For centuries, the plant aloe vera has been used by cultures for its beneficial effects on human health 1. Today aloe vera gel continues to be used in supplements, foods, beverages, and cosmetics. Aloe leaves consist of two major parts, the outer leaf epidermis and the inner leaf gel, which are very different in their chemical composition and properties. Aloe gel is obtained from the inner portion of the leaves. Aloe gel is rich in nutrients and contains an abundant supply of glycoproteins and mono-, oligo- and polysaccharides. Monosaccharide constituents include glucose, mannose, galacturonic acid, glucuronic acid, galactose, arabinose, fucose, glucosamine, fructose, rhamnose and xylose 2.
Much of the health benefits observed by the use of aloe vera gel may be attributed to its high molecular weight polysaccharides. Before a process was developed to stabilize aloe vera gel or extracts, fresh preparations were regarded as being required for any therapeutic efficacy 3. It has now been shown that careful drying of aloe vera gel can retain the polysaccharide content important for producing many of its health benefits 4. Manapol® is a polysaccharide found in aloe vera gel. A unique ingredient exclusive to Mannatech, Incorporated, Manapol is extracted from fresh, washed and filtered gel by a specialized extraction method that yields insoluble fibers and stabilized, high molecular weight (MW) soluble fibers rich in long-chain mannose sugars—beta-(1-4)-acetylated polymannans. Many attribute the benefits of topically and orally-applied aloe vera gel to its polymannan content. The MW of over 20% of Manapol is >800,000. It also contains the monosaccharide sugars glucuronic acid, glucose, galacturonic acid, xylose, galactose, glucosamine, fucose, rhamnose and arabinose, and small amounts of protein, calcium, potassium and sulfate 2,5,6.