NUTRIENTS FOR PEOPLE AND ANIMALS IN ALOE VERA (THERE’S A LOT)
The health benefits of Aloe Vera are staggering, that's because it contains at least 75 nutrients, yes you heard right, seventy-five to date. This includes Vitamins Minerals, Anti-oxidants and Amino Acids.
Drinking the juice from the Aloe Vera plant can have a multitude of health benefits from lowering blood sugar levels, providing a natural safe laxative effect, promoting general skin health, great for the treatment of numerous skin conditions due to its anti-inflammatory qualities, wound healing promotor, or simply to boost the immune system, all without side effects.
The effect of drinking Aloe Vera juice, especially when taken long term can be hugely beneficial, its benefits have been documented for thousands of years, the Aloe vera leaf is truly a unique and magical thing.
So, let's try to identify some of those nutrients I mentioned before, this is just a list of components, if you would really like to study Aloe we have comprehensive information on the effects of Aloe Vera in another section,....here comes the list.
At least 9 minerals are present, namely:
These often exist as a complete and act synergistically with Vitamins and enzymes. They are essential nutritional components in animal feeds.
The Skeleton and teeth contain 99% of the body’s Calcium, This mineral is essential for the activity of several enzyme systems including those for transmission of nerve impulses and the contraction of muscles. It is also involved in the coagulation of blood.
Deficiency, the most well-known deficiency symptom of calcium is rickets which issue in young animals. Their bones become misshapen joints enlarged with lameness and stiffness.
In adult animals, calcium deficiency leads to osteomalacia. The bones become weak and easily broken because calcium is removed from them. It is important to remember that calcium is closely linked with phosphorus and vitamin D, so any deficiency of these can result in similar diseases.
Most of the sodium stored in animals bodies is found in the soft tissues and body fluids. Sodium is closely involved with potassium and Chloride in regulating the bodies acid-base balance and osmotic properties of the body fluids,
Deficiency: Retards growth and can lead to eye lesions and reproductive disturbances.
Over 90% of the bodies iron is combined with proteins, the most important being haemoglobin.
The haemoglobin is contained in the red blood corpuscles. These are continually being produced by the bone marrow and broken down elsewhere. Fortunately, the iron released by this metabolism is used again, so the daily requirement for iron is low. However, during prolonged haemorrhage or pregnancy, iron deficiency may occur resulting in anaemia,
Deficiency. The most common deficiency is seen in rapidly growing suckling animals because milk is deficient in iron, this is particularly common in piglets housed on concrete. Commercially housed piglets are usually given injections of iron to prevent this deficiency, while those at pasture obtain iron from the soil they consume.
Potassium carries out an interrelated function with sodium chloride and bicarbonate ions in the osmotic regulation of body fluids. Potassium is involved in nerve and muscle excitability and carbohydrate metabolism.
Deficiency is rare. Green food contains more potassium than the body needs. In cases where it is seen, signs develop of poor growth, weakness and muscle paralysis.
In 1959 it was discovered that rats required chromium for normal glucose utilisation due to its involvement with insulin. This mineral also plays a role in lipid and protein synthesis and is involved in regulating cholesterol levels.
Deficiency is seen mainly as a poor growth rate.
This mineral is closely associated with calcium and phosphorus.
Over 70% of the body’s magnesium is found in the skeleton, the rest being present in the soft tissues and body fluids. This mineral is the most common enzyme activator and is involved in conducting electrical impulses required for nerves and muscles.
This mineral is present in every tissue in animal bodies with the highest concentration being found in the bones. High concentrations are also present in the skin, hair and wool. It is an important component of several enzymes and co-enzymes involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It is a very important element in the normal functioning of the skin, digestive and immune systems.
Deficiency leads to depressed appetite, poor growth rates and parakeratosis (reddening of the skin which erupts and forms scabs).
Most body tissues contain a trace of this element, the highest concentration being found in the bones, liver, kidney, pancreas and pituitary gland. Manganese, like magnesium, is involved in activating several enzymes and is therefore involved in several biochemical pathways within the body.
Deficiency leads to poor growth rates and impaired reproductive performance. In females, deficiency results in defective ovulation whilst males there is testicular degeneration resulting in sterility. A deficiency of manganese is also involved with an imbalance of calcium and phosphorous in osteoporosis.
The first evidence that copper was involved in dietary deficiency was discovered in 1924 when copper was shown to be essential with iron in haemoglobin synthesis. Copper is not actually a constituent of haemoglobin but is it an essential component of mature red blood corpuscles.
This element plays an important role in many enzyme systems and is necessary for the pigmentation of hair, fur, wool and feathers. It is present in all cells, being stored particularly in the liver.
Free Radicals and Antioxidants
Animal and human tissues are constantly exposed to free-radicals.
These are unstable energy-seeking chemical substances that cause cellular changes in the body.
They are produced by the normal metabolic processes that occur within us, but also from exposure to smoke, exhaust fumes, radiation, over-cooked food and sunlight. Food additives, as well as herbicides and inorganic fertilisers that we ingest via the food chain, are also a source. Free radicals are unstable because they contain unpaired electrons. To stabilise, free radicals seek out substances with which combine, resulting in cell damage and the breakdown, or oxidation, of tissues.
Antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, intercept free radicals by turning them into stable molecules.
Vitamin C - Ascorbic Acid
An antioxidant vitamin essential in the diet of man, primates and guinea pigs.
Deficiency. Leads to scurvy. Interestingly most other animals do not require a diet source of this vitamin.
A natural antioxidant.
Deficiency. It is involved in preventing infertility, “white muscle disease” and muscular dystrophy. Deficiency can also lead to sudden death in an animal.
This vitamin’s main function is in the formation of red blood corpuscles.
Deficiency is characterised by poor growth and anaemia. Prolonged medication with sulphur drugs, such as some antibiotics, can depress the bacterial synthesis of folic acid by the gut microflora resulting in anaemia.
Acetylcholine, which is derived from this vitamin, is an essential component in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Deficiency. The main symptoms of deficiency are slow growth and fatty infiltration of the liver.
Vitamin B3 - Niacin
Also known as nicotinamide, this vitamin is involved with hydrogen transfer in living cells. The body can synthesise this vitamin from the amino acid tryptophan and therefore deficiency is rare unless the diet is protein deficient.
The amino acids are the building blocks for proteins and are important components of all living cells. Muscle cells are particularly rich in these proteins.
Amino acids are produced when proteins are broken down by enzymes. Over a hundred have been identified but only twenty-two are generally regarded as being components of protein in people and animals. Of these, eight are essential to animal diets and consequently are called essential amino acids. In Aloe Vera twenty amino acids have so far been identified and all of the essential ones.
Several enzymes have been identified in Aloe Vera. These aid in the digestion of food and therefore make the absorption of its nutrients more efficient.
This is a compound related to acetylsalicylic acid, which is known as aspirin. Salicylic acid reduces fever by lowering body temperature - in other words, it is antipyretic. It is also a useful antiseptic, but its major function is as a keratolytic where it softens the keratin layer of the skin and aids exfoliation without being an irritant.
This keratolytic effect has also proved useful in the removal of dead tissue from wounds and can prove beneficial in treating certain types of sarcoids. Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-bacterial properties.
These are the plant steroids that have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic properties.
Present in the mucilage layer of the Aloe Vera plant is simple sugars like glucose, which are called monosaccharides. Chains of these simple sugars joined together are called polysaccharides.
The polysaccharides are the most important group, particularly those containing glucose and mannose.
These are also called glucomannan - and one in particular - acemannan - has been shown to have several actions:
Immunomodulating properties - it helps to return immunity to normal by boosting the level of antibodies (see below).
Antiviral - particularly against tumour producing viruses, such as feline leukaemia.
Reduces secondary infections.
Increases the activity of T-lymphocytes by up to 50%.
Increases the activity of large white blood cells (macrophages) leading to increased wound healing.
This polysaccharide is absorbed intact from the gut (pinocytosis) so it enters the blood unchanged.
The Immune Modulating Action Of Acemannan
Acemannan increases the release of interleukin (cytokine and prostaglandins from large white blood cells (macrophages) as well as stimulating their ability to engulf bacteria (phagocytic).
Acemannan also increases the production of cytokines from T-lymphocytes. Acemannan is engulfed by these cells which stimulate them to release the cytokines. These in turn encourage B-lymphocytes to produce antibodies.
Extract from Aloe Vera Nature’s Gift / Author David Urch
21 MAY 2020