Oral aloe vera gel is widely used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease. It is currently under therapeutic evaluation for this condition.
In this study, investigators from England assessed the effects of aloe vera in vitro on the production of reactive oxygen metabolites, eicosanoids and interleukin-8.
The team assessed the anti-oxidant activity of aloe vera in 2 cell-free, radical-generating systems. They also used chemiluminescence of incubated colorectal mucosal biopsies.
|There was a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on reactive oxygen metabolite production.|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
Eicosanoid production and the interleukin-8 release in the presence of aloe vera were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
The investigators found that aloe vera gel had a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on reactive oxygen metabolite production.
In addition, the aloe vera inhibited the production of prostaglandin E2 by 30% at 1 in 50 dilution. However, it had no effect on thromboxane B2 production.
Furthermore, the release of interleukin-8 by CaCo2 cells fell by 20% at a 1 in 100 dilution. This was not found at dilutions of 1 in 10 and 1 in 1000.
Dr Langmead's team concluded, "The anti-inflammatory actions of aloe vera gel in vitro provide support for the proposal that it may have a therapeutic effect in inflammatory bowel disease".