Journal Article

Clear Evidence of Carcinogenic Activity by a Whole-Leaf Extract of <i>Aloe barbadensis</i> Miller (Aloe vera) in F344/N Rats

Mary D. Boudreau, Paul W. Mellick, Greg R. Olson, Robert P. Felton, Brett T. Thorn and Frederick A. Beland

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 131, issue 1, pages 26-39
Published in print January 2013 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online September 2012 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfs275
Clear Evidence of Carcinogenic Activity by a Whole-Leaf Extract  of Aloe barbadensis Miller (Aloe vera) in F344/N Rats

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Aloe barbadensis Miller (Aloe vera) is an herbal remedy promoted to treat a variety of illnesses; however, only limited data are available on the safety of this dietary supplement. Drinking water exposure of F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice to an Aloe vera whole-leaf extract (1, 2, and 3%) for 13 weeks resulted in goblet cell hyperplasia of the large intestine in both species. Based upon this observation, 2-year drinking water studies were conducted to assess the carcinogenic potential of an Aloe vera whole-leaf extract when administered to F344/N rats (48 per sex per group) at 0.5, 1, and 1.5%, and B6C3F1 mice (48 per sex per group) at 1, 2, and 3%. Compared with controls, survival was decreased in the 1.5% dose group of female rats. Treatment-related neoplasms and nonneoplastic lesions in both species were confined primarily to the large intestine. Incidences of adenomas and/or carcinomas of the ileo-cecal and cecal-colic junction, cecum, and ascending and transverse colon were significantly higher than controls in male and female rats in the 1 and 1.5% dose groups. There were no neoplasms of the large intestine in mice or in the 0 or 0.5% dose groups of rats. Increased incidences of mucosa hyperplasia of the large intestine were observed in F344/N rats, and increased incidences of goblet cell hyperplasia of the large intestine occurred in B6C3F1 mice. These results indicate that Aloe vera whole-leaf extract is an intestinal irritant in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice and a carcinogen of the large intestine in F344/N rats.

Keywords: natural products; metabolism; histopathology; chronic; gastrointestinal; carcinogenesis; dietary supplement; Aloe vera; Aloe barbadensis Miller; colon cancer; rodents

Journal Article.  10722 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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