From FLP,

aloe veraA Comprehensive Aloe Vera Study

Reduces Arthritic Swelling:  Aloe can help prevent arthritis and reduce the inflammation in joints already affected by arthritis, according to the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. It can also inhibit the autoimmune reaction associated with certain forms of arthritis, in which the body attacks its own tissues.  Animals were injected with a bacterium to cause arthritic symptoms, namely inflammation and swelling. To determine if it could prevent arthritis, aloe (150mg/kg body weight) was injected under the skin daily for 13 days. Physical measurements were taken daily to determine the amount of swelling and inflammation.  Several compounds showed ant arthritic activity, according to the researchers. One organic acid in aloe reduced inflammation by 79.7% and suppressed the autoimmune response by 42.4%. Another aloe compound (anthraquinone) reduced inflammation by 67.3% but had no effect on the autoimmune response.

Curtailing HIV Infection:  An extract of mannose, one of the sugars in aloe, can inhibit HIV-1 (the virus associated with AIDS). In a 1991 study in Molecular Biotherapy, HIV-1 cells were treated in vitro (outside the body) with a mannose extract. Aloe slowed virus reproduction by as much as 30%, reduced viral load (total amount of the virus), suppressed the spread of the virus from infected cells, and increased the viability (chance of survival) of infected cells.

Nutritional Support for HIV Patients:  Aloe Vera juice proved to be an effective part of a nutritional support program for HIV+ patients according to the Journal of Advancement in Medicine. For four months, 29 patients were given 100% pure juice (five ounces, four times daily) along with an essential fatty acid supplement and another supplement containing vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Patients were told to continue with their normal diet and not to take other supplements.  After 90 days, all of the patients had fewer occurrences of opportunistic infections, thrush, fatigue, and diarrhea, as well as increased white blood cell counts (meaning their immune systems were responding positively). Their assessment of overall quality of health also improved. In 25% of the patients, aloe apparently knocked out the virus's ability to reproduce. Researchers found that aloe (the mannose extract and perhaps other compounds) stimulates the body's immune system, particularly T4 helper cells, white blood cells that activate the immune response to infection.

Stimulates Immune Response Against Cancer:  Aloe may help prolong survival time and stimulate the immune system of cancer patients, according to recent research. In a 1994 study in the Japanese medical journal Yakhak Hoeji, mice with cancerous tumors were given aloe orally for 14 days. While it did not suppress tumor growth, the average life span of the mice was prolonged by 22% for those given 50mg aloe/kg body weight and by 32% for those given 100mg/kg daily. A simultaneous experiment on human cancer cells (outside the body) found that high doses significantly suppressed the growth of these cancer cells.  Researchers writing in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy found that a compound (lectin) from aloe, when injected directly into tumors, activated the immune system to attack the cancer. Killer T cells, white blood cells that bind to invading cells and destroy them, began to attack the tumor cells injected with lectin.  Aloe turns on the immune system by activating macrophages (white blood cells which "swallow" antigens), causing the release of immune-activating (and anticancer) substances such as interferons, interleukines, and tumor necrosis factor. In addition, aloe promotes the growth of normal (non-cancerous) cells, researchers said.

Benefits Lung Cancer:  Aloe's protective effect was confirmed in a study of 673 lung cancer patients in Okinawa, Japan, published in the Japanese Journal of Cancer Research. This survey looked at the connection between smoking, comparative amounts of 17 plant foods in the diet, and the occurrence of lung cancer over a five-year period.  It was the only one of the plant foods that was protective against cancer. "The results of plant epidemiology suggests that aloe prevents human pulmonary carcinogenesis ," stated the researchers. Further, it is "widely preventive or suppressive against various human cancers."

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Benefit of Aloe Vera

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