ANTHRAQUINONES

Salicylic Acid | Amino Acids | Anthraquinones | Minerals | Polysaccharides | Vitamins

This is the name given to a group of substances derived from antracene. In order to be transformed into biologically active products, anthraquinones must be processed by the colon after the passage of glucoses consumed orally from the stomach into the intestine where they remain unaltered.

Only in the colon are the glucoses acted upon by the intestinal bacteria. The antrachinones present in Aloe are Aloina A and Aloina B, more commonly known as Aloina and Barbaloina. They are of a yellowish colour and are to be found in the tips of the leaves. After the metabolic processes which take place in the colon are complete the end products are absorbed and stimulate bowel movement, encouraging peristalsis which explains their laxative effect. Furthermore its bacterial action and anti-inflammatory powers have been observed in rats affected by arthritis. Toxicity studies demonstrate that the Aloin donít alter the state of mucosa or cause cell damage.

The peritoneal administration of high doses of Aloina A ( up to 10mg/kg of body weight) does not cause side effects. However the German pharmacopoeia (guide for pharmacists) advises against use during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

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