Saturday, November 18, 2017

Can Aloe Vera Prevent Heart Disease?

Being a type of plant native to Southern Africa, aloe vera is now mostly grown indoors all over the world. Apart from using as health foods, it is also used as ingredients for certain skin lotions and cosmetics.

The thick gel found in the leaf of the aloe vera plant has been used by ancient people for a wide range of applications, ranging from controlling irritation to keeping wounds clean, and soothing gastrointestinal upset. The gel is composed of 95 to 99 percent water along with glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Glycoproteins can stop pain and inflammation, while polysaccharides stimulate skin growth and repair, making aloe vera gel an excellent cream for accelerating the healing process in burns and wounds.

Aloe vera contains broad spectrum of essential nutrients and beneficial plant compounds, and about 75 different nutrients have been identified. Made from the gel of the plant’s leaves, aloe vera juice is rich in Vitamins A, C, D, E, and a combination of B Vitamins: B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, and niacin. It also contains such minerals as copper, magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, sodium, and iron as well as amino acids and at least 8 different types of enzymes.

In addition to boosting the immune system and helping detoxify the body, aloe vera juice can lower blood sugar levels in Type-2 diabetics. There is also evidence that the juice can help ease constipation though it is generally not recommended for digestive issues as it can cause some abdominal cramping or diarrhea.

Some studies had reported that taking aloe vera extract could decrease total cholesterol levels by anywhere between 10 percent and 15.5 percent, lower LDL cholesterol by at least 12 percent, and reduce triglyceride levels by anywhere between 25 percent and 31 percent. Meanwhile, a couple of studies noted that HDL levels were elevated between 7 percent and 9 percent. Lowering LDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels and raising HDL cholesterol levels can help heart disease prevention.

For instance, one study of 5,000 patients over 5 years found that participants had reductions in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels. Furthermore, there was a decrease in frequency of angina attack during the study period and patients had their drug dosages gradually reduced over time. By the end of the study, 85 percent of the patients had their heart rhythm return to normal on an ECG. The findings were published in journal ‘Angiology’ in August 1985.

Nevertheless, consumption of aloe vera juice in excess amount may lead to abdominal cramping, diarrhea, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. People who are being treated with medications of diabetes, digoxin or diuretics should talk to their doctor before using aloe vera. This is because aloe vera can help lower blood sugar level that may be potentially danger for people already suffering from low blood sugar. Meanwhile, capability of lowering potassium in aloe vera may cause potassium levels to fall too low when using aloe vera together with drugs for digoxin or diuretics.

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