Aloecorp props up aloe for kidney stones

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Aloecorp is further boosting the profile of aloe and its health
applications with results from a Thai study linking gel from the
plant to the prevention of kidney stone formation.

Aloecorp exists under the umbrella of the Korean-owned Econet companies and has been investigating new health supporting applications for traditional aloe uses. According to the firm, researchers at Khon Kaen University have backed-up previous findings on a potential role for aloe vera gel in preventing renal stone formation. The company is focused on discovering new uses and providing scientific support for the many traditional uses of aloe-based products beyond the topical application familiar to many US households. Aloecorp is using such research to expand its aloe product lines and renew interest in aloe research. "Aloe's benefits for digestive health are well-known too,"​ said Ken Jones, chief science officer of Aloecorp. "But, this recent research reveals a benefit that we hope catches the attention of both the natural health world and greater medical community." ​ Published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand​, the studies looked at the health challenge of kidney stone formation. According to the National Kidney Foundation, about one million Americans, mainly between the ages of 20 and 40, are treated every year for kidney stones. These hard masses occur when calcium oxalate and chemicals in urine form crystals that stick together, growing up to the size of a gold ball. Based on past use of citrate-rich herbal products in promoting kidney health, two studies set out to evaluate citrate concentrations in fresh aloe and then observe changes in urinary concentrations after participants had consumed aloe gel. One of the studies focused on adults, while the other focussed on children between the ages of nine and 13. The participants in the children's study showed a significant increase in citrate concentration, while the adult group showed a significant decrease in oxalate excretion. An additional benefit uncovered during the studies, said Aloecorp, was an overall increase in urinary volume, which helps to promote urinary tract health by decreasing salt crystallization. Other directions the company has planned for applications of aloe include: histamine inhibition, immune stimulation, skin-whitening and protection against nephrotoxicity. The aloe vera is native to North Africa but now can be found almost worldwide, and while there are more than 100 species of aloe, aloe vera is the one that has drawn the most scientific interest. Aloe vera has long, pointed leaves consisting of green rind and clear pulp. The pulp is the part of the plant that has the healing agents in it, but scientists believe almost all of the plant has some use. The rind has been used as a laxative while the pulp has been put on burns and wounds for thousands of years. Besides being used in lotions and medicines, in recent years cosmetic companies have used Aloe vera in a variety of products, especially moisturisers. ​The aloe researchers are even taking the plant into the domain of supporting cancer treatments. Aloecorp in Korea claims to have researched aloe active prokidin and its health-protecting effects when combined with chemotherapy treatment cisplatin.

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