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Currently millions of people around the world consume Aloe Vera. The extensive experience and multiple investigations have confirmed that it is a powerful cell regenerator with surprising results in multiple conditions.
The healing potential of aloe lies in the 200 active substances contained in its leaves, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, polysaccharides and enzymes. The natural combination of these components produces inimitable effects by other known treatments.
Some of the elements found in your acíbar are:
Betacaroteno | Vitamina B1 | Vitamina B2 | Acido fólico |Vitamina C | Vitamina B3 | Vitamina B6 | Vitamina E | Colina
Calcio | Magnesio | Sodio | Cobre | Hierro | Manganeso | Potasio | Cinc | Cromo | Cloro
Lisina * | Treonina * | Valina * | Metionina * | Leucina * | Isoleucina * | Fenilalanina * | Triptofano * | Histidina | Arginina | Hidroxyprolina | Acido aspártico | Serina | Acido glutámico | Prolina | Glicerina | Alanita | Cistina | Tirosina |
Aloína | Isobarbaloína | Barbaloína | Acido cinámico | Emodina | Emodina de Aloe | Estero de ácido cinámico | Antracena | Antranol | Acido aloético | Aceites etéreos | Resistanoles | Acido crisofánico
Celulosa | Glucosa | Manosa | Galactosa | Aldonentosa | L-ranosa | Acido urónico | Xilosa | Acido glucurónico | Arabinosa | Acemanano
Oxidasa | Amilasa | Catalasa | Lipasa | Alinasa | Bradiquininasa
Thoroughly studied from the chemical, biochemical and pharmacological point of view, a series of active molecules that act synergistically, favoring its extraordinary and polyvalent therapeutic properties, have been isolated from its juice. Among the large number of substances that act as active ingredients, anthraquinones (purgatives and laxatives) deserve mention; saponins (antiseptic); mannose phosphate (healing); acemannan (antiinflammatory and immunostimulant); mucilages (emollients); glycoproteins and oligoelements (Ca, Mg, P, K, Zn, Cu), etc.
Aloe vera is a broad source of essential micronutrients (Na 3660 mg / 100 g, Ca 3319 mg / 100 g, Mg 1536 mg / 100 g, K 4060 mg / 100 g) and active phytochemicals, such as ascorbic acid (127.6 mg / 100g), tocopherols or vitamin E (0.217 mg / 100 g) and total phenolic compounds (79.2 mg gallic acid equivalents / 100 g), which are capable of reducing the free radicals that cause the oxidation reactions associated with various conditions and diseases, such as aging, cardiovascular diseases and carcinogenesis, among others (Loots et al., 2007; McInerney et al., 2007; Miranda et al., 2009).
The amount of micronutrients and active phytochemicals of Aloe vera is similar and sometimes higher than the content reported for other natural sources rich in these compounds; for example orange (sodium 1 mg / 100 g, calcium 46 mg / 100 g, 11 mg / 100 g, potassium 200 mg / 100 g, ascorbic acid 31 mg / 100 g), the nut that is reported as a rich source of vitamin E (Na 2 mg / 100 g, Ca 92 mg / 100 g, Mg 131 mg / 100 g, K 450 mg / 100 g, Vitamin E 25 mg / 100 g), it has also been reported that red wine is a rich source of phenolic compounds (65-165 mg gallic acid / L), (De Chávez et al., 1992; Ojeda, 2007).
Also, due to the wide biological activity of the Aloe vera plant and its multiple and different uses, it has been essential to establish the relationships between the components of the plant and their biological effects, and as mentioned earlier, the development is also important. of efficient processing methods that allow to preserve and maintain the bioactive chemical entities present naturally (Choi and Chung, 2003). Most published scientific studies of aloe refer to the classification of the plant itself or its components. Likewise, while many studies have been conducted on the components of aloe, research on which of these chemical components have biological activity is scarce. For this reason, in recent years some research has been carried out regarding the biological activity of aloe and its effect with different pathologies. Below are some works that show the different biological activities that the plant has.
Kosif et al. (2008) investigated the effect Aloe vera in the central nervous system of Wistar Albino rats, these were fed daily for 3 weeks by means of a probe with a dose of fresh aloe of 25 mg / kg. Samples of brain tissue, cerebellum, hippocampus and ventricular area were analyzed by means of histological sections and stains with hematoxylin, eosin and cresyl violet and observed with light microscopy. The results indicated that the aloe vera extract has no toxic effect on the neurons or glial cells of the central nervous system of each tissue studied. It was observed that there were no changes in the Nissl bodies, in the axons or in the nuclei of the neurons, since the cytoplasmic characteristics of these were the same after the treatment. However, the relationship between Purkinje cells and the surrounding cerebellar tissue was considerably reduced in the treated group. Another important finding was the change of the ependymal cells in the ventricular zone, the number and size of these cells increased markedly. Some areas of the simple tissue changed to stratified tissue. It was also observed that the microvilli and the cilia in the apical zone of these cells and the capillaries in the region of the choroid plexus were considerably increased. Although important morphological changes were found, the authors concluded that more studies are required to understand the action mechanism (s) of aloe and its effect on the central nervous system.
Gastrointestinal diseases such as gastric ulcer, Crohn's disease, gastritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and even infections due to bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori are considered a factor in the development of acute chronic lesions of the gastric mucosa (James et al., 1992). In a study Suvitayavat et al. (2004) evaluated the effect of an Aloe vera preparation on a gastric fistula model in rats. The preparation of aloe inhibited the production of gastric acid, stimulated pepsin and mucous secretions in the treated rats.
In another study for the treatment of moderate to mild ulcerative colitis, the aloe juice ingested for 4 weeks produced a clinical response in the human patients with more intense colitis compared to patients who ingested only the placebo, it was also observed that reduced activity of the disease and histological results showed that ulcerative colitis decreased significantly during aloe treatment (Langmead et al., 2004a). In another study Langmead et al. (2004b) evaluated the effects of Aloe vera in vitro in the production of reactive methanocytes to oxygen, eicosanoids and interleukin-8, which can be associated with inflammatory bowel disease. The antioxidant activity of the juice extracted from aloe vera was evaluated through two methods: one was the generation of free radicals and the other chemiluminescence with cells incubated from the colorectal mucosa. The juice of Aloe vera had a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on the production of oxygen-reactive metabolites. With this study, the authors concluded that the anti-inflammatory activity of aloe juice in vitro can have a therapeutic effect in inflammatory bowel disease.
In another work, the effect of an ethanolic extract to 70% of the complete leaf of aloe vera in acute lesions of the gastric mucosa induced by the production of HCL 0.6M in the pylorus of Wistar rats was studied and the extract presented a strong activity as a gastro-protective agent against lesions induced in the mucosa; in this study it is concluded that aloe vera juice is endowed with actions against the secretory activity of gastric acid and can protect the gastric mucosa in low concentrations of harmful agents and that it is possible to use the extract in the treatment of peptic ulcer (Yusuf et al., 2004).
Davis et al. (2006) conducted studies in humans that show the beneficial effects of aloe in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and in ulcerative colitis. The results of this study showed that the ingestion of aloe vera is safe and that it could benefit patients with predominant diarrhea or with constipation in IBS.
Pogribna et al. (2008) investigated the effect of aloe or aloe extract on cultures of pure and mixed bacteria of the human intestine, by evaluating bacterial growth and changes in the production of short chain fatty acids. The results indicated that Aloe vera has bacteriogenic activity in vitro and that it alters the production of acetic, propionic and butyric acids of the microorganisms selected for the study. These results suggest that the consumption of a dietary supplement based on aloe can alter the production of short chain fatty acids by the human intestinal microflora.
Kim et al. (2009) used 4-week-old mice that were fed a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet and were given aloe vera for 8 weeks. Administration of Aloe decreased the blood glucose levels of the mice and decreased the size of the adipocytes. With this study it was demonstrated that the oral administration of Aloe vera to an in vivo model can be used in the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus.
In another investigation, different extracts of aloe were obtained with petroleum ether, chloroform, methanol and distilled water; All extracts were studied to evaluate the hepatoprotective activity in an in vivo model (Swiss albino mice), to which liver damage was induced. In this study it was shown that the aqueous extract has a hepatoprotective potential and was confirmed with histopathological studies in the liver tissue of mice (Chandan et al., 2007).
Yongchaiyudha et al. (1996) conducted a study with 72 diabetic women who were given a dose of one tablespoon of Aloe vera and the control group a placebo for 42 days. The results obtained revealed that the blood glucose levels were reduced from 250 mg to 141 mg in the experimental group percentage, while the controls did not show significant changes. In addition, cholesterol, serum triglycerides, weight and appetite were also monitored. With the exception of triglyceride levels that were significantly reduced in the active treatment group, no change was detected in the control group and the other variables remained unchanged in both groups.
On the other hand, it has been observed that Aloe vera can have a very important role in lowering the levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein) and TG (triacylglycerides), since it can significantly increase HDL cholesterol ( high density lipoprotein), due to plant sterols (sterol, cytosterol), organic germanium, chromium, acemannan, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes (Dixit and Joshi, 1983).
Cholesterol is a very important fat for the organism, since it is found in each and every one of its cells. This fatty substance is manufactured by the liver and used by the body in the construction of cell membranes, constitution of bile acids and production of hormones. High levels of LDL cholesterol are related to cardiovascular problems, since if there is an excess of this fat in the blood, it accumulates in the walls of the arteries forming a plaque that narrows the vessel's lumen. This narrowness is known as atherosclerosis. The cholesterol known as HDL has an opposite action, that is, acts as a cleanser, since it liberates the walls of the vessels from the accumulation of the sclerous plaque (Glylling et al., 1995; Ntanios et al., 2003). Dixit and Joshi (1983) conducted a study with monkeys where they observed that aloe vera juice administered orally reduced total cholesterol by 61% and an increase in the content of high density lipoproteins (HDL), the researchers postulate that The action of aloe on cholesterol is not due to only one of its components, but to a collective effect of all the substances that are part of its complex chemical composition. In another study, the efficacy of Aloe vera in patients with hyperlipidemia was examined (Vogler and Ernest, 1999). Nasiff et al. (1993) conducted a controlled clinical trial in 60 patients with hyperlipidemia who previously had not responded to dietary interventions. Patients received 10 ml or 20 ml of Aloe vera or placebo daily for a period of 12 weeks. Blood lipid levels were measured before treatment and after four, eight and twelve weeks. Total cholesterol decreased by 15.4% and 15.5%, triglycerides by 25.2% and 31.9%, low density lipoprotein (LDL) by 18.9% and 18.2%, respectively in the groups that received aloe.
It has been found that some polysaccharides of aloe have antioxidant properties and protective effects in cells of animal origin (Wu et al., 2006). Chun-Hui et al., (2007) report that the antioxidant properties depend on the degree of acetylation, the molecular weight, the type of sugars and the glycosidic bond of the polysaccharides present in aloe; they conducted studies on the whole aloe vera plant as well as its structural components and characterized the chemical components and evaluated the antioxidant activities of the polysaccharides extracted from the pulp and the exocarp of aloe leaves. They found that isolated polysaccharides called GAPS-1 (pulp) and SAPS-1 (exocarp) are composed of mannose: glucose: galactose in proportions of 120: 2: 3 and 296: 36: 1 and with molecular weights of 1.74 x 105 and 3.97 x 104 Da, respectively. A strong superoxide radical removal activity was found for the two extracted polysaccharides, on the other hand, moderate activities of hydroxyl radical removal and inhibition of lipid peroxidation were found. Finally, they concluded that the polysaccharide extracted from aloe has a greater antioxidant activity than the isolate of the exocarp, and this may be due to the fact that it has a higher concentration of acetyl groups.
In another study, Lee et al. (2000) isolated and characterized a potent phenolic compound from a methanol extract of aloe. The compound was shown to have an antioxidant activity equal to α-tocopherol in an in vitro assay using the rat brain.
Another study revealed that ethanolic extracts of aloe juice have a strong activity of elimination of free radicals and that this activity is much greater than aloe vera powder and mention that the antioxidant effect is related to the maturity of the plant (Zheng and Wang, 2001). Hu et al. (2003) evaluated the antioxidant activity of aloe extracts from different stages of maturity. They determined the concentrations of polysaccharides and flavonoids of leaves of 2, 3 and 4 years of maturity, and their antioxidant activity was evaluated comparing them with α-tocopherol and BHT (butyl hydroxytoluene). The results obtained indicate that all the extracts of aloe had a considerable antioxidant activity. The three-year-old leaf aloe extract showed that it had a high radical elimination activity (72.19%), which is significantly higher than that of BHT (70.52%) and α-tocopherol (65.20%). The data obtained suggest that the stage of maturity plays an important role in the composition and antioxidant activity of aloe vera. In addition to using organic solvents for the extraction of antioxidant compounds, other extractive methods such as supercritical extraction have been proposed.