAILURE TO DIFFERENTIATE between inner and outer leaf characteristics. It WAS NOT RESEARCH ONLY ON INNER LEAF GEL! THAT'S DISHONEST!

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 02, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Part 2

Regarding peristalsis, there are natural herbs that will significantly help you. One product that I personally know is good is Detoxilean by SwansonVitamins.

Also, if you think you need detoxing, Spirulina, Chlorella and Cilantro are all natural detoxers that are healthy for you and will remove accumulated toxins. If you like Cilantro, just load it up in your favorite dishes.

Remember the benefits of fasting for internal healing, but if you've got health problems do that with the guidance of someone who's qualified to help you. Use the Internet to confirm my words.

I hope you improve soon!

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 02, 2014 at 6:45 PM

It sounds to me that the company that supplies your aloe doesn't have a quality product. The inner leaf gel IS NOT A RISK FOR CANCER--ONLY the outer leaf!

If you like liquid, then I'd suggest George's Aloe, not because of personal experience, but because of the many recommendations I've heard for it.I'd also personally recommend Manuka honey because of my research and personal experience with it. Although it's very expensive (about $40 for a half kilo), it is an amazing product and will heal you internally. I recommend you take a good quality aloe product along with Manuka honey immediately!

Cd2bb2cbc853c98ebb5984b47f63dadb
0
0 · March 06, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I drank Aloe Vera like 3 jugs and 4th very little and now I have problems with bowels right after I finished using aloe vera. Now I am totally confused did not consider Aloin laxative in this product.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 1:10 AM

(cont.4)

different names but they come from the same farm and are processed with the same equipment, the same way. Natural Aloe is the name of the new company. That is the product which I now use every day and love it. It is a pure white freeze dried aloe completely free of anthraquinones and aloin and there are no negative effects. I've been taking the product on a daily basis for almost a year and it's done nothing but good for me.

Mannatech does not sell Manapol® by itself, but they do sell it in capsules combined with calcium and lecithin for an exorbitant MLM price.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 1:00 AM

(cont.3)

Originally, the process was patented and the Trademarked name of the product was 'Manapol', both owned by Carrington Labs and originally sold only by Mannatech.

Carrington Labs began to have financial difficulties and eventually went bankrupt. By that time the patent had expired. They sold the trademark name to Mannatech, who refused to buy the manufacturing plant and farm, which was sold to a group of Latin American businessmen who trademarked the new name for the product, which is Verapol.

Though Mannatech would like it to be kept secret, Manapol and Verapol are the same product with

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 12:50 AM

(cont.2)

Dr. Bill McAnalley, working for Carrington Labs (now defunct) researched what caused the rapid deterioration in the efficacy of the inner leaf gel and found it to be the aloin released when the outer leaf is cut! Dr. McAnalley's research discovered how to process the aloe. First, to completely separate the harmful anthraquinones and aloin by washing the gel in pharmaceutical grade alcohol and then freeze drying the aloe. The resultant product, according to Dr. McAnalley, was never found to deteriorate, although the manufacturing facility puts a five year shelf life on the product.

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 12:43 AM

George's Aloe does not contain aloin or anthraquinones and will not cause those problems. You bought an aloe product from an unscrupulous manufacturer. This is why I previously mentioned that there is a great lack of integrity in the aloe industry. Don't buy just any aloe product. Read reviews and make sure you're buying only the inner leaf.

Now, it's very important that people understand that the aloin in the outer leaf DESTROYS the value of the inner leaf gel and that's way manufacturers REFUSE to tell their customers how they separate the aloin from the inner leaf gel!

(to be continued)

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823
0
9402 · December 29, 2012 at 7:01 PM

For the normal healthy person, I'd agree that it probably makes no sense to consume aloe because as you say the potential risks likely outweigh any benefits. However, if you have a specific disease which aloe might help cure, then that might change the equation. E.g., if you have active ulcerative colitis, and IF the aloe could help, the benefits might outweigh the risks (because ulcerative colitis sucks):

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15043514

1fd228913889bd38ba261ae40144c8e7
0 · July 03, 2014 at 12:33 AM

There are no "risks" when taking only the beneficial inner leaf gel if it has been prudently separated from the anthraquinones and aloin in the outer leaf. It's MUCH EASIER and CHEAPER to process the whole leaf and unscrupulous manufacturers, along with those ignorant about the characteristics of the various constituents of the plant perpetuate myths..

Unfortunately, the inner leaf gel is so beneficial that there are many who are pleased to decieve the public on the benefits of this marvelous plant which has long been known to provide healing both internally and externally.

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