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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Aloe Vera and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Aloe Vera is species of succulent plant in the genus Aloe, belonging to the Family Xanthorrhoeaceae, native to Sudan. It has become very popular for commercial cultivation due to its health benefits. Aloe vera has been used in herbal medicine in treating many kinds of disease, including wound, burn healing, minor skin infections, sebaceous cysts, diabetes, and elevated of cholesterol, etc. It is also one of many popular herb studied in scientific ways with some conflicted results.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is defined as endocrinologic diseases caused by undeveloped follicles clumping on the ovaries that interferes with the function of the normal ovaries as resulting of enlarged ovaries, leading to hormone imbalance( excessive androgen), resulting in male pattern hair development, acne,irregular period or absence of period, weight gain and effecting fertility. It effects over 5% of women population or 1 in 20 women. According to the study by Desai BN, Maharjan RH, Nampoothiri LP. almost 70% PCOS women have abnormal serum lipid levels (dyslipidemia) and 50% of these women are obese. Several classes of pharmacological agents have been used to manage dyslipidemia. However, studies have shown adverse effects associated with these drugs.

The Ingredients 
The ten main areas of chemical constituents of Aloe vera include: amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, lignins, monosaccharide, polysaccharides, salicylic acid, saponins, and sterols.They all work together in a synergistic way to create healing and health giving benefits, according to Gertrude Baldwin in the article of THE BENEFITS OF THE USE OF ALOE VERA IN HERBAL PREPARATIONS.

The Benefits
Aloe Vera may be a potential herb in treating Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome by enhancing the reductions of plasma triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, with an increase in HDL cholesterol or by restoring the ovarian steroid status. According to the study of PCOS was induced in Charles Foster female rats by oral administration of non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor letrozole (0.5 mg/kg body weight, 21 days), AVG treated PCOS rats exhibited significant reduction in plasma triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, with an increase in HDL cholesterol. The gel treatment also caused reversion of abnormal estrous cyclicity, glucose intolerance, and lipid metabolizing enzyme activities, bringing them to normal. Other study also indicated that Aloe vera gel formulation exerts a protective effect in against the PCOS phenotype by restoring the ovarian steroid status, and altering key steroidogenic activity. This can be attributed to phyto-components present in the extract.
Dr.PĂ©rez YY and the research team in the study of Effect of a polyphenol-rich extract from Aloe vera gel on experimentally induced insulin resistance in mice also indicated that decreasing significantly both body weight (p < 0.008) and blood glucose levels of Aloe, calculated using the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) formula by the polyphenol-rich extract from Aloe vera.
Also in the confirmation of above result, study of Aloe vera leaves on blood glucose level in type I and type II diabetic rat models, vera leaf pulp extract showed hypoglycaemic activity on IDDM and NIDDM rats, the effectiveness being enhanced for type II diabetes in comparison with glibenclamide. On the contrary, A. vera leaf gel extract showed hyperglycaemic activity on NIDDM rats. It may therefore be concluded that the pulps of Aloe vera leaves devoid of the gel could be useful in the treatment of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Where non-diabetic (ND), type I (IDDM) and type II (NIDDM) diabetic rats.

The Side effects
1. Hepatitis
Some researchers concerned that the over use of oral aloe vera may contribute to acute hepatitis, according to the study of "Oral aloe vera-induced hepatitis" by Bottenberg MM, Wall GC, Harvey RL, Habib S., posted in PubMed
2. Diarrhea, caused by the laxative effect of oral use of Aloe Vera
3. oral use of Aloe Vera may cause abdominal cramps and pain
4. It may cause of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms as a result of collagen in the plant, according to the study of "Oral type II collagen in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A six-month double blind placebo-controlled study" by Cazzola M, Antivalle M, Sarzi-Puttini P, Dell'Acqua D, Panni B, Caruso I., posted in PubMed
5. Etc.

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References
(1) Aloe barbadensis Mill. formulation restores lipid profile to normal in a letrozole-induced polycystic ovarian syndrome rat Model (PubMed)
(2)   ALOE VERA by Gertrude Baldwin, http://www.herballegacy.com/Baldwin_Chemical.html
(3) Effect of Aloe barbadensis Mill. formulation on Letrozole induced polycystic ovarian syndrome rat model (PubMed)
(4) Effect of a polyphenol-rich extract from Aloe vera gel on experimentally induced insulin resistance in mice (PubMed)
(5) Oral aloe vera-induced hepatitis(PubMed)
(6) Oral type II collagen in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A six-month double blind placebo-controlled study(PubMed)