Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Aloe Vera for Weight Loss: Benefits and Side Effects

Health + Wellness
Aloe Vera for Weight Loss: Benefits and Side Effects
Aloe vera is commonly found in weight loss products, including herbal supplements, juices, and diet drinks. Sommai Larkjit / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that's well known for its medicinal properties.


Though it's most commonly used topically to heal burns and promote skin health, it has also been used to treat a variety of other conditions.

In recent years, it has even become a key ingredient in juices, herbal supplements, and diet drinks geared toward weight loss.

This article reviews the benefits and side effects of aloe vera for weight loss, as well as how to use it.

Potential Benefits

There are two ways in which aloe vera may aid weight loss.

May Boost Metabolism

Some research shows that aloe vera could boost your metabolism, increasing the number of calories you burn throughout the day to promote weight loss.

In one 90-day study, administering dried aloe vera gel to rats on a high fat diet reduced body fat accumulation by increasing the number of calories they burned.

Other animal research has shown that aloe vera could affect the metabolism of fat and sugar in the body while preventing the accumulation of belly fat.

Still, more studies are needed to determine whether aloe vera may offer similar health benefits in humans.

May Support Blood Sugar Control

Aloe vera may help improve blood sugar control, which may help increase weight loss.

In one study, consuming capsules containing 300–500 mg of aloe vera twice daily significantly reduced blood sugar levels in 72 people with prediabetes.

Another study in 136 people found that taking an aloe vera gel complex for 8 weeks reduced body weight and body fat, as well as improved the body's ability to use insulin, a hormone involved in blood sugar control.

Improving blood sugar control can prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which could prevent symptoms like increased hunger and cravings.

Summary

Aloe vera could help promote weight loss by boosting your metabolism and supporting better blood sugar control.

Side Effects

Aloe vera intake has been associated with several adverse health effects.

Some of the most common side effects include digestive issues, such as diarrhea and stomach cramps.

While aloe vera can act as a laxative to help promote regularity, excessive use could increase your risk of adverse effects like dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

It's important to note that while its laxative effects may reduce water retention, the resulting loss of water weight is only temporary and not a sustainable weight loss strategy.

What's more, since this succulent may reduce the absorption of certain medications, it's important to consult your healthcare professional before using it if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.

There is also concern about the cancer-causing effects of aloin, a compound found in non-decolorized, whole leaf aloe extract.

However, most aloin is removed during processing, so it's unclear whether commercial aloe vera products may also be harmful.

Furthermore, it's important to avoid eating aloe vera skin gels and products, as they may contain ingredients and additives that should not be ingested.

Finally, products containing aloe vera latex, a substance found within the leaves of the aloe vera plant, have been banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to safety concerns.

Summary

Aloe vera intake can cause several side effects and may decrease the absorption of certain medications. Unprocessed and unrefined extracts may also contain aloin, which is a carcinogenic compound.

How to Use It

Aloe vera leaves are comprised of three main parts — the skin, latex, and gel.

The gel is safe to consume and can be prepared by cutting the leaf in half and using a spoon or knife to scoop out the gel.

Be sure to wash the gel thoroughly to remove any dirt and latex residue, which can give the gel a bitter taste.

Try adding the gel into smoothies, shakes, salsas, and soups to bolster the health benefits of your favorite recipes.

You can also eat the skin of the aloe leaf by adding it to salads and stir-fries.

After slicing and washing the skin, you may also opt to soak the leaves for 10–30 minutes before adding them to your recipes to help soften them up.

Summary

The gel and leaves of the aloe vera plant can be consumed in a variety of recipes, including smoothies, soups, salsas, salads, and stir-fries. Always be sure to remove the latex layer.

The Bottom Line

Aloe vera is commonly found in weight loss products, including herbal supplements, juices, and diet drinks.

It may help promote weight loss by boosting your metabolism and improving your blood sugar control.

However, it may also be associated with several adverse effects and should be used in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

If you decide to give aloe vera products a try, be sure to purchase them from a reputable supplier.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.

Valley of the Gods in the heart of Bears Ears National Monument. Mint Images / Getty Images

By Sharon Buccino

This week, Secretary Haaland chose a visit to Bears Ears National Monument as her first trip as Interior Secretary. She is spending three days in Bluff, Utah, a small town just outside the monument, listening to representatives of the five tribes who first proposed its designation to President Obama in 2015. This is the same town where former Secretary Sally Jewell spent several hours at a public hearing in July 2016 before recommending the monument's designation to President Obama.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Pexels

By Anthony Richardson, Chhaya Chaudhary, David Schoeman, and Mark John Costello

The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The number of marine species naturally tapers off as you head towards the poles.

Read More Show Less
Trending
"Secrets of the Whales" is a new series that will start streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day. Disney+

In celebration of Earth Day, a star-studded cast is giving fans a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of the planet's most majestic animals: whales. In "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part documentary series by renowned National Geographic Photographer and Explorer Brian Skerry and Executive Producer James Cameron, viewers plunge deep into the lives and worlds of five different whale species.

Read More Show Less
Spring is an excellent time to begin bird watching in earnest. Eugenio Marongiu / Cultura / Getty Images

The coronavirus has isolated many of us in our homes this year. We've been forced to slow down a little, maybe looking out our windows, becoming more in tune with the rhythms of our yards. Perhaps we've begun to notice more, like the birds hopping around in the bushes out back, wondering (maybe for the first time) what they are.

Read More Show Less
The brown pelican is seen on Queen Bess Island in Louisiana in March 2021. Casey Wright / LDWF biologist

Who says you can't go home again?

Read More Show Less