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Aloe Vera and Anthraquinones: What You Need to Know

Aloe vera field

Aloe Vera has been known for its healing properties for thousands of years. However, not all Aloe Vera products are the same, and without proper treatment of the aloe leaf, some can contain irritants and carcinogens.

Just under the skin of the aloe vera leaf is a yellowish sap. This outer pulp of the aloe leaves, known as the latex, contains anthraquinones, naturally occurring organic compounds. One of these compounds, aloin, is believed to irritate the colon and act as a laxative, causing side effects including diarrhea and abdominal pain. In an untreated whole-leaf form, it’s also been linked to cancer in animal tests. A two-year study on the consumption of untreated whole-leaf extract of aloe vera in rats by the National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) in 2013 found “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity.”

However, that research involved concentrating on untreated aloe vera leaves, not the processed concentrate typically found in commercial aloe vera products meant for oral consumption. Through a purification process called decolorization, the toxic compounds found in the latex layer of the aloe vera leaf are removed. However, not all treatment processes are the same:

 • Some products use just the inner leaf gel instead of investing in the equipment to filter out the anthraquinones, eliminating the nutrients found in the plant rind.

 • Other concentrates use heat as part of processing, which caramelizes the sugars and breaks down the large chains, which also can eliminate beneficial nutrients.

 • Still, other aloe vera products may claim they are beneficial for digestive health and weight loss—claims often linked to the laxative effect of the carcinogen aloin.

 • And some products have very little of the active aloe ingredients in their products at all. Some have been sued for misleading descriptions.

Desert Harvest Super-Strength Aloe Vera uses the entire Aloe Vera leaf, not just the gel. Our patented freeze-dry process filters out all the anthraquinones and insoluble fiber. We use this cold process to avoid breaking down the nutrients and enhance bioavailability. That’s why our Super-Strength Aloe Vera has the highest nutrient intake on the market, with more than 200 nutrients, including antibacterials, antifungals, antivirals, anti-microbials, anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and more—and all without harmful anthraquinones. It’s all part of what makes Desert Harvest unique and uniquely free of toxic chemicals.


Desert Harvest Super-Strength Aloe Vera (SSAV) is Now Available in Europe!

* Currently Super-Strength Aloe Vera (SSAV) 180 count only.

Desert Harvest Europe is delighted to serve customers directly in the following countries: Albania (AL), Andorra (AD), Armenia (AM), Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA), Bulgaria (BG), Croatia (HR), Cyprus (CY), Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Estonia (EE), Finland (FI), France (FR), Germany (DE), Greece (GR), Hungary (HU), Iceland (IS), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Latvia (LV), Liechtenstein (LI), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Malta (MT), Moldova (MD), Monaco (MC), Montenegro (ME), Netherlands (NL), North Macedonia (MK), Norway (NO), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Serbia (RS), Slovakia (SK), Slovenia (SI), Spain (ES), Sweden (SE), Switzerland (CH), Turkey (TR), and Ukraine (UA).

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