Aloe vera has been used in traditional medicine for many years. The gel contained in the leaf of an aloe plant has been utilized in skincare products for centuries due to its healing, soothing, and moisturizing properties.
But recent studies suggest that aloe vera may also help regulate blood sugar levels. So, in this article, we are going to explore more on what experts say about aloe vera for diabetes and how you can use the plant to keep your glucose levels in check.
Related: Aloe Vera Benefits For Men
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a health condition that occurs when the levels of your blood sugar (blood glucose) are too high. Blood glucose comes from the different foods you eat and is your body’s primary source of energy.
The pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone that helps your body cells absorb the glucose obtained from food. If your body is not using insulin properly or is not producing enough insulin, then glucose will remain in your blood and won’t reach the cells.
Accumulation of glucose in the blood over time can lead to health problems. Even though diabetes isn’t curable, there are steps you could take to manage blood sugar levels and stay healthy.
Some signs and symptoms of diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme hunger
- Slow healing of wounds
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections
- Ketones in the urine
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Types Of Diabetes
1. Type 1 Diabetes
There is no concrete research that explains the cause of type 1 diabetes. What researchers have explained is that in type 1 diabetes, your immune system attacks your pancreas, destroying the insulin-producing cells.
This means that your body produces little or no insulin at all. Hence, the glucose that should be transported into the cells accumulates in the bloodstream.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, your body cells begin to resist insulin and the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to fight this resistance. Consequently, glucose mounts up in your blood instead of moving into the cells where it is required for energy.
No one knows why this happens exactly, but some experts have linked it to environmental and genetic factors. Obesity, for instance, is strongly believed to cause this type of diabetes, but not every person with type 2 diabetes is obese or overweight.
3. Gestation Diabetes
When you are pregnant, your placenta secretes different types of hormones to sustain and keep the pregnancy healthy. Some of these hormones could make your cells resistant to insulin.
In normal circumstances, your pancreas will respond by producing more insulin to defeat the resistance. However, not all times your pancreas will keep up with the resistance. If this happens, only a little glucose will be absorbed into the cells. The rest will remain in the bloodstream, causing gestation diabetes.
How Aloe Vera Helps With Diabetes
The healing properties of aloe vera are found both in the gel and the latex of the aloe leaves. However, the anti-diabetes properties are only found in the aloe vera gel, not in the latex.
Aloe vera gel is rich in glucomannan, a dietary fiber that easily dissolves in water and helps bring blood sugar to lower levels. Also, one of the most notable characteristics of diabetes is a slow wound healing process. Aloe vera has been found to contain antibacterial properties that help speed up the healing of wounds.
Though the exact mechanism through which blood sugar is modulated is unknown, experts have argued that blood sugar is lowered in two different ways, all of which involve increasing insulin production and decreasing insulin resistance.
Drinking aloe vera juice that contains a considerable amount of gel suppresses adipogenic genes, which decreases the toxic impact of lipids to the liver, minimizing insulin resistance.
The production of insulin is achieved by lowering the levels of oxidative stress, a component responsible for most diabetic complications. High levels of oxidative stress can kill pancreas cells, compromising the production of insulin.
In a study conducted in Iran on aloe vera and diabetes control, aloe vera was found to have the ability to hinder superoxide anions, hence reversing oxidative stress. Patients who were drinking or eating aloe vera regularly recorded a significant improvement in their glucose levels.
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Possible Benefits Of Aloe Vera For Diabetes
Even though more research needs to be conducted on aloe vera and diabetes management, reports that have already been published show that aloe vera could have the following benefits for diabetes patients:
- Reduced fasting blood sugar levels: Experts suggest that using aloe vera can help lower fasting blood sugar levels. It may also aid with body fat reduction and weight loss.
- Lower HbA1c levels: Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) is the type of hemoglobin that is bound to sugar/glucose. HbA1c levels are a reflection of how well blood sugar is controlled. In several studies, aloe vera was found to reduce HbA1c in diabetes patients.
- Almost no side effects: In all the studies conducted on the use of aloe vera for diabetes, most patients have been found to tolerate aloe vera without experiencing any side effects.
How To Use Aloe Vera For Diabetes
The research into aloe vera and diabetes is still preliminary, so don’t rush into making aloe vera gel or juice a replacement for your current diabetes medication just yet.
Also, as it stands, there is no official recommendation for diabetes patients to drink aloe vera juice or use aloe supplements. This is because there is no consensus so far about the amount of dosage that would be most suitable.
Participants in most of the studies conducted on aloe vera and diabetes used various forms of aloe vera and various dosage amounts. Some drank aloe vera juice. Other aloe capsules containing acemannan, a polysaccharide found in aloe vera, known to improve the body’s immunity. Since all of these regulate blood sugar in their different ways, it can be quite difficult to gauge what works for everyone without further research.
If you are looking to add aloe vera to your diabetes treatment plan, consider checking with your doctor first. Aloe vera is known to interact with certain diabetes medications and could reduce their efficacy.
Related: How To Make Aloe Vera Gel
What Are The Risks Of Using Aloe Vera For Diabetes?
Experts caution on mixing aloe vera with diabetes medication because, as we stated earlier, aloe vera lowers blood sugar levels. When used together with drugs meant for a similar purpose, aloe vera could send your glucose levels crashing.
You could end up with hypoglycemia, a medical condition in which the levels of your blood sugar are dangerously low. This could result in shakiness, sweating, dizziness, and sometimes even unconsciousness.
Also, some people use aloe vera for constipation, as the plant’s laxative properties have been found quite effective in softening stool and relieving constipation. However, consuming laxatives can reduce the efficacy of any other oral diabetes drugs you may be taking.
Your body will not be able to absorb your diabetes medication effectively. And when your diabetes drugs are not working, blood sugar levels would be difficult to control, which could lead to problems like high blood glucose.
If you are a diabetes patient, double-check with your doctor first, if you are going to consume aloe vera latex to ease constipation. The laxative effects of the plant may have grim and potentially deadly side effects.
Related: Aloe Vera For Constipation
Q: Can Aloe Vera Cure Diabetes 2?
Preliminary studies suggest that consuming aloe vera can help lower blood sugar levels. So yes, aloe vera may be used to cure type 2 diabetes. However, further research is needed to determine the appropriate amount of dosage to completely keep blood glucose in check.Related: Aloe Vera For Gums
Q: Does Aloe Vera Contain Sugar?
Unlike most juices in the market today, a 5-ounce serving of aloe juice contains no sugar, which is why aloe vera is perfect for people watching their sugar intake.
Q: Is it Good To Drink Aloe Vera Juice Every Day?
Yes, you can drink aloe vera juice every day without experiencing any side effects. However, if you have diabetes, kidney problem, or any other serious health condition, you may want to check with your doctor before incorporating aloe into your diet.Related: Aloe Vera For Acid Reflux
Q: Can Aloe Help Regulate Blood Sugar?
Yes, aloe vera has been found to have impressive anti-diabetes properties that stimulate the production of insulin. This can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Q: Is Aloe Vera Bad For Kidneys?
Yes, juice that contains aloe vera latex can be hard on the kidneys. It could cause acute kidney failure and even death.Related: Does Aloe Vera Gel Expire
Globo Surf Overview
Aloe does seem like a great way to keep your blood sugar levels regulated. However, experts still feel that more research is needed to determine important elements like the appropriate method of preparation, the right dosage, etc.
Until more has been published on aloe vera for diabetes, it would be wise to stick to your prescribed diabetes treatment. Aloe vera lowers blood sugar levels, so be sure to consult your doctor before using it as treatment, especially if you are already taking other diabetes medications.
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