Aloe vera may improve glycemic control in prediabetes, type 2 diabetes

Adults with prediabetes assigned aloe vera supplements saw improvement in fasting plasma glucose, and those with type 2 diabetes saw improvement in HbA1c, according to a recent meta-analysis.

Researchers analyzed eight randomized clinical trials involving 470 patients conducted through January 2016 comparing the effect of aloe vera vs. placebo (n = 6) or no treatment (n = 2) on glycemic control in prediabetes (n = 3) or type 2 diabetes (n = 5). Aloe vera preparations in each trial varied and included raw crushed aloe leaves, freshly extracted aloe vera juice, aloe vera gel powder and aloe vera extract. Duration of treatment ranged from 2 to 3 months; most studies were conducted in Iran.

Researchers estimated treatment effect with the mean difference in the final value of FPG and HbA1c between the treatment and the control groups.

Researchers found that aloe vera reduced FPG in patients with prediabetes (mean difference, –0.22 mmol/L; 95% CI, –0.32 to –0.12); aloe vera marginally improved FPG in patients with type 2 diabetes (mean difference, –1.17 mmol/L; 95% CI, –2.35 to 0).

Participants with type 2 diabetes saw a reduction in HbA1c after aloe vera supplementation (mean difference, –11 mmol/mol; 95% CI, –19 to –2); there was no effect on HbA1c in patients with prediabetes, according to researchers.

“The current evidence suggests a possible effect of aloe vera on glycemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “However, given the poor quality of the limited evidence available, and the considerable heterogeneity seen in the study results, well-designed, well-powered, randomized controlled trials using standardized preparations are needed to better quantify any beneficial effects and their clinical relevance.” – by Regina Schaffer

The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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