Aloe Vera Gel for Diabetes Control?

Aloe vera plant
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Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is a plant touted as a natural remedy for diabetes. It's said that taking aloe vera extract in dietary supplement form and/or drinking aloe vera juice can aid in diabetes management, as well as protect against the development of diabetes.

It's important to note the distinction between aloe vera gel and aloe vera latex. Aloe vera gel, the product typically used for diabetes, is a jelly-like substance sourced from the inner part of the plant's leaves.

Aloe vera latex, on the other hand, is a sticky yellow residue found just under the plant's skin. Because chemicals found in aloe vera latex are known to have toxic effects and could cause kidney damage, consumption of aloe vera latex products may be unsafe. 

Why Is Aloe Vera Gel Sometimes Used For Diabetes?

In preliminary research on animals, scientists have observed that treatment with aloe vera gel may help regulate blood sugar (also known as blood glucose). The hallmark of diabetes, abnormally high blood glucose levels can lead to a host of serious complications, including damage to the kidneys, eyes, and nerves.

In addition, animal-based research indicates that aloe vera gel may help fight high cholesterol, a common problem among people with diabetes.

Some preliminary research suggests that antioxidant compounds may play a key role in aloe vera gel's anti-diabetes effects. 

Research on Aloe Vera for Diabetes

Several small clinical trials published in recent years suggest that aloe vera may be beneficial for people with diabetes.

These clinical trials include a study published in the journal Planta Medica in 2012, which focused on 60 diabetes patients with abnormally elevated levels of cholesterol and/or triglycerides (a type of fat found in your blood).

For the study, participants took either a placebo or aloe vera gel in capsule form every day for two months.

At the study's end, those given aloe vera gel showed significantly greater decreases in total cholesterol, LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and blood glucose (compared to those given the placebo).

There's also some evidence that aloe vera may be helpful to people with prediabetes (a condition in which blood glucose levels are abnormally high but not high enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis).

In a study published in the journal Nutrition in 2013, for instance, 136 obese people with prediabetes or early/untreated diabetes were either given aloe vera gel or placed in a control group for eight weeks. Study results revealed that participants given aloe vera gel experienced a significantly greater decrease in body weight and fat mass, as well as a greater improvement in blood glucose levels and in insulin resistance.


Aloe vera gel is possibly safe when taken by mouth in adults, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, the NIH warn that taking aloe vera gel along with diabetes medications may cause your blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels.

It's crucial to note that aloe vera should not be used as a substitute for physician-prescribed treatment of diabetes. Due to the limited evidence, it's too soon to recommend aloe vera gel as a treatment for diabetes (or any other health condition). If you're considering the use of aloe vera for diabetes control, talk to your doctor before starting your supplement regimen. 

Alternatives to Aloe Vera 

Like aloe vera, several other natural remedies may help diabetes patients keep their blood sugar and cholesterol in check. These remedies include fenugreek, glucomannan, and cinnamon.

Beyond Diabetes: More Uses for Aloe Vera

When applied to the skin (rather than taken internally, as in diabetes care), aloe vera gel may help treat such conditions as psoriasis, sunburn, and cold sores.


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Devaraj S1, Yimam M, Brownell LA, Jialal I, Singh S, Jia Q. "Effects of Aloe vera supplementation in subjects with prediabetes/metabolic syndrome." Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2013 Feb;11(1):35-40.

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National Institutes of Health. "Aloe: MedlinePlus Supplements." October 2014.

Tanaka M1, Misawa E, Ito Y, Habara N, Nomaguchi K, Yamada M, Toida T, Hayasawa H, Takase M, Inagaki M, Higuchi R. "Identification of five phytosterols from Aloe vera gel as anti-diabetic compounds." Biol Pharm Bull. 2006 Jul;29(7):1418-22.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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