GI Soothe 2 (60 ct)
The extract from the leaves of the succulent aloe vera plant has long been used as a natural topical first aid for burns, scrapes, and other skin irritations.1,2 Aloe not only cools and soothes damaged epithelial cells on the exterior of the body, but it also soothes inflammation internally in the stomach and middle and lower GI tract. Aloe also possesses antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which may account for its immune-modulating effects. Research indicates that aloe may be a useful adjunct in helping combat gastrointestinal inflammation caused by high amounts of psychological stress, the use of NSAIDs, corticosteroids and/or alcohol, as well as providing symptomatic relief in irritable and inflammatory bowel disorders.
In animal models of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori ) infection, aloe vera was shown to reduce levels of TNF-α and leukocyte adhesion.9 The study authors noted that aloe vera exerts no known antibiotic effect on H. pylori, but rather, its healing properties come from its suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α, IL-6, and leukocyte adhesion. However, other studies indicate that aloe does, in fact, have bactericidal properties against H. pylori, and might represent a novel therapeutic treatment option for the overgrowth of this organism, particularly in cases of antibiotic resistance.10 Additional studies indicate that the complex array of polyphenols, indoles, phytosterols and other phytochemicals in aloe vera have antibacterial effects on organisms beyond H. pylori, including strains of Shigella, Streptococcus, Enterobacter and Staphylococcus (including MRSA).
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of oral aloe vera gel administered for 4 weeks, 20 out of 30 subjects who were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and received the aloe noted either complete remission or improvement in their symptoms, compared to just 1 out of 14 in the placebo group. Adverse effects were minor, similar between the aloe and placebo groups, and not clearly linked to the aloe, which makes aloe a promising choice compared to pharmaceutical drugs that have stronger side effects.15
An in vitro study evaluating the effects of aloe extract on human colorectal cells collected from patients with active ulcerative colitis showed that compared to controls, aloe significantly reduced the production of superoxide radicals, IL-8 and prostaglandin E2.16 In a rat model of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), aloe vera used in combination with German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) was effective at reducing TNF-α, lipid peroxidation, and myeloperoxidase activity, and also delayed gastric emptying and bowel transit time, suggesting that aloe could be a useful adjunct for diarrhea-dominant IBS (IBS-D).17 Recommended Use: As a dietary supplement, take one capsule per day, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.