The aim of this study was to evaluate evidence for the efficacy of aloe vera on managing prediabetes and early non-treated diabetes mellitus. We performed a systematic search of PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials until 28 January 2016. A total of five randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 415 participants were included. Compared with the controls, aloe vera supplementation significantly reduced the concentrations of fasting blood glucose (FBG) (p = 0.02; weighed mean difference [WMD]: -30.05 mg/dL; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -54.87 to -5.23 mg/dL), glycosylated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (p < 0.00001; WMD: -0.41%; 95% CI: -0.55% to -0.27%), triglyceride (p = 0.0001), total cholesterol (TC) (p < 0.00001), and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) (p < 0.00001). Aloe vera was superior to placebo in increasing serum high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels (p = 0.04). Only one adverse event was reported. The evidence from RCTs showed that aloe vera might effectively reduce the levels of FBG, HbA1c, triglyceride, TC and LDL-C, and increase the levels of HDL-C on prediabetes and early non-treated diabetic patients. Limited evidence exists about the safety of aloe vera. Given the small number and poor quality of RCTs included in the meta-analysis, these results are inconclusive. A large-scale, well-designed RCT is needed to further address this issue.
Keywords: aloe vera; meta-analysis; prediabetes; randomized controlled trials.