Sunday, January 1, 2012

Taking Stomach Enzymes and Aloe Vera Gel Altogether

Consuming aloe vera gel in conjunction with stomach enzymes -- also referred to as digestive enzymes -- may seem like a win-win, but significant health risks are associated with the consumption of aloe vera. You may want to proceed with caution and speak with your health care provider before adding these supplements to your daily routine.

Digestive Enzyme Supplements

Digestive enzymes are found naturally in many raw whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have a healthy bowel, you have little reason to consume a supplement that claims to supply these enzymes. Some individuals, however, suffer from various digestive difficulties causing these essential enzymes to be destroyed or left inactivated in the gut. These conditions can cause a number of mild symptoms, such as bloating and gas, or more serious effects, such as irritable bowel syndrome and nutrient malabsorption. You should consult your doctor before taking any new supplements.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is a substance produced by the inner portion of the aloe plant leaf. Many holistic and naturopathic proponents tout its abilities to treat or prevent a large number of ailments and diseases. Little conclusive scientific evidence supports these claims. Nonetheless, aloe vera is still sold in oral and topical forms in the consumer marketplace.

Digestive Enzymes and Aloe Vera Gel

Mixing 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel with water and consuming it prior to a meal is one suggested use of this supplement. In theory, when taken in conjunction with digestive enzymes, aloe vera gel should boost the effectiveness of the enzymes. Claims exist that aloe vera cleanses the digestive tract and improves the absorption of nutrients as well as enhances the survival and function of digestive enzymes; however, there is no conclusive evidence to support this theory.


The National Institutes of Health’s MedlinePlus online reference reports that aloe vera gel is “possibly safe” for consumption by healthy adults. On the other hand, the site rates oral forms of aloe vera gel as “possibly unsafe” for children and women who are pregnant or nursing. Aloe latex, another form of aloe commonly used to treat constipation, has been shown to cause kidney impairment in high doses and is rated by MedlinePus as “possibly unsafe” in moderate doses and “likely unsafe” in high doses. Few long-term studies have been conducted on these supplements, particularly as oral supplements; therefore, seek the advice of your health care professional before adding any new supplements to your intake.

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