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January 23, 2006

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Question from Singapore:

My almost 11 year old daughter has had diabetes for the last year and a half. She takes 17 units of Lantus at lunch time, four units of NovoRapid for breakfast, five units of NovoRapid for lunch, and four units of NovoRapid for dinner. Her A1cs have ranged from 6.9 to 7.1. She he 141 cm (4 feet, 6 inches) and she weighs 35 kg (77 pounds). Her doctor says her control is good except for the few highs before lunch when her Lantus is wearing off. Recently, I started giving her two ounces of pure aloe vera juice in the morning and she has had better pre-lunch readings. Is there any correlation between the insulin and the aloe vera? My pharmacist sells this and also gave me information about other herbal products, some of which make it possible for people to take less insulin. Is this true? I was only giving my daughter the juice as an immune booster.

Answer:

As far as I know from recent literature, aloe vera, a tropical cactus native to North Africa and also cultivated in Turkey, might be of some help in type 2 diabetes through some hypoglycemic agent not yet identified. This is effective because someone with type 2 usually has a residual insulin secretion while someone with type 1 does not. A positive influence of aloe vera has been described towards the healing of dermal wounds in diabetic patients probably due to its likely anti-inflammatory activity. I’d not recommend aloe vera juice for your daughter.

MS