Taking an aloe vera gel complex for eight weeks may help with weight loss in people who are obese or pre-diabetic, according to a study published in Nutrition in September 2013. The Center for Science in the Public Interest doesn't recommend internal use of aloe, however, because of the potential for serious adverse effects. Speak with your doctor before using any aloe vera product internally.
Consuming aloe vera gel is safer than consuming aloe vera latex, but not all products specify which parts of the aloe plant are included. Aloe latex can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, blood in the urine, kidney problems, muscle weakness, low potassium and heart disturbances. Aloe may lower blood sugar levels and can make intestinal conditions or hemorrhoids worse. It can interact with medications, including blood thinners, laxatives, diuretics and diabetes medications. Taking aloe internally may also increase your risk for hepatitis and cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
A Healthier Alternative
Make diet and lifestyle changes in a healthier way to lose weight. Increase your physical activity levels and eat fewer calories. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recommends filling up on vegetables, fruits, lean protein and whole grains and limiting the amount of refined grains, desserts, fatty foods and sweets you eat so that you get all the nutrients you need while consuming fewer calories. You need to create a deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per day to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, which is a healthy rate of weight loss.
- Nutrition: Metabolic Effects of Aloe Vera Gel Complex in Obese Prediabetes and Early Non-Treated Diabetic Patients: Randomized Controlled Trial
- MedlinePlus: Aloe
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: CSPI Says Consumers Should Avoid Aloe Vera Taken Orally
- American Cancer Society: Aloe
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Dieting That Works
- Photo Credit nicksmith156/iStock/Getty Images
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