Monday, 29 September 2008

How does aloe vera work?

How does aloe vera work?

The plant aloe vera contains a complex mixture of molecules. The Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents of GRAS Herbs and Other Economic Plants by James A. Duke states that there are as much as 300 different types of molecules in aloe vera. Hardly surprising then that it has multiple effects on multiple tissue types. Unfortunately this broad spectrum of activity also fuels ‘academic’ scepticism because aloe vera does just too much to be true. To put that last criticism into perspective, even in Prescription Only Medication (POM) there is not just one thing any drug does. This is why we have monthly editions of MIMS and BNP to show, next to the indications of POMs, their contraindications, warnings, other drug interactions and adverse effects. POMs are as targeted molecules as a pharmaceutical company can make them, yet they affect so much. Imagine a plant with 300 different types of molecules, of course it is going to act broad spectrum. Aloe vera has been used by millions of people worldwide throughout the ages. Empirical evidence accumulated in accolades like ‘miracle plant’ and ‘burn plant’ but for academic validity such a sustained track record is said to be meaningless. But even in today’s climate of evidence based medicine (EBM) much of day to day healthcare is characterised by non evidence based practice, variation in practice, inadequate outcome data, inequality of access to optimal treatment and ultimately a lack of evidence base. (Virus Research, Volume 89, Issue 2, November 2002, Pages 175-181). Entrenched sceptics should note that lack of evidence of efficacy should not be confused with evidence of lack of efficacy. The former says that there is insufficient evidence to pass judgement. The latter says it does not work. Of course good aloe vera works. Quite beside that there is safety and validation in the numbers (millions of people) and in the length of time aloe vera has been used (centuries), there is a lot of good quality research on aloe vera as well as scientific knowledge about what its different type of molecules do. This said, how well an aloe vera product works depends entirely on its quantity of working molecules, the quality of them and purity of product. On all counts Aloeride® Aloe Vera is an exemplary product that stands head and shoulders above its competitors. So how does it work? Aloeride® Aloe Vera is mostly taken by mouth but can also be applied to the skin. When taken by mouth, in the fluid environment of the stomach, the Aloeride® Aloe Vera capsules dissolve within 1 or 2 minutes giving our powder plenty of time to mix with the ample water (your stomach’s mixing waves occur every 15-25 seconds) with which you swallowed the capsules. So you have now rehydrated your aloe vera powder. Only when you have lesions or inflammation in your mouth or oesophagus is there a need for opening the capsules and ingesting the powder with water. This is easy and it does not taste horrible. With all 300 different types of molecules are out of the capsule, Aloeride® Aloe Vera goes to work. Broadly speaking the action is threefold and interconnected: anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory and tissue healing with the target being mostly epithelium (tissue that separates tissue cells from air). Of course the first point of contact of these molecules is the alimentary canal, so it is hardly surprising that Aloeride® Aloe Vera’s molecules show their effect there first. Because Aloeride® Aloe Vera’s molecules also are absorbed into your bloodstream, they also find their way to peripheral tissue. Thus Aloeride® exerts effect way beyond the alimentary canal and causes powerful inside-out healing, the only route for safe wound healing and 24/7 skin care. Just how broad spectrum aloe vera works is underpinned by good research: cell growth, anti-inflammatory effect, anti-microbial effect, effect on burns, anti-diabetic effect, cardiovascular and lipid effect, anti-ageing effect and response to UV light, wound healing, gastrointestinal effects and immune modulation. Broad spectrum action is the result of 300 types of molecules as well as domino effect. To explain the latter, an inflamed intestinal wall for example becomes permeable to macromolecules that ought to stay within your alimentary canal. Enterocytes (intestine’s absorptive lining cells) normally determine what may enter the body - via transcellular crossing - and what stays inside the intestines. In leaky gut syndrome gaps occur in between the enterocytes so indiscriminate, paracellular crossing now can happen. Macromolecules gate crashing into your body trigger immune reactions. Aloeride® Aloe Vera helps close the gaps between enterocytes, thus indirectly changing immune response beyond its direct, researched effect on phagocytosis, lymphocytes and T-helper cells. Beyond that Aloeride® Aloe Vera also creates a more favourable milieu for good gut bacteria which in turn improves immunity. Three hundred different types of aloe vera molecules, working synergistically and causing domino effects, will act broad spectrum and the magic of all this forms the basis for aloe vera’s much deserved accolades.

Water in Aloe Vera

Water in Aloe Vera

All original aloe vera juice is 95% water and the magic of aloe vera does not linger in the water, the magic of aloe vera is in that 5% of solids that is suspended in the water and is known as working ingredients. Our ability to capture that 5% and then deliver this, in its entirety to you, is what makes Aloeride® Aloe Vera stand head and shoulders above other aloe vera products. Aloeride® Aloe Vera deliberately delivers that 5% working ingredients in powder form because all aloe vera liquids suffer both bacterial degradation and oxidation. Aloe vera gel or aloe vera juice being more natural than powder is a load of nonsense. That 95% water is not a highly specific carrying agent like for instance you might ooh and aah, about binding Magnesium to Citrate, Sulphate or an amino acid. H2O is H2O and when, like the sensible person you are, you use filtered water, then you rehydrate that 5% just fine. Aloe vera's magic simply is not in the water. What is in the water in aloe vera juice though are bacteria and they make aloe vera go off, which is why you must put all aloe vera juices in the fridge to try and slow down the inevitable. Also with juices, every single time you open the container, you let new air in so the juice can oxidise a bit further. That means it loses its antioxidant potential, thus loses its battle against free radicals. And that fancy phrase ‘stabilised aloe vera juice’ is nothing more than the manufacturer adding antioxidants, not to help you, but to slowdown their juice going off. Capturing much more of that 5% and delivering the full spectrum of molecules is what really counts. Precisely that is what we do with Aloeride® Aloe Vera. In capsule form Aloeride® also overcomes the awful taste of aloe vera. Also by being in capsule form, Aloeride® Aloe Vera does not need to stay at home in the fridge so you can use it anytime anywhere. Also by making Aloeride® Aloe Vera into a powder, bacteria have nothing to swim in and by encapsulating it, there is no air to oxidise the powder and blisterfoiling puts a further halt to that. And to cap it all, we give you unprecedented discounts on an exemplary aloe vera product. Anybody paying £s, €s or $s for aloe vera juice or aloe vera gel (more often than not more expensive than 1 pack of Aloeride® Aloe Vera which equates to slightly more than 1 litre) is paying for 95% water. So the chances are, that you have been misinformed about the reality of aloe vera, which can amount to a missed opportunity for success.

Sunshine sensible and Aloe Vera

Sunshine sensible and Aloeride® Aloe Vera

If you are fair skinned or like to lie in the sun, there is a high probability that you will have fallen victim to sunburn at some point during your life. However, just because it’s a commonplace condition, it doesn’t mean that it can’t have serious side effects. What are the effects of sunburn? The best known types of ultraviolet sunlight are UVA and UVB. Too much exposure to either of these rays will damage your skin. Not only will overexposure cause wrinkles and brown spots, prematurely aging the skin, but it can also have far more serious consequences such as skin cancer. The effects of sunburn and sunstroke are unpleasant - as anyone who has experienced it will know. Short term exposure may result in painful burning and reddened and peeling skin. Sunstroke is more serious: it dehydrates the sufferer and can cause high temperatures, vomiting and headaches. But the most devastating side effect is undoubtedly skin cancer. It is estimated that 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 60% of melanoma skin cancers (the more serious form) are caused by over exposure to the sun. Worryingly, melanomas are not just caused by prolonged and consistent over exposure: any episodes of sunburn, no matter how infrequent, also increase the risk due to the damage this does to your skin cells. How can I prevent sunburn? Whilst everyone should take precautions to protect themselves from exposure to the sun, there are some group of people who are more at risk than others:
• People with fair complexions and fair or red hair.

• People who work outdoors.

• Children: the amount of sun exposure is thought to be linked to the probability of developing skin cancer in adulthood. The good news is that sunburn and sunstroke is entirely preventable: you simply need to take sensible precautions and be aware of the damage that the sun can do to your body.
• In hot places or during a hot day, stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when it is at its fiercest.
• Cover up: wear a hat to protect your face and neck - the areas most commonly damaged by the sun; and wear loose clothing. Be aware that wet clothing lets through more UV rays than dry.
• Use a good sunscreen with a minimum of SPF (sun protection factor) 15. Apply before going into the sun and reapply frequently throughout the day. Ensure the lotion you choose blocks UVA and UVB rays and be aware that products have a limited shelf life. No sunscreen can completely protect you from the effects of UV rays.
• Keep babies and small children out of the sun completely if possible.

• Do not wash yourself with soap all the time. Soap removes the oil from the skin that is there to keep it supple and resilient. Ingest good quality omega 3 oils preferably together with broad spectrum (water and lipid soluble) antioxidants.
• Taking aloe vera capsules, such as Aloeride® Aloe Vera before and during a holiday much helps the skin to stand up to a sudden change in sunlight exposure; it can also help to rejuvenate the skin following exposure. Is there reasonable proof that aloe vera can help over-exposure to sunburn beyond empirical evidence that since time immemorial people used aloe vera for this? Other than the extensive research on burns, there is good quality research on the anti-ageing effect and effect on UV light exposure by Danhof, McKeown, Strickland and Yagi. But be aware, not all aloe vera products will give you the necessary molecules that help your skin to stand up to UV light or not enough of them.
What is the health benefit of sunlight? Sunlight makes vitamin D which actually is a pre-hormone and its production requires a pre-cholesterol molecule to get UV-B from sunlight onto the skin. Then the liver converts it to calcidiol (storage form) which then is converted by every body cell into calcitriol (a.k.a. activated vitamin D) Vitamin D is the most potent steroid in your entire body. Steroid hormones enable the manufacturing of proteins and enzymes by your genetic material (genome). Yet after you've produced about 20,000 units, sunshine begins to destroy vitamin D in the skin. In other words, the same sunlight that makes vitamin D in the first place begins to degrade it - a miracle of self control and safety. So the active form of vitamin D acts by enabling the genetic expression of proteins and enzymes crucial to health in hundreds of tissues throughout the body. One of the ways in which to increase vitamin D orally is via good, unpolluted fish oils but these are increasingly hard to find. To find out whether you are deficient, the best vitamin D test is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D and optimal levels are 45-50 ng/mL or 115-128 nmol/L (these values are higher than the 'normal' values). The amount of vitamin D produced from sunlight depends on exposure time, latitude and altitude of location, amount of skin surface exposed, skin pigmentation and season. UV-B also stimulates the production of MSH (melanocyte-stimulating hormone), an important hormone in weight loss, energy production, and in giving you that wonderful tanned appearance (α-MSH ). However, UV-B does not penetrate very deeply into your skin. The darker the pigmentation or more tanned your skin, the less UV-B penetrates. Remember that glass allows only some 5% of UV-B to enter your home or your car, you must go outside to benefit from sunlight. The take home message is that sunlight has an awful lot going for it providing you avoid sunburn. According to Professor Michael Hollick, Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics at the Boston University Medical Centre it is now estimated that the 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day is needed to satisfy the body's requirement and maintain circulating concentrations of calcidiol of at least 30ng/mL. Too much vitamin D over a longer period of time can be toxic and cause calcification in the kidneys and heart. Fortunately the warning signs are easy to notice: anorexia, disorientation, dehydration, fatigue, weight loss, weakness and vomiting. Dr. Esther John, an epidemiologist at the Northern California Cancer Center, recommends taking a daily 10 to 15 minute walk in the sunshine as it not only clears your head, relieves stress and increases circulation, but also could cut your risk of breast cancer by 50%. We all enjoy the sunny weather: it can lift our spirits and make us feel happier and healthier. If you are sensible in the sun and follow these simple precautions including using Aloeride® Aloe Vera to support your skin from the inside, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy its positive benefits without the negative side effects.

Overtraining, Aloe Vera and probiotics

Overtraining, Aloeride® Aloe Vera and probiotics

Fortunately for most amateur athletes the problem of overtraining remains a theoretical issue. People training 4x a week or more may experience over-reaching or overtraining. And surprisingly enough, symptoms of overtraining can happen even to anoraks. This article describes useful aspects including the role of Aloeride® Aloe Vera and probiotics. Overtraining, also described as chronic fatigue, burnout and staleness has been defined as an imbalance between physical and/or psychological stress, training or competition and recovery. Early stages of overtraining result from ‘too much throttle and no breaking’ and are called the orthosympathetic form whilst in more advanced stages, your orthosympathetic tone gets exhausted enabling its opposite number, the parasympathetic system to become dominant. The orthosympathetic overtrainee is in permanent ‘fight or flight’ mode. Both fight and flight should be incidental challenges during which your adrenal glands pump out hormones like adrenaline (epinephrine), noradrenalin (norepinephrine) and cortisol, whilst indirectly raising human growth hormone (HGH) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). These glands however are sprinter organs, they were not designed to cope with a marathon. The parasympathetic overtrainee mimics some of Addison’s disease symptoms hence it is referred to as Addisonoid overtraining. The marathon of fight and flight has exhausted the adrenal sprinter glands and they now fail to regulate hormonal concentrations properly, this now is a serious problem. On routine blood work the overtainee is likely to show progressive anaemias with low haemoglobin and low haematocrit. Athletes primarily complain of underperformance of course, other common symptoms are progressively susceptibility to common infections and injury, persistent high levels of fatigue, heavy muscles and depression. As said, an athletes' reaction to underperformance is often to increase training rather than to rest which exacerbates their recovery deficit (I am tired, but I feel better after exercise, so I exercise is the strategic equivalent of flogging a dead horse). Often symptoms are ignored until performance is chronically affected. Sleep disturbances like having difficulty in getting to sleep, waking up in the night and waking un-refreshed are experienced by some 90% of athletes suffering from overtraining. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, loss of weight, loss of competitive drive, increased emotional instability such as depression, anxiety, irritability and mental exhaustion, poor attitude to training and musculoskeletal soreness. A simple DIY monitoring system is by checking the morning heart rate. Take your pulse immediately upon waking whilst still in bed. If your waking pulse any day is elevated by more than 8 beats/minute above its average level for the preceding week you are falling into overtraining. Alternatively check your morning body weight, the weekly average weight should not vary by more than 2lbs. If it drops by more than 3lbs on any day from a previous stable body weight you are falling into overtraining. As far as laboratory tests go, a useful immunological marker for excessive exercise is salivary IgA whilst a useful stress marker is Cortisol/DHEA. The stress hormones Cortisol and DHEA are not released constantly throughout the day, but are secreted in a cycle called the circadian rhythm (highest values being in the morning and the lowest at night). When the adrenal glands become exhausted (parasympathetic phase) Cortisol and DHEA in the blood stream become imbalanced. Adrenal Stress Index uses four saliva samples to measure the adrenal rhythm and gives you a DHEA to Cortisol correlation. Of course hypothalamic-pituitary impairment of the corticotrophic axis causing adrenal insufficiency should be taken into account and specific testing of hypothalamus and pituitary gland may be considered. Three common pathways for overtraining are: o intensity / load excess o recovery deficit o nutritional deficiency To remedy the first two you need to lower stress load and increase recovery time. In severe overtraining athletes should stop training entirely for 7-14 days, increase sleep to 9 hours of solid sleep a night and increase broad spectrum antioxidant intake to 200% of usual intake. To support the adrenal glands you can supplement with good quality organic glandular extracts from government inspected, New Zealand or Australia free range animals that have not been fed hormones or antibiotics. Or you can use a complex homeopathic remedy like Glandula Suprarenalis Suis-Injeel (Forte). Appropriate supplementation with good quality DHEA should only be considered if an abnormal adrenal stress test dictates this. To remedy the last point you need to combine a right-for-you wholefood diet and should consider Aloeride® Aloe Vera and probiotics. Combined ignorance and arrogance has many athletes train 3 - 4x /wk without fuelling their bodies appropriately. The famous 5Ps: poor preparation produces poor performance open the gates towards overtraining, injury, degenerative changes and illness. Improving the immune system of athletes helps reduce the number and length of infections suffered by them. The large, highly immune modulating aloeride fraction within Aloeride® Aloe Vera together with good probiotics do exactly that. Also they improve the uptake of necessary nutrients. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial - published in Br J Sports Med. 2008 Feb 13 - was conducted in Australia over a four-month period of winter training of twenty healthy, elite male distance runners. The conclusion was that prophylactic administration of probiotics was associated with a substantial reduction in the number of days and severity of respiratory illness in a cohort of highly trained distance runners likely due to a two-fold (p=0.07) greater change in whole-blood culture interferon gamma (IFN-fx) compared with placebo. Athletes, anoraks or anybody else suffering from an imbalance between physical and/or psychological stress, training or competition and recovery should change that balance, and ingest Aloeride® Aloe Vera, probiotics and highly absorbable wholefood nutrition to recover.

Say ‘aloe’ to a fab travel companion

Say ‘aloe’ to a fab travel companion

You’ve packed your bags. You’ve got your tickets and you travel. Fantastic, but may have left something behind that should have been in your wash bag or beauty case. There are three things people commonly meet when going on holiday: sunshine, new food types and alcohol. And fancy there being one single herb that has something to offer for all three… Aloe vera is known to ease the effects of the above and good aloes may help your natural immune response. There is plenty of good research to underpin that aloe vera delivers these effects. Many people know aloe vera as a liquid in bottles, hardly the thing to pack into a suitcase! So you will be interested to know that there is one blisterfoiled, encapsulated aloe product available that is manufactured to pharmaceutical GMP standard.* It takes up no space in your travel bags (or your coat pocket) and, as it so happens, it contains way more working ingredients than other aloe products. Eases Digestion & Hangovers Travel guides immediately gravitate towards travel diarrhoea due to contaminated water (and ice cubes) or contaminated food stuffs. Sensible too, because during a two week vacation, up to 50% of people will have one or more episodes of it, the person suffering from it can feel very ill indeed and it can certainly be distressing enough to ruin a holiday or business trip. [Steffen R, DuPont H, Wilder-Smith A. Manual of Travel Medicine and Health, 2nd ed. BC Decker Inc., Ontario, Canada, 2003.] Fortunately for most European and American Continent travellers, things rarely get this drastic. But you’ll be surprised how many people do get a dicky tummy travelling. Aloeride® Aloe Vera placates the stomach and the gut lining (gastrointestinal tract), studies in aloe research show aloe to have ulceroprotection properties as well as to accelerate healing rates.** There are at least eight proper research papers on aloe’s natural anti-inflammatory effect, so a food irritated digestive tract will feel so much better for taking just a few capsules. It also is an extraordinary help the-day-after drinking beyond an elegant sufficiency of alcohol the night before, just two tiny capsules settle that horrible stomach feeling. Of course you’ll never need it for that but still. Eases Sunburn The seasoned traveller knows that on the beaches in the Caribbean you can get your back rubbed with a freshly cut chunk of aloe vera to appease the red skin. The interesting thing is that, when you take Aloeride® Aloe Vera orally - 2 capsules a day one week before and during your holiday - , you can achieve a similar effect, it helps the skin bounce back from a sudden change in sunlight exposure and is likely to keep your tan for longer. So one herb made to unrivalled standards may make your holiday more enjoyable still. * classified as grade D (EU grade) / class 100,000 (US class Federal Standard 209E) / ISO 8 ** GALAL EE, KANDIL A, HEGAZY E, EL GHOROURY M, GOBRAN W: Aloe Vera and gastrointestinal ulceration, J Drug Res Egypt 7:73-77, 1975.; GUPTA MB, NATH R, GUPTA GP, BHARGAVA KP: Antiulcer activity of some plant triterpenoids, Indian J Med Res 73:649-652, 1981.

Aloe Vera and Climate Change

What is aloe vera, Aloeride® and Climate Change

Among plants aloe vera may be an Ugly Betty but it has a 4,000+ year track record of being hugely valued for improving both health and beauty. Earliest recorded pharmaceutical use dates back to 2100 BC (Sumeria/Babylon), also hieroglyphic inscriptions of aloe dated to 4100 BC were found in the tomb of an Egyptian Court physician. Queen Cleopatra and Queen Nefertiti, both renown for their stunning beauty, used aloe vera to stay healthy and beautiful. Aloe vera today still is unfailingly popular for the same reasons it was valued for throughout the ages. Although aloe vera looks like a cactus, it actually is a succulent and a member of the Liliacae family (like the onion, garlic, asparagus, lily and the tulip). Unsurprisingly one of aloe vera’s nick names is ‘lily of the desert’ because that is where it grows naturally. To survive long periods of droughts these xeroids plants have the ability to retain and preserve large quantities of water. Being able to survive such a harsh environment has interesting implications for you. When for instance an aloe leaf gets damaged it instantaneously repairs this damage thereby avoiding loss of water. Failure to quickly repair the injury site would result in evaporation of its precious reservoir and might jeopardise the plant’s health or survival. Such tissue repair and other powerful aloe vera properties are transferred to you when you ingest Aloeride® Aloe Vera. There are more than 350 varieties of aloe vera yet only 4 contain significant healing properties, the most nutrient dense of these is aloe vera barbadensis miller, the plant used to make Aloeride® Aloe Vera. Aloe vera is a complex, interacting mixture of some 300 constituents including beta-linked polysaccharides, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, lignins, saponins and anthraquinones. The challenge in processing aloe vera is how to extract all of these synergistic molecules without damaging them or without significantly altering their ratios to one another. Next you must deliver all these synergistic molecules in meaningful quantities for only then can the many properties attributed to aloe vera manifest themselves. We chose to grow the best and process in the cleverest possible way and as a result Aloeride® Aloe Vera emerges as the top flight aloe vera product in multiple, independent laboratory tests. With a nick name like ‘lily of the desert’ you won’t be surprised to learn that aloe vera cannot tolerate frost. Its water content freezes at 28° Fahrenheit (minus 2°Celcius) causing the plant to die. Consequently most commercial growth of aloe vera happens south of the Equator. North of the Equator commercial growth still is precarious, aloe growers in the ‘dust bowl’ of southern Spain got clobbered when in February 2005 temperatures fell to minus 10° in Madrid and minus 20° in Aragon. But also south of the Equator the climate is changing, until recently Australia was a large producer of aloe vera like it was of wheat, cotton lint, wine grapes and rice. Their prolonged droughts caused a drop in wheat production by over 58% which made wheat prices surge to a 10-year high, these drought also affected Australia’s aloe vera production where one company alone converted some 7,000 tonnes of aloe vera leaf into around three million litres of gel each year. An aloe vera plant needs 150mL water a month as otherwise it dies. Plants that do survive the drought generate more aloin and emodin, resulting in their gel having an even more bitter taste and stronger odour than usual. It is what dehydrated aloe does for self-preservation because emodin and aloin have anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal and anti-cancer effect. These hydroxyanthraquinone compounds become life savers as the dehydrated plant fights cell disorganisation and bacteria, viruses or fungi that prey on it. However, what is good for a distressed aloe vera plant isn’t necessarily good for you. In the lower gastrointestinal tract barbaloin molecules are hydrolysed to create aloe emodin which acts as a laxative by increasing water retention and mucus secretion in the large intestine. Aloe vera crop surviving droughts may come with a sting in its tail that causes mayhem in sensitive digestive tracts. In order to achieve product consistency in a changing climate, we perform routine laboratory tests on trial processed harvests and base our purchases on those outcomes. The effect of climate change reaches aloe vera crops worldwide and to date Aloeride® Aloe Vera has needed to make two rejections because of our very exacting Quality Control. Climate change certainly makes optimal harvesting more challenging than it has been in the past decades but the customer feedback shows that keeping to our unique standards makes an appreciable difference to customer’s quality of life. An Ugly Betty aloe vera may be, but in Aloeride® Aloe Vera it waves its magic wand supremely.