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BASIC SCIENCE (see also Glyconutrients, Anthraquinones, and Chemical Constituents & Nutrients)

Afzal, M., Ali, M., Hassan, R. A. H., Sweedan, N., and Dhami, M. S. I. (1991). Identification of some prostanoids in Aloe vera extracts. Planta Medica, 57, 38-40.

Abstract: Screening of extracts from Aloe vera revealed the presence of endogenous arachidonic acid, a potential precursor for the prostanoids synthesis. Possible importance of prostaglandins formed endogenously by the plant is discussed.

American College of Toxicology. (2007, March). Final report on the safety assessment of aloe. International Journal of Toxicology, 26, 2 suppl, 1-50. 

Abstract: Plant materials derived from the Aloe plant are used as cosmetic ingredients, including Aloe Andongensis Extract, Aloe Andongen-sis Leaf Juice, Aloe Arborescens Leaf Extract, Aloe Arborescens Leaf Juice, Aloe Arborescens Leaf Protoplasts, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Ex-tract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Polysaccharides, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract, Aloe Ferox Leaf Juice, and Aloe Ferox Leaf Juice Extract. These ingredients function primarily as skin-conditioning agents and are included in cosmetics only at low concentrations.

Aryayev, N. L. (1976). Extract of Aloe: Scientific and clinical data. In Aloe Vera: New Scientific Discoveries by Max B. Skousen, 84-93.

Abstract: Gives properties of Aloe vera and discusses the use of Aloe in the treatment of various diseases.

Barasnev, Y. I. (1970). Aloe extract used successfully in the process of brain compensation: An experimental study on animals. Russian Journal of Neuropathogical Science (Zhurnal Neorapatholgii Psikhiatrii), 1815-1819.

Abstract: A high stimulating effect on the brain was marked in introduction of cerebrolysin, Vitamin B12 and Extract of Aloe. The convened study permitted to display not only the stimulating mechanisms of therapeutic drugs on the growing brain, but to ground the expediency of their use in clinical practice for the treatment of cerebral disorders in children.

Bharucha, F. R., and Joshi, G. V. (1957, March). Studies in Crassulacean metabolism in Aloe vera linn. The Journal of the University of Bombay, XXV(5).

Abstract: An attempt is made to study organic acid metabolism in Aloe vera.

Bowles, W. B. (n.d.). Medical aspects of Aloe. Melbourne, FL: Terry Laboratories.

Abstract: Present uses of aloe vera gel products, potential uses for aloe vera gel products, typical components found in the gel of aloe vera, harvesting, manufacturing and handling of aloe vera gel, new product development.

Brasher, W. J., Zimmermann, E. R., and Collings, C. K. (1969, January). The effects of predisolone, indomethacin, and Aloe vera gel on tissue culture cells. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine & Oral Pathology,27, 122-128.

Abstract: Comparison of Aloe vera to other drugs for toxicity.

Chinchilla, N., Carrera C., Duran, A. G., Macias, M., Torres, A., and Macias, F. A. (2013). Aloe barbadensis: How a miraculous plant becomes reality. Phytochem Rev, 12, 581-602. 

Abstract: Aloe barbadensis Miller is a plant that is native to North and East Africa and has accompanied man for over 5,000 years. The aloe vera plant has been endowed with digestive, dermatological, culinary and cosmetic virtues. On this basis, aloe provides a range of possibilities for fascinating studies from several points of view, including the analysis of chemical composition, the biochemistry involved in various activities and its application in pharmacology, as well as from horticultural and economic standpoints. The use of aloe vera as a medicinal plant is mentioned in numerous ancient texts such as the Bible. This multitude of medicinal uses has been described and discussed for centuries, thus transforming this miracle plant into reality. A summary of the historical uses, chemical composition and biological activities of this species is presented in this review. The latest clinical studies involved in vivo and in vitro assays conducted with aloe vera gel or its metabolites and the results of these studies are reviewed.

Choi, S., and Chung, M. (2003, March). A review on the Relationship Between Aloe Vera Components and Their Biologic Effects. Seminars in Integrative Medicine, 1(1), 53-62. 

Abstract: Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) is a perennial succulent belonging to the Liliaceal family, and is called the healing plant or the silent healer. As a result of its use as folk medicine, it is claimed that aloe vera has wound and burn healing properties, and anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects. Aloe vera is used in a variety of commercial products because of these therapeutic properties. It is being used as a whole extract, however, and the relationship between the components of the extract and its overall effect has not been clarified. A more precise understanding of the biologic activities of these is required to develop aloe vera as a pharmaceutical source. Many attempts have been made to isolate single, biologically active components, to examine their effects, and clarify their functional mechanism. This review focuses on the relationship between the isolated aloe vera components (ie, glycoproteins, anthraquinones, saccharides, low-molecular-weight substances) and their presumed pharmacologic activities.

Danhof, I. E. (Autumn/Winter). Aloe leaf handling and constituent variability. Aloe Today, 12-15.

Abstract: The best aloe is a preparation which maximizes the desired constituents, minimizes any ingredient with negative effects, maintains the constituents in an unaltered and active form, preserves the actions and benefits, and is present in the final product in amounts which, indeed, can bring about the desired result when the product is used as recommended. The type of aloe leaf constituent desired can be obtained by various handling, processing and preserving systems; the ultimate use determining the best approaches to be utilized. Super-Strength and "cold process" recommended.

Femenia, A., Sanchez, E. S., Simal, S., and Rossello, C. (1999). Compositional features of polysaccharides from Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) plant tissues. Carbohydrate Polymers, 39, 109-117.

Abstract: A complete chemical characterisation of Aloe vera plant (Aloe barbadensis Miller) was carried out from the dissection of the plant whole leaves in filets and skin. In addition, a mucilaginous gel extracted from the filets was also characterised. Extraction with ethanol of lyophilised Aloe fractions (AIRs) allowed to concentrate the major fraction composed of carbohydrates up to 80%. The composition of the main type of polysaccharides present in the Aloe AIRs was determined. Mannose and cellulosic glucose were the major polysaccharide components in all AIRs, significant amounts of pectic polysaccharides were also detected. Sequential extraction of polysaccharides present in Aloe vera plant portions, revealed that two main types of mannose-containing polymers were present in the Aloe vera plant. The polysaccharide detected in the filet and in the gel fractions corresponded to a storage polysaccharide located within the protoplast of the parenchymatous cells. Its structural and compositional features corresponded to the active polysaccharide known as acemannan. On the contrary, in the skin tissue, the mannosyl residues arose from a structural polysaccharide located within the cell wall matrix. Structural and compositional differences between both polymers were confirmed by methylation analysis. The fact that acemannan is a reserve polysaccharide might help to explain most of the compositional variations reported in the literature for Aloe vera carbohydrates. Further, sequential extraction allowed us to identify several pectic polysaccharides, rich in uronic acids, with a composition similar to that of several antitumoral polymers found in different plant tissues.

Hart, L. A., van Enckevort, P. H., van Dijk, H., Zaat, R, de Silva, K. T .D., and Labadie, R. P. (1988). Two functionally and chemically distinct immunomodulatory compounds in the gel of Aloe vera. Journal of Ethnopharmacology,23, 61-71.

Abstract: An aqueous extract of Aloe vera gel was analyzed guided by modulatory activity with regard to the in vitro activation of human complement and of human polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN).

Ito, S., Teradaira, R., Beppu, H., Obata, M., Fujita, K., and Nagatsu, T. Biochemical properties of carboxypeptidase in Aloe arborescens Miller var. natalensis Berger. 77-86.

Abstract: A carboxypeptidase was partially purified from Aloe arborescens Miller var. Natalensis Berger in a scale suitable for pharmacological studies. The results indicate that aloe enzyme is a serine carboxypeptidase and appears to contain a sulfydryl group that may be involved in its inactivation.

Kawai, K., Beppu, H., Koike, T., Fujita, K., and Marunouchi, T. (n.d.). Tissue culture of Aloe arborescens Miller var. natalensis Berger. 141-154.

Abstract: We examined the culture conditions for callus induction in the tissues of Aloe arborescens.

Kurilenko, M. I. (n.d.) On studying the ampoullated Aloe extract. In Aloe Vera: New Scientific Discoveries by Max Skousen, 98-101.

Abstract: The aloe extracts prepared from fresh and dried raw stock are found to be identical as to the total amount of acids and cations, the pH, and also to chromatographic behavior on paper.

Nia, Y., Turnerb, D.. Yatesa, K. M., and Tizardb, I. (2004). Isolation and characterization of structural components of Aloe vera L. leaf pulp. International Immunopharmacology, 4, 1745-1755. 

The clear pulp, also known as inner gel, of Aloe vera L. leaf is widely used in various medical, cosmetic and nutraceutical applications. Many beneficial effects of this plant have been attributed to the polysaccharides present in the pulp. However, discrepancies exist regarding the composition of pulp polysaccharide species and an understanding of pulp structure in relation to its chemical composition has been lacking. Thus, we examined pulp structure, isolated structural components and determined their carbohydrate compositions along with analyzing a partially purified pulp-based product (Acemannan hydrogel) used to make Carrisyn hydrogel wound dressing. Light and electron microscopy showed that the pulp consisted of large clear mesophyll cells with a diameter as large as 1000 Am. These cells were composed of cell walls and cell membranes along with a very limited number of degenerated cellular organelles. No intact cellular organelles were found in mesophyll cells. Following disruption of pulp by homogenization, three components were isolated by sequential centrifugation. They were thin clear sheets, microparticles and a viscous liquid gel, which corresponded to cell wall, degenerated cellular organelles and liquid content of mesophyll cells based on morphological and chemical analysis. These three components accounted for 16.2% (F3.8), 0.70% (F0) and 83.1% of the pulp on a dry weight basis. The carbohydrate composition of each component was distinct; liquid gel contained mannan, microparticles contained galactose-rich polysaccharide(s) and cell walls contained an unusually high level of galacturonic acid (34%, w/w; Gal A). The same three components were also found in Acemannan Hydrogel with mannan as the predominant component. Thus, different pulp structural components are associated with different polysaccharides and thus may potentially be different functionally. These findings may help lay a basis for further studies and development of better controlled processing methods and applications for this well-accepted medicinal plant.

Orndorff, S. (n.d.). Polymerase chain reaction: A new method for the identification of Aloe. Univera Phytoceuticals, Inc.

Abstract: Dr. Orndorff is using DNA as a way of identifying Aloe vera.

Pelley, R. P., Wang, Y. T., and Waller, T. A. (1993, May). Current status of quality control of Aloe barbadensis extracts. SÖFW-Journal, Jahrgang (year’s issue), 119, 255-268.

Abstract: In this article, we will examine the developments in analytical chemistry that are bringing us closer to the goal of benchmark tests for Aloe gel identity and quality: measurement of ions, high pressure liquid chromatography of PLC, and measurement of total polysaccharides.

Plaskett, Lawrance G. (PhD, FRSC). (1998, January). The Health and Medical Use of Aloe Vera. Tacoma, Washington: Life Sciences Press.

Abstract: Dr. Plaskett found that hundreds of scientific papers had been published over the years by researchers all around the world: almost the whole of this large body of work contained only positive reports on the effectiveness of Aloe.

Plaskett, L. G. (1997, May). The exudate compounds of Aloe and their likely benefits in the gel or whole leaf extract. Aloe Vera Information Services (newsletter). Camelford, Cornwall, UK: Biomedical Information Services Ltd.

Abstract: The compounds in Aloe vera exudate are often regarded as undesirable on account of their strong laxative action. Hence measures are usually taken to minimize the levels of these compounds in Aloe vera gels and juices that are intended for general health purposes. Such products do not generally cause any unwanted laxative effects. However, do ny small traces of these compounds which remain in the products actually contribute positively to the biomedical activities of Aloe vera gels and juices? Do some individual members of this group of compounds perhaps lack any laxative effect at all and only contribute desirable, health-giving effects? These questions are discussed in this newsletter.

Plaskett, L. G. (1996, November). The crucial importance of correct processing of Aloe vera. Aloe Vera Information Services (newsletter). Camelford, Cornwall, UK: Biomedical Information Services Ltd.

Abstract: The all-important biomedical activities of aloe juices and extracts depend critically upon applying strict rules of processing and handling. These determine whether or not the labile biochemicals in the living plant are successfully stabilized during manufacture and, subsequently, during distribution and storage.

Plaskett, L.G. (1996, July). The healing properties of Aloe. Aloe Vera Information Services (newsletter). Camelford, Cornwall, UK: Biomedical Information Services Ltd.

Abstract: Aloe vera contains Glucomannan, a special complex polysacchride composed largely of the sugar mannose. It interacts with special cell-surface receptors on those cells that repair damaged tissues, called fibroblasts, stimulating them and activating their faster growth and replication. Plant hormones in Aloe, called auxins and gibberellins, also accelerate healing by stimulating cell replication. These combined actions make Aloe a uniquely potent healing herb.

Rubel, B. L. (1983, June). Possible mechanisms of the healing actions of Aloe gel. Cosmetics and Toiletries,98, 109-114.

Abstract: In this paper, some of the actives will be named, and known or theoretical mechanisms of action will be discussed.

Sampath Kumar, K. P., Bhowmik, D., Chiranjib, and Biswajit. (2010). Aloe vera: A potential herb and its medicinal importance. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2(1), 21-29. 

Abstract: Aloe vera contains numerous vitamins and minerals, enzymes, amino acids, natural sugars and agents which may be anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. The combination and balance of the plant’s ingredients are what purportedly gives it its healing properties. The part of the Aloe vera which is used are the leaves. The Aloe is an Emollient, Purgative and Vulnerary. It is also used for its antibacterial, anesthetic and antiseptic properties, and is good to use as a tool for restoration of tissue. It is most commonly used on burns and minor cuts, especially good for sunburns, although it is being used for the treatment of skin cancer. Aloe is very useful on rashes caused by Poison Ivy, and it may help to draw out infection. It may help with Vaginal Yeast Infections, although this is not solid at this time. Aloe be made into a warm tea, made from the juice as a wash for eyes. The washing of eyes with Aloe may protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays from the sun. It can be used as a purgative. Aloe is also an extremely powerful laxative, and it is not recommended that it is taken internally. It is recommended that the fresh juice from the plant is used, and not the store bought juice within other products or on its own. The reason for this is that the medicinal use of the plant diminishes with time, and there is much questioning about whether or not you can receive benefits from the store bought aloe, even if the product has been filled with preservatives. It gives a healthy and supple look to the skin by reducing wrinkles, curing acne, rejuvenating and giving it a youthful glow.

Suzuki, I, Saito, H, Inoue, S, Migita, S,, and Takahashi, T. (1979). Purification and characterization of two lectins from Aloe arborescens Mill. Journal of Biochemistry, 85, 163-171.

Abstract: S-1 has a strong hemaglutinating activity. On the other hand, P-2 has not only hemaglutinating activity but also mitogenic activity on lymphocytes, precipitate-forming reactivity with serum proteins, one of which is a 2-macroglobulin, and complement C3 activating activity via the alternate pathway.

Talmadgea, J., Chaveza, J., Jacobsa, L., Mungera, C., Chinnahb, T., Chow, J. T., Williamson, D., and Yates, K. (2004). Fractionation of Aloe vera L. inner gel, purification and molecular profiling of activity. International Immunopharmacology, 4, 1757-1773. 

Abstract: Products derived from the inner gel of the Aloe vera L. plant have demonstrated multiple clinical activities, and are used routinely to accelerate wound healing. However, typical of natural products, the complex nature of Aloe vera gels may contribute to diverse pharmacologic activities. Our focus on the hematopoietic activities of Aloe vera extracts is extended by these functional studies, which used purified fractions from Aloe vera gel and included a preliminary organ-specific in vitro molecular profile. Studies using a N99% pure carbohydrate fraction from Aloe vera extracts revealed increased hematopoietic and hematologic activity compared to the starting material. In addition, this fraction differentially regulated liver and lung cytokine mRNA levels, resulting in significant increases in message for hematopoietic cytokines [granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and stem cell factor (SCF)]. This profile of activity differed from another fraction obtained from Aloe vera, suggesting the potential for diverse pharmacologic activity. The molecular studies were undertaken using co-cultures of organ slices to limit the amount of purified material required. In summary, these studies revealed significant hematopoietic activity by both pharmacologic and molecular analysis using a N99% pure carbohydrate fraction from Aloe vera gels.

Yagi, A. (n.d.). The chemistry of low-molecular weight chromones and glycoproteins from Aloe vera. School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuyama University, Japan.

Abstract: Dr. Yagi examines the chemistry of low molecular weight phenolic and chromone components of the latex exudate and glycoproteins from the gel of Aloe vera.

Yagi, A., Kanbara, T., and Morinobu, N. (1987). Inhibition of mushroom-tyrosinase by Aloe extract. Planta Medica, 515-517.

Abstract: The current increases in the use of Aloe extract as a skin cosmetic prompted us to identify the active component. In this report, the isolation from fresh Aloe leaf of the inhibitor of L-dopa oxidation by mushroom-tyrosinase and its analysis by high performance liquid chromatography are presented.

Yagi, A., Shoyama, Y., and Nishioka, Itsuo. (1983). Formation of tetrahydroanthracene glucosides by callus tissue of Aloe saponaria. Phytochemistry, 22(6), 1483-1484.

Abstract: Callus tissue of Aloe Saponaria grown in the dark produced a new tetrahydroanthracene glucoside, I-oxo-2-methoxy-4,8,9-trihydroxy-6-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroanthracene (aloesaponol IV) 8-O-β-D-glucoside, together with known tetrahydroanthracene glucosides. The effect of light on the formation of tetrahydroanthracene and anthraquinone glucosides is discussed.

Yagi, A., Harada, N., Yamada, H., Iwadare, S., and Nishioka, I. (1982b). Antibradykinin active material in Aloe saponaria. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences,71, 1172-1174.

Abstract: In this report, the results of partial purification of material having antibradykinin activity from A. saponaria on isolated guinea pig ileum and its proteolytic property against bradykinin are presented.

Yagi, A., Yamanouchi, M., and Nishioka, I. (1978). Biosynthetic relationship between tetrahydroanthracene and anthraquinone in Aloe saponaria. Phytochemistry, 12, 895-897.

Abstract: This paper deals with the biosynthetic relationship between aloesaponol I, aloesaponarin I and Iaccaic acid D methyl ester in Aloe saponaria.

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