Store-bought aloe vera may not contain the actual healing substance that it claims to be, a Bloomberg survey of the popular gel has found. The trading news analyst performed lab tests and reviewed ingredients aloe vera gel available for sale at Target, Walmart and CVS, and found no indication of the plant in the products.
According to the Bloomberg report, the product ingredient lists of recommended aloe barbadensis leaf juice, another name for the aloe vera, either the Number 1 or 2 ingredient. However, Bloomberg’s tests showed that aloe three chemical markers—acemannan, malic acid, and glucose were not present in the products purchased by the three retailers, while a aloe imitation substance, the sugar, maltodextrin,.
Aloe vera products, which have risen in popularity and even broken in the beverage industry, are thought to help heal burns, cold sores, frostbite and psoriasis. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), aloe vera can also be taken orally to help in the treatment of osteoarthritis, bowel diseases and fever.
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Bloomberg noted that the U.S. market for aloe products has grown by 11 percent in the past year to $146 million, according to SPINS LLC, a Chicago-based market researcher. Without the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the suppliers are expected to have a fair system.
“You must be very careful in the selection and use aloe products, Tod Cooperman, the president of White Plains, New York-based ConsumerLab.com, told Bloomberg.