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Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of a nondecolorized [corrected] whole leaf extract of Aloe barbadensis Miller (Aloe vera) in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice (drinking water study).

Erratum in

  • Natl Toxicol Program Tech Rep Ser. 2013 Aug;(577):1.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Extracts from the leaves of the Aloe vera plant (Aloe barbadensis Miller) have long been used as herbal remedies and are also now promoted as a dietary supplement, in liquid tonics, powders or tablets, as a laxative and to prevent a variety of illnesses. We studied the effects of Aloe vera extract on rats and mice to identify potential toxic or cancer-related hazards.

METHODS:

We gave solutions of nondecolorized extracts of Aloe vera leaves in the drinking water to groups of rats and mice for 2 years. Groups of 48 rats received solutions containing 0.5%, 1% or 1.5% of Aloe vera extract in the drinking water, and groups of mice received solutions containing 1%, 2%, or 3% of Aloe vera extract. Similar groups of animals were given plain drinking water and served as the control groups. At the end of the study tissues from more than 40 sites were examined for every animal.

RESULTS:

In all groups of rats and mice receiving the Aloe vera extract, the rates of hyperplasia in the large intestine were markedly increased compared to the control animals. There were also increases in hyperplasia in the small intestine in rats receiving the Aloe vera extract, increases in hyperplasia of the stomach in male and female rats and female mice receiving the Aloe vera extract, and increases in hyperplasia of the mesenteric lymph nodes in male and female rats and male mice receiving the Aloe vera extract. In addition, cancers of the large intestine occurred in male and female rats given the Aloe vera extract, though none had been seen in the control groups of rats for this and other studies at this laboratory.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that nondecolorized Aloe vera caused cancers of the large intestine in male and female rats and also caused hyperplasia of the large intestine, small intestine, stomach, and lymph nodes in male and female rats. Aloe vera extract also caused hyperplasia of the large intestine in male and female mice and hyperplasia of the mesenteric lymph node in male mice and hyperplasia of the stomach in female mice.

PMID:
24042237
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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