Aloe Vera Gel potential problem

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Mackster
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 3/23/2009 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been taking 'Lily of the Desert' Aloe gel for about a year (2oz almost daily mixed with 2oz pomegranate juice).

The viscosity usually has the consistency of say drinking a raw egg (if you've ever had the misfortune to do so).

I have noticed my last two bottles have been much thinner and less gel-like, almost like a thickish juice.

I emailed 'Lily of the Desert' a few weeks ago to query them and their reply was that "some batches made in May '07 turned out thinner as it had been a very warm month, but the efficacy of the product was not compromised in any way"

I was a bit skeptical of that explanation but didn't pursue the matter any further.

I went to a different health food store this morning and could only find the juice but no gel. The clerk said that the owner had pulled the gel off the shelves as there was a "carcinogenic link to the thickening agent, CARRAGEENAN"

The juice obviously does not contain any of this 'carrageenan so I'm on the juice until I have more information.

I'm a bit dissapointed as I've been in relative remission since taking the gel (along with turmeric, probiotic yogurt and metamucil). I have to conclude that this combination seems to be working for me.

Has anyone heard of this alleged problem with aloe gel?

princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 3/23/2009 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Why would you want to take the gel as opposed to the liquid? I use George's Roadrunner Aloe Vera juice and have had no problems.

Carrageenan, a type of seaweed used as a thickening agent, is not recommended for IBDers regardless of whether or not it's considered carcinogenic because it is used to induce colitis in laboratory rats. You can read more about it here:

http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/carandcolcan.html
 
And Dr. Ronald Hoffman had this to say:
 
Carrageenan is classified as an algal polysaccharide produced from seaweed. It's safety for human consumption was questioned after it was discovered that it could injure the intestines of laboratory rats in 1982. Animal studies have shown that sulfated polysaccharides, such as carrageenan, increase hydrogen sulfide production. Hydrogen sulfide production inhibits the metabolism of butyric acid and other short chain fatty acids, which in turn starve colonocytes, and induce lesions similar to ulcerative colitis. Avoiding sulfate consumption from preservatives such as sulfites and sulfur dioxide may be beneficial for IBD patients.
 
Carrageenan is ubiquitous in our food supply, and can be found in all sorts of alternative milk products such as soy milk, rice milk, grain milks, rice dream, soy dream, and tofu products, veggie burgers, cereals, baked goods, tooth pastes, supplements, and soups. The worst offender is the herb Irish moss because it is pure carrageenan.


Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, l-glutamine, vitamin D and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free diet. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 

Post Edited (princesa) : 3/23/2009 3:51:41 PM (GMT-6)


Mackster
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 3/23/2009 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow! that is not good news as I've been drinking the gel for over a year now. I can't/don't know how to search old threads on this forum, but QUITE A FEW people were actually advocating the use of the gel over the juice.

According to Dr. Hoffman I've been making my UC WORSE!!

Funny thing though, it does not seem to evident at this moment in time.

princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 3/24/2009 8:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Enter "aloe vera gel" in the Google search box at the top of your screen and it will pull up past threads. Evidently, there's some debate about the carrageenan and its helpful or harmful effects.
 
Sometimes bad effects are cumulative and aren't immediately apparent. I'd rather play it safe and get the benefits of aloe through a juice that doesn't contain carrageenan.


Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, l-glutamine, vitamin D and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free diet. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 3/24/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
that's a real bummer, because carageenan is in EVERYTHING... I did some digging, after reading this post, & there are some very real health concerns, mainly for IBD sufferers. What the ...^&?$?!@$?

diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
various probiotics
Fiber supplement
 
 
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 3/24/2009 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Carrageenan in algae form is also quite rich in iron and sulfur. However, when it is processed into a gel, it usually looses these minerals.

Carrageenan is also equivalent to agar, which is derived from red algae, and sometimes seaweed. The process is the same for producing agar as it is for making carrageenan. In both instances, the alga is boiled down to make a jelly substance.

Agar is used as a culture for bacteria in medicine and microbiology. Its gel-like substance is the perfect place to grow bacteria or to test for bacterial presence. Some also use agar as medicine, since it tends to produce a laxative effect.

Like carrageenan, agar may be used in ice cream, soup, jelly, or in brewing wine or beer. It also is a vegetarian alternative to gelatin. In fact, since virtually no difference exists between the two substances, they are excellent substitutes for each other. It is more common in Asian countries to see agar listed as a thickening agent, while in the US, the term carrageenan is more commonly used.

I no longer eat processed foods so I think I'm pretty safe from this additive getting into my system, same with the beetle juice I post about recently.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 3/24/2009 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
but it's in practically everything, from bread to shampoo to sexual lubricants! You'll even find it in the "natural" toothpastes, like Tom's of Maine... I don't know how one can avoid consuming it. I'm not a consumer of processed foods either, but go into your cabinets right now & start looking at labels- I think you'll be surprised! Apparently the only real "risk" is to people like us, with IBD.... lucky! rolleyes
diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
various probiotics
Fiber supplement
 
 
 

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