9 July 2012

Aloe Vera

 Aloe Vera is a stem less or very short stemmed succulent plant growing to 60–90 cm tall, spreading by offsets. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on the upper and lower stem surfaces. The margin of the leaf is serrated and has small white teeth. The flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 80 cm tall, each flower being pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm long. Like other Aloe species, Aloe vera forms arbuscular mycorrhiza, a symbiosis that allows the plant better access to mineral nutrients in soil.
Aloe vera is now widely used on facial tissues, where it is promoted as a moisturizer and/or anti-irritant to reduce chafing of the nose of users suffering hay-fever or cold. It is common practice for cosmetic companies to add sap or other derivatives from Aloe vera to products such as makeup, tissues, moisturizers, soaps, sunscreens, incense, shaving cream, and shampoos. Other uses for extracts of aloe vera include the dilution of semen for the artificial fertilization of sheep, use as fresh food preservative, and use in water conservation in small farms. It has also been suggested that biofuels could be obtained from Aloe vera seeds. Aloe is also used as a food substance. Some molecular gastronomists have begun to take advantage of its gelling properties. Perhaps the most notable among these is Chef Quique Dacosta's "Oysters Guggenheim," created at El Poblet in Spain.

Aloe vera juice is sold to support the health of the digestive system, but there is neither scientific evidence nor regulatory approval to support this claim. The extracts and quantities typically used for such purposes appear to be dose-dependent for toxic effects.

Aloin, a compound found in the exudates of some Aloe species, was the common ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) laxative products in the United States prior to 2003, when the Food and Drug Administration ruled that Aloin was a class III ingredient, thereby banning its use as Aloe vera has potential toxicity, with side-effects occurring at some dose levels both when ingested or applied topically. Although toxicity may be less when Aloin is removed by processing, aloe vera that contains Aloin in excess amounts may induce side-effects. A 2-year National Toxicology Program (NTP) study on oral consumption of non-decolorized whole leaf extract of aloe vera found evidence of carcinogenic activity in male and female rats. The NTP says more information is needed to determine the potential risks to humans. Aloe latex contains strong laxative compounds. Products made with various components of aloe (Aloin, aloe-emodin, and barbaloin) were at one time regulated by the FDA as oral over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives. In 2002, the FDA required that all OTC aloe laxative products be removed from the U.S. market or reformulated because the companies that manufactured them did not provide the necessary safety data.

  Use of topical aloe vera is not associated with significant side effects. 

  •  A 2-year National Toxicology Program (NTP) study on oral consumption of non-decolorized whole leaf extract of aloe vera found clear evidence of carcinogenic activity in male and female rats, based on tumors of the large intestine. According to the NTP, from what is known right now there is nothing that would lead them to believe that these findings are not relevant to humans. However, more information, including how individuals use different types of aloe vera products, is needed to determine the potential risks to humans.
  •  Abdominal cramps and diarrhea have been reported with oral use of aloe vera.
  •  Diarrhea, caused by the laxative effect of oral aloe vera, can decrease the absorption of many drugs.
  •  People with diabetes who use glucose-lowering medication should be cautious if also taking aloe by mouth because preliminary studies suggest aloe may lower blood glucose levels.
  •  There have been a few case reports of acute hepatitis from aloe vera taken orally. However, the evidence is not definitive.

Potential Drug Interactions :

  •  Aloe latex should not be taken internally if you are taking the following drugs: digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics, steroids, drugs for irregular heartbeat, and drugs that cause potassium loss.
  •  Aloe taken orally may cause blood sugar levels to become too low, especially if combined with blood sugar medications.
  •  Aloe appeared to interact with the general anesthetic sevoflurane in one report.
  •  A preliminary study on humans found that aloe vera increased the absorption of vitamins C and E.
  •  Aside from decreased absorption of levothyroxine and other medications, aloe vera juice may not be safe to take. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued its final ruling that aloe juice, aloe extracts and other aloe taken internally are not generally regarded as safe. Use of aloe supplements internally has been linked to thyroid dysfunction, acute hepatitis — inflammation of the liver — and perioperative bleeding. Internal use of whole leaf aloe vera extract has been linked to an increased risk of cancer in rats, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Ingestion Dangers :

  •  The ingestion of aloe juice or latex may also irritate the intestines when taken orally. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, aloe vera latex contains powerful laxative properties. Use of the aloin latex as a laxative may result in severe cramping and purging of the intestines. Misuse of Aloin may lead to excessive electrolyte loss and has subsequently been banned by the Food and Drug Administration as of 2002. The FDA ban restricts use of aloe vera latex in over-the-counter laxative medications.

  •  Because of its strong effects, aloe vera juice is not safe for some people. Pregnant women should never consume products containing aloe latex because it can cause strong uterine contractions and also may cause miscarriage or birth defects. Oral use of aloe products also may lower blood sugar levels, so it's not safe for use by people with diabetes who use drugs to lower their glucose levels. Because of its effects on blood sugar levels, you should not take aloe juice within two weeks of undergoing surgery. And because aloe juice can cause bowel contractions and irritate the intestines, people with digestive conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease should never take aloe juice. High doses of aloe latex may cause kidney damage or kidney failure.

Aloe Vera is now a known Genotoxic substance meaning it will alter our DNA structure that will affect our future generation adversely. Our donation of blood and other organs may affect the recipient. Cosmetic industry is so strong that it inhibits the further research and publishing of data on Genotoxicity study of Aloe Vera on humans. Regulatory authority simply considers Aloe Vera as “generally not regarded as safe”.

So women of world please thinks twice before you use it again. In quest of supple skin and beautiful body, you are leaving your progeny with genetic disorders. Our future generation will be more prone to unknown types of cancers.

For Tech Savvy : 

  •  The Genotoxic and antigenotoxic effects of Aloe vera leaf extract (AV) were investigated using the chromosome aberrations (CAs) test for the bone marrow cells of rats, sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and micronucleus (MN) and CAs tests for human lymphocytes, and the Ames Salmonella/microsome test system. In the bone marrow cells of rats, AV extract significantly induced structural and total CAs at all concentrations and in all treatment periods. In human peripheral lymphocytes, AV did not increase the mean SCE; however, it significantly induced the MN frequency and structural CAs. In addition, AV showed a cytotoxic effect by decreasing the replication index (RI), mitotic index (MI), and nuclear division index (NDI) in human lymphocytes and by decreasing the MI in the bone marrow cells of rats. AV did not decrease the genotoxicity or cytotoxicity of urethane (ethyl carbamate, EC) in the bone marrow cells of rats or in the mitomycin-C (MMC) in human lymphocytes. AV was a weak mutagen in the TA98 strain of Salmonella typhimurium in the absence of S9mix; however, AV+NPD (4-nitro-o-phenylenediamine) and AV+SA (sodium azide) exhibited a synergism in increasing the number of revertants for the TA98 and TA100 strains in the absence of S9mix, respectively.
  •  Aloe-emodin (AE) and derivatives may be present as undesired components co-extracted during extraction of plants containing anthraquinonic derivatives for preparation of diacetylrhein. AE is a well-known in vitro mutagen, but up to now it failed to induce any clear in vivo genotoxic activity in the chromosome aberration assay in rat bone marrow or the in vivo/in vitro UDS test in liver. However, the two target organs noted during rodent carcinogenicity studies with danthron and emodin, two other well-known anthraquinone derivatives, are the colon and the kidney. Therefore, the choice of the organs for testing the genotoxicity of AE, i.e. bone marrow and liver, may be considered inadequate to demonstrate a possible in vivo genotoxic activity. In this context, the in vivo mouse comet assay was performed on both isolated kidney and colon cells in order to demonstrate a possible organospecific genotoxicity after oral administration of AE. Concurrently, the Ames test and the in vitro micronucleus assay with TK6 human lymphoblastoid cells were performed in their microscale version both with S9 from Aroclor 1254-induced liver or kidney, and without S9. AE induced primary DNA damage in the liver and in the kidney as observed between 3 and 6h after two oral administrations at 500, 1000 and 2000mg/kg bw, underlining an in vivo genotoxic mechanism of action. Furthermore, AE induced a clear genotoxic activity both in the Salmonella typhimurium strains TA1537 and TA98 and in the in vitro micronucleus assay in the absence as well as in the presence of metabolic activation. As no significant variation in the genotoxic activity of AE was noted when using either liver or kidney S9-mix, it seems that no quantitatively and/or qualitatively specific renal metabolism occurs. The kidney may be a target organ of AE as it is the major route of excretion. Under such conditions the separation of AE components should take place and the residual content of undesired AE derivatives should be made as low as reasonably achievable. AE present in plant extracts should be considered as an in vivo genotoxin and this property should be taken into account in the risk assessment for human exposure.

1 comment:

  1. What are the different kinds