Diabetes is one of the most frequently diagnosed medical conditions in United States, effecting an estimated 25.8% of children and adults nationwide (American Diabetes Association). Although more people with diabetes are also living longer thanks in part to healthy lifestyle choices. In addition to physical activity levels, diet has a significant role to play in preventing and managing the disease. According to current research, Aloe Vera may be among the most beneficial foods for diabetics looking to regulate blood sugar levels naturally.
Aloe Vera has been used medicinally for centuries, but only recently studied as a treatment for diabetes. A number of promising studies have demonstrated the antidiabetic effects of the inner gel of the Aloe leaf. While more extensive research is needed on human subjects, existing clinical trials are promising. One of the earliest studies involving a group of 3,167 diabetics supplemented their existing treatment with a natural remedy containing Aloe gel. In 94% of these patients fasting blood glucose levels fell to normal levels within two months. In a more widely publicized study, Mahidol University scientists (Bangkok) administered one tablespoon of 80% juice of Aloe Vera twice a day during 42 days to a group of thirty-six patients. Another thirty-six patients were given a carminative mixture containing no Aloe. By the end of the trial period, blood sugar levels in the Aloe treatment group were reduced to nearly half of their initial values with no adverse reactions reported.
Aloe Vera’s effectiveness may be due in part of the gel’s detoxifying properties. As a nutritional supplement, Aloe gel’s high fiber content and the presence of polysaccharides and glycoprotein are believed to help the body use glucose effectively and remove excess from the blood. Aloe is also thought to increase the body’s antioxidant defenses, often impaired in diabetics, as well as stimulate the production of insulin.