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  • Dr. Sinnott Discusses Aloe Vera Gel with Industry Leaders

     Dr. Rob Sinnott
    Dr. Rob Sinnott

    When the Natural Products Insider—a trade publication for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals—was looking for industry leaders to share their thoughts about aloe vera, Mannatech’s Co-CEO and Chief Science Officer, Dr. Rob Sinnott, was invited to participate in the discussion. The resulting article, “Aloe veritas,” is a comprehensive look at aloe vera, with an emphasis on its economic impact, topical and oral effects, and regulatory issues.

    The polysaccharide acemannan was frequently mentioned as the gel constituent critically important for product effects. Bill McAnalley, the inventor of Mannatech’s Ambrotose® complex, first patented the extraction and applications of acemannan from aloe gel and named this compound. Today, the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) has a program that verifies whether or not products contain aloe vera gel based on a test for acemannan.

    Dr. Sinnott expressed his concerns about numerous poor-quality aloe products in the marketplace: “Such products have typically been found to contain little (or no) aloe vera gel; they do not have the expected sugar profiles or are contaminated with aloe latex. Aloe latex, the bitter yellow sap from the outer skin of the leaf, contains hydroxyanthracene derivatives, including aloins, and is an OTC laxative drug. Numerous organizations that express concerns about the safety of aloe vera gel intake often err by including effects of whole-leaf products known to contain aloin.” A high-quality aloe gel product should contain less than 10 ppm aloin.

    To validate product quality, Mannatech has submitted its aloe vera gel powders to an independent laboratory for detailed analyses and also conducts ingredient analyses in-house. Mannatech’s product suppliers are approved through a vendor-qualification process that includes supplier questionnaires, on-site audits, certificate of analysis verification of initial lots, and evaluation of subsequent lots upon receipt. An independent laboratory recently tested all Mannatech’s products that contain aloe gel powders to ensure they are aloin-free. This laboratory, which is able to detect aloin at levels as low as 0.6 ppm, was not able to detect it in any Mannatech product.

    Recognizing the key role that its aloe vera gel powders play in product efficacy, Mannatech has been consistently expanding the aloe vera gel scientific literature. During the past decade, Mannatech scientists have published articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented posters about aloe vera gel at scientific meetings, particularly the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine’s Annual Natural Supplements Conference. These studies have described:

    • Digestion of aloe gel by human fecal bacteria. Preliminary data from this research received first prize at the Scripps 4th Annual Conference’s
      pre-clinical research poster competition in 2007.
    • Aloe gel chemical profiles (molecular weight [MW], total carbohydrates and other constituents) and carbohydrate composition (total sugars and free sugars), research conducted by carbohydrate chemistry experts at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, Athens, Georgia.
    • Digestion of aloe gel by specific GI-tract bacterial enzymes.
    • Effects of processing techniques on aloe gel saccharide composition, MW and particle-size distributions.

    More details about these studies can be found on the Publications page on this website.

    Jun 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Press Releases