This discovery came to me while I was applying the tried and true home remedy: Aloe Vera, to my son’s sun burned back.
I Know, I know!
I am a terrible mom, how could I let him get sunburned?
In my defense, I did put sunblock on him. It must have been the 5 hours of playing in the ocean, diving under waves and being knocked into the sand that wore it off.
And yes, I know you are supposed to reapply every 2 hours, but you try to lasso up three boys every two hours while they are busy enjoying themselves and tell me how that works out for you.
Back to my discovery.
I got curious about aloe vera and it’s healing properties. I wondered if it was really helping my son’s back, and if so how?
So what does an inquiring mind do?
Take it to Google Scholar, of course!
What I found really surprised me.
Drinking Aloe Vera- What does the Science Say?
The results of this double-blind clinical trial demonstrated that daily oral intake of 40 μg of Aloe sterol significantly increased skin barrier function, skin moisture, and skin elasticity. Furthermore, ultrasonographic results suggested that intake of Aloe sterol increased skin elasticity by increasing the collagen content in the dermis.
I was blown away. All this time, I had this plant sitting there, mostly ignored, save the rare sunburn.
Who knew that eating it could boost collagen production?
But that’s not all!
“Aloe gel significantly improves wrinkles and elasticity in photoaged human skin, with an increase in collagen production in the photoprotected skin and a decrease in the collagen-degrading MMP-1 gene expression.”
This study suggests baby aloe or aloe from new plants works better on inhibiting MMP.
What is MMP?
Matrix Metalloproteinase. Matrix Metalloproteinase is an enzyme that breaks down collagen and other proteins found in your skin’s matrix. And no, NEO cannot save you. And yes, the Matrix IS real.
Matrix Metalloproteinase is normal and necessary for breaking down skin proteins so they can be rebuilt. But, the level of Matrix Metalloproteinase in adult skin is generally pretty low, except when disease is present, such as inflamitory diseases and oral disease. Some scientests beleive an overproduction of Matrix Metalloproteinase may even be a cause of cavities.
In other words, aloe can mediate the level of Matrix Metalloproteinase, which is really cool, because an overabundance of this protein degrading enzyme also causes wrinkles and saggy mc jaggy skin.
The scientists found that cells treated with baby aloe supressed MMP-1, MMP-3, and IL-6 levels more compared to the cells treated with mature aloe.
Furthermore, baby aloe treatment elevated type I procollagen and TGF-β1 levels. Their results suggest that baby aloe may potentially protect the skin from UVB-induced damage more than more mature aloe.
Aloe Vera and Ulcerative Colitis
I don’t think I have mentioned this, but I suffered from Ulcerative colitis from the age of about 28 years old till present, although I have been in remission for about 7 years. It was moderately severe and has resulted in a few hospital stays.
At one point it was so bad I ended up spending 11 days in the hospital, taking 3 units of blood and having doctors say they wanted to REMOVE a part of my intestines. I said F that, no way, not going to happen. I was nearly one of those folks who sneaks out to escape from the hospital. But thankfully, the bleeding finally stopped.
I am in remission now, and take no medication, and I am fairly certain it is because of my diet which in summary is this: Don’t eat crap.
(If you want more details on how I achieved remission look here: I followed the advice in this book)
So why are you talking about UC? What does this have to do with aloe vera?
I am so glad you asked.
Because, now that I am in remission, I come across this study
The study shows oral ingestion of aloe vera helped sufferers of Ulcerative colitis achieve remission more often than those taking a placebo.
The study breakdown:
Those taking Aloe:
30% Achieved clinical remission in 4 weeks
37% had improvement
Those taking placebo:
7% achieved remission in 4 weeks
7% saw improvement
So, while it is nowhere near 100 % successful, the study was only 4 weeks long and I am confident aloe is worth taking.
If I was a doctor, which I am not I would recommend the diet and aloe vera as avenues to try.
Back in the day, when my colitis was bad, I did not know about the study. The study was done in 2004 and I was sick around the same time, maybe a few years later from about 2005 to 2012.
Anyways, a friend brought me a jug of aloe vera juice and I thought he was nuts. It tasted horrible (sorry, that’s the truth) and I was worried it would make my colitis worse because aloe vera has laxative properties.
I wish I had listened to him back then. (Sorry Tommy!) Maybe I could have saved some suffering.
This study has me convinced, if I ever begin having symptoms of UC again, I am going to take the aloe this time.
In fact, I am going to start taking it anyway, as I think it can help my skin too. I just picked some up at my local health food store yesterday.
find my youtube video on Aloe here
Till my next discovery,
Miss Katie Lyn
Beauty and the Beaker
Find me on Youtube