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Health Line

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Aloe Drinks Under Probe

HEALTH drinks containing the 'wonder drug'. aloe vera, are under investigation over allegations that some may contain high levels of a chemical irritant which could cause miscarriages, according to a published report in Britain.

Millions of bottles of juice extracted from the aloe plant are sold daily and the market is worth billions. The juice is used to aid digestion, especially In cases of irritable bowel syndrome, which affects about 12 million people in Britain, and for cosmetics, including shampoo.

But a report In The Daily Telegraph said that scientists have found ;hat many ostensibly pure aloe drinks also contain a substance called aloin which can cause serious stomach upsets and miscarriages.

Aloe vera, which looks like cactus but is from the lily family, has been used for centuries. Cleopatra swore by it, Mahatma Gandhi ate the leaves during his hunger strikes and Gwyneth Paltrow is said to have a daily dose to keep her healthy glow.

It is used for sunburn, eczema, colitis and wounds. Two gastroenterologists at separate London hospitals have started research into its beneficial effects. The paper said that British trading standards officers have confirmed that they have begun an investigation into the aloin content of all 100 aloe vera juice brands on sale.

Independent laboratory tests in the US on leading brands found high levels of aloin in juice when it was claimed that they were aloin-free.

As reported in The Business Line News Service  

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