Probiotics in Aloe Are Very Acid-Tolerant

April 28, 2014

The latest study on aloe probiotics suggests these bacterial strains could remain alive throughout the human digestive tract.

A rarely mentioned detail about Aloe vera is that this succulent species can make probiotic bacteria. When aloe is exposed to high temperatures, phenolic compounds in the plant oxidize and bacterial growth occurs in their place. Now, a team of researchers believes the probiotics in aloe are especially resistant to acid-meaning the probiotics are likely to remain alive throughout the human digestive tract.

Researchers in Korea isolated five Lactobacillusbrevis strains from naturally fermented aloe. Compared to reference strains of the same family, aloe strains showed increased tolerance for acidic pH environments and bile salts-two key conditions of the human intestinal tract that often prevent other probiotics from surviving there.

In addition to their extended survival, probiotics in aloe demonstrated antimicrobial properties and even a potential to stimulate production of GABA, an amino acid associated with calming effects in humans.

While research is somewhat limited on aloe’s probiotics, recent studies have been highly encouraging, including at least two studies in the past few years suggesting that aloe vera can stimulate probiotic growth in milk and in petri dishes already containing probiotics. If research continues to support aloe in this matter, the plant may join the ranks of numerous other fermented plants, such as kimchi, that already receive high regard for their beneficial bacteria.

 

Robby Gardner

Associate Editor

Nutritional Outlook magazine

robby.gardner@ubm.com

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