Aloe vera juice diets have become very popular lately, with many people claiming drinking aloe vera will help you lose weight. But are they right?
There have been very few experiments investigating the effect of aloe vera on weight loss in humans. We could only find one study that showed Aloe Vera supplementation led to weight loss in diabetic individuals. However the study didn’t measure how much the participants ate or exercised therefore their weight loss may have been due to calorie restriction, so it cannot be used as evidence.
Aloe vera products are often sold as a “detox” package. Any commercial product claiming to be a detox aide is quite simply a waste of time and money. Your liver is devoted to removing toxins from your body and if that process isn’t working efficiently, you will need a liver transplant, not a dietary supplement.
The first two days of one brand’s detox package involve depriving your body of essential nutrients, only drinking the aloe vera juice combined with one meal replacement shake. The rest of the seven days also involve calorie restriction with only a 600kcal meal and two meal replacement shakes. We can’t stress enough the damaging effects partial starvation diets of this kind inflict on your body. They have been associated with muscle loss leading to a slower metabolism making it harder to lose fat stores.
If you manage to stick to the regime, you will probably lose weight but as a result of dramatic calorie restriction, not any magical properties of the aloe vera or the other supplements sold in the package.
Quick fix diets do not work, if you are losing more than one-two pounds a week on a dramatic diet, that weight loss isn’t fat. Instead, it will be water weight or muscle loss, and as soon as you start eating “normally again” (you will do as this is not a sustainable diet), you’ll find the weight returns.
We are three student dietitians at King’s: Elisabeth, Caroline and Harriet. Together, we’re Fight The Fads, a myth-busting group who tackle myths about dieting in the media and set the records straight with regular posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (@fightthefads).