Aloe Vera used in a clinical trial for treating Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis clinical trial
Posted on April 24, 2011
Forever Living Products announces positive results of UK’s first ever clinical trial using Aloe Vera as a treatment for ulcerative colitis.
Forever Living Products (FLP), the UK’s leading supplier of Aloe Vera products has announced the results of what is recognized as the first randomised, placebo-controlled, double blind, clinical trial
for ulcerative colitis ever to be undertaken in the UK, using a herbal approach in the form of an Aloe Vera drink.
The trial, involved 44 patients who suffered with the serious inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis. The trial was designed to test the effects of Aloe Vera (in this case Forever Living Product’s Aloe Vera drink) on this potentially life threatening condition.
It was set up as a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial, i.e. both the prescribing doctor(s) and the patient(s) are unaware as to whether they are using the real Aloe Vera gel or a placebo.
The trial, instigated by Dr. David Rampton, a Professor in the Department of Gastroenterology at the Royal London Hospital, used volunteers from two major teaching hospitals – The Royal London Hospital in Lambeth and The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Professor Rampton’s conclusion was:
“Oral Aloe Vera taken for 4 weeks produces a clinical response more often than a placebo and it also improves histological disease activity (the histological disease refers to what is seen under the microscope when a biopsy is examined) and appears to be safe. These encouraging results suggest that further evaluation of the therapeutic potential of Aloe Vera drink in inflammatory bowel disease is warranted.”
The trial was completed in January 2004 and three different criteria were used to measure the results. Clinical improvement occurred in an average of 38% of patients given the active Aloe Vera Gel, as opposed to an average of 8 % of patients on the placebo.
Dr. Peter Atherton, a former G.P. and now the medical consultant on FLP’s Advisory Board,
commented on the news of the trial results. He said,
“I feel this is a ground breaking piece of research as it is the first randomised, placebo controlled, clinical trial to evaluate a herbal approach to the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Its importance is signified by the fact that the trial and the results were presented at the AGM of the British Society of Gastroenterologists this year.
“However, the jury has been out for a long time, as our first ever clinical trial to reach a conclusion was actually started way back in 1998. I am now delighted to report at last that there is a positive outcome with this trial.
“I first met Dr. David Rampton, the instigator of the trial in December 1997. Now a Professor in the Department of Gastroenterology at the Royal London Hospital, he was then a Senior Consultant. His interest was initially aroused by the dramatic effect FLP’s Aloe Vera drink had on his daughter’s psoriasis. Apparently, he had witnessed the stunning results after his daughter started using our products and the condition had virtually cleared up.
As psoriasis is a disorder of the immune system he postulated that Aloe Vera might work on other disorders of the immune system such as ulcerative colitis, in this case an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks itself. So here we had a conventional medical specialist prepared to evaluate an alternative therapy in a way that would be accepted by the medical fraternity at large. If only all specialists were so open-minded but at the time this was ground breaking.
“In those days I was getting extremely frustrated trying to persuade my medical colleagues to look at the possibility of any trial and getting absolutely nowhere, so you can imagine my delight and surprise when, out of the blue, this doctor rang me up and asked if I would help him set up a trial – would I?!!”
Because of the unusual nature of this trial, the lead researcher Dr. Louise Langmead was invited to present the findings at the annual meeting of the British Society of Gastroenterologists in Glasgow on March 23rd 2004 and then at the American Gastroenterology Association meeting in New Orleans in May 2004. The full paper has been published in the medical journal “Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2004 Apr;19(7):739-47″. It will be clearly stated that the Aloe Vera drink that was used in the trial is manufactured by Forever Living Products.
Bob Parker, Managing Director, of Forever Living Products UK, adds, “We are now eagerly awaiting the results of an even bigger trial into our Aloe Vera drink and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), currently being conducted by the Department of Surgery at the Morriston Hospital, Swansea, Wales. Again, this is the first clinical trial of its kind ever to be undertaken in the UK.”
24 January 2013