Aims: Aloe has been a very popular folk remedy for inflammation-related pathological conditions despite the lack of studies reporting its efficacy in vivo. The present study evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of aloe components (aloin, aloesin and aloe-gel) known to be biologically active in the rat model of colitis.
Main methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats were fed experimental diets for 2 weeks before and during the induction of colitis. Drinking water containing 3% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) was provided for 1 week to induce colitis. At the end of the experimental period, clinical and biochemical markers were compared.
Key findings: Plasma leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) concentrations were significantly decreased in all groups supplemented with aloe components compared to the colitis control group (p<0.05). Animals fed both a 0.1% and 0.5% aloesin supplemented diet showed colonic myeloperoxidase (MPO) activities which were decreased by 32.2% and 40.1%, respectively (p<0.05). Colonic mucosa TNF-α and interleukin-1ß (IL-1β) mRNA expressions were significantly reduced in all animals fed aloin, aloesin, or aloe-gel (p<0.05).
Significance: Dietary supplementation of aloe components ameliorates intestinal inflammatory responses in a DSS-induced ulcerative colitis rat model. In particular, aloesin was the most potent inhibitor. Further studies are required for a more complete understanding of the specific mechanism of the action of these supplements.
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