The transparent gel of Aloe vera has been used as a nutritional supplement and herbal remedy for centuries. It is claimed to have several therapeutic properties but there is little scientific evidence of its effectiveness and safety. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of GNLD’s Aloe vera plus on the liver of rats. Eighty apparently healthy, adult Wistar albino rats were divided into five groups, three of which given three different doses of Aloe vera plus twice a day for 14, 28 and 42 days. One of the groups served as control and another was given Aloe vera plus for 28 days, following which the drug was withdrawn for another 28 days. The animals were sacrificed at the end of the experiment. Blood samples and the livers were collected for liver enzyme estimation and histopathological analysis. We found a significant elevation of all the liver enzymes after 14 and 28 days of administration of Aloe vera plus and upon withdrawal of the drug for 28 days, the enzyme levels returned to normal values. The histopathological analysis revealed a number of toxic effects, including portal triditis, myxoid degeneration, intracytoplasmic vacuolization , intraparenchymal haemorrhage and hepatic necrosis. Aloe vera plus caused a time- but not dose-dependent hepatotoxicity which recommends the need for more stringent regulation by food and drug regulatory authorities to ascertain its effectiveness and safety.
West African journal of pharmacology and drug research 09/2011; 26(1). DOI:10.4314/wajpdr.v26i1.70058