Aloe Vera Components Linked to Cancer

Aloe vera is a member of the family Liliaceae. It is a short stemmed succulent, perennial herb with more than 360 different species and is cultivated in the dry regions of North America, Europe and Asia. The numerous beneficial effects attributed to Aloe gel, its production is an emerging industry for making cosmetics, functional food, and drugs. Aloe vera has been used worldwide for pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries due to its wide biological activities. Aloe gel is used as a skin balm for minor burns and is also taken internally to treat constipation, colitis, peptic ulcers, diabetes, and for some other therapeutic purposes. In addition, aloe juice is marketed as a health tonic and as an ingredient of other fruit juice mixtures.

Recently, Aloe vera has been studied by NTP. The nomination of these studies came from the National Cancer Institute, because of Aloe's widespread use and concern that some components (suc as aloin and aloe-emodin) may cause cancer. The NTP studies on Aloe vera were conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) National Center for Toxicological Research discovered that Aloe vera whole leaf extract causes intestinal adenomas and carcinomas in laboratory animals. Moreover, the mechanism of the genetic mutations is similar to that seen in human colon cancer. The overall evaluation was that whole leaf extract of Aloe vera is possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Aloe plant


  1. Quality and Acceptability of Meat Nuggets with Fresh Aloe vera Gel V. Rajkumar et al. Asian-Australas J Anim Sci. 2016 May; 29(5): 702–708.
  2. Aloe vera Non-Decolorized Whole Leaf Extract-Induced Large Intestinal Tumors in F344 Rats Share Similar Molecular Pathways with Human Sporadic Colorectal Tumors. Arun R. Pandiri et al. HHS Author ManuscriptsPMC4911224

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