Background: Metabolic syndrome affects 1 in 3 U.S. adults. The primary target of treatment of patients with metabolic syndrome is therapeutic lifestyle change. Numerous animal trials have reported positive effects of Aloe vera in in vivo models of diabetes, but there is a paucity of controlled clinical trials in patients with prediabetes. Thus, the objective of this pilot study was to examine the effect of aloe compared to placebo on fasting blood glucose, lipid profile, and oxidative stress in subjects with prediabetes/metabolic syndrome.
Methods: This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved pilot study of two aloe products (UP780 and AC952) in patients with prediabetes over an 8-week period. A total of 45 subjects with impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance and having two other features of metabolic syndrome were recruited (n=15/group). Parameters of glycemia [fasting glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA), glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fructosamine, and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)] and oxidative stress (urinary F2-isoprostanes) were measured along with lipid profile and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels before and after supplementation.
Results: There were no significant baseline differences between groups. Compared to placebo, only the AC952 Aloe vera inner leaf gel powder resulted in significant reduction in total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, glucose, and fructosamine. In the UP780 Aloe vera inner leaf gel powder standardized with 2% aloesin group, there were significant reductions in HbA1c, fructosamine, fasting glucose, insulin, and HOMA. Only the UP780 aloe group had a significant reduction in the F2-isoprostanes compared to placebo.
Conclusions: Standardized aloe preparations offer an attractive adjunctive strategy to revert the impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance observed in conditions of prediabetes/metabolic syndrome.