What is Acemannan in Aloe Vera?
For thousands of years, humans have known about the health benefits of the aloe vera plant, with records tracing as far back as the ancient Egyptian era. The Ebers Papyrus,a fragile, 110-page scroll written circa 1550 BC, contains one of the earliest recorded references to the power of aloe vera, which was considered a “plant of immortality.”
Used as a traditional topical skin treatment and moisturizer, aloe vera is a fleshy succulent plant originally found in its native Arabian Peninsula but has since been spread and grown all over the planet because of its natural beauty and wealth of healthful properties.
But what is the magic ingredient inside aloe vera? What makes it so highly revered and sought after since the days of the pharaohs? What makes aloe vera so special that it was even used and referenced in the New Testament account of the burial of Jesus?
The answer to that is a bioactive polysaccharide called acemannan, or ACE for short. So what are polysaccharides? These are bioactive molecules in animals and plants that are often extracted and used for medicinal and healthcare purposes because of their antiviral, antimicrobial, antitumor, and antioxidant properties. Aloe vera happens to be one of the best plant sources of polysaccharides, in particular acemannan.
Acemannan for Immunoregulation
Let’s take a more in-depth look into the acemannan benefits outlined in scientific studies! We’ll start with immunoregulation, which involves immune system responses and interactions. When it comes to immunoregulation, according to International Immunopharmacology, acemannan “has been known to have antiviral and antitumoral activities in vivo through activation of immune responses.” As we can see, consuming sufficient high-quality, acemannan-rich aloe vera juice might offer a powerful boost to your immune system!
Acemannan Anti-Cancer Properties
This miracle molecule’s anti-cancer properties have also been researched and “shown to offer increased immune protection against implanted malignant tumor cells,” according to findings published in Veterinary Herbal Medicine. The book also states that ACE “in the presence of interferon-gamma” can induce apoptosis, or death, within cancer cells.” While research is ongoing, conclusions to-date seem very encouraging about aloe vera’s uses as a possible supplement to enrich diets and promote healthier living.
Acemannan Antioxidant Effects
Antioxidants—the natural enemy of free radicals—can help minimize the damage done by those troublesome uncharged molecules that run around, causing harmful oxidation in our bodies. ACE’s potent antioxidant properties tear up free radicals by having a protective scavenger effect as they reduce damage and mitigate “radiation-induced oxidative damages.” Indeed, we know users seek out acemannan for its antioxidant superpowers. The key, however, is finding superior-grade quality because acemannan can quickly lose its potency during extraction.
Acemannan for Wound Healing
So what role does aloe vera acemannan have when it comes to wound healing? The Journal of Dermatological Science offers some highlights into that question, confirming that acemannan “promotes skin wound healing” and “promotes cell proliferation by inducing cyclin D1 protein translation.” From there, things start to get pretty technical, but the main takeaway for aloe vera lovers is that scientific research shows how ACE really works to help our bodies!
Acemannan for Bone Proliferation and Regeneration
Case Reports in Dentistry features an exciting article on acemannan-induced bone regeneration, which delves into the science behind how ACE “may increase bone formation by increasing cell proliferation.” It also touches on the “anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of acemannan” reported in multiple studies. We’re starting to wonder if there’s anything ACE can’t do!
Acemannan for Neuroprotection
ACE’s seemingly endless array of medicinal uses continues, as noted in the Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Devices, which published an article concluding that “increasing endogenous antioxidant enzymatic activities indicate that Aloe vera and pine bark have [a] neuroprotective role. Thus, herbal treatment of pine bark and Aloe vera may improve the function of ischemia-reperfusion brain injury-related disorders.” If ACE
can naturally protect and promote brain function, then maybe it’s time to break our caffeine addictions and switch to aloe vera juice!
Acemannan for Intestinal Health
A study by the University of Chile recently noted that acemannan’s effects on intestinal health are noticeable, confirming that acemannan is a “promising probiotic” that may “boost the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp.” Better gut health has a positive impact on overall body health, so do your tummy a favor by giving it a daily dose of ACE-dense aloe vera.
Aloe acemannan depends on the species, age, planting conditions, light exposure, irrigation, and cultivation method. There have been numerous exciting studies into the wonders properties of acemannan and the methods of cultivating and extracting it.
According to the Textbook of Natural Medicine (Fifth Edition), as excerpted by Science Direct, “Acemannan demonstrated significant antiviral activity against several viruses, including feline AIDS, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), influenza virus, and measles virus.”
The book describes ACE as having “multifunctional properties such as immunomodulatory activity, antiviral, antioxidant and antibacterial actions,” going on the state that “ACE acts as a bioactive molecule, exerting an immunostimulatory effect by activating macrophages, induction of VEGF [vascular endothelial growth factor] expression and wound healing actions.”
It further notes that studies have shown ACE “stimulated gingival fibroblast proliferation, dental pulp fibroblast proliferation, periodontal tissue regeneration, and bone marrow stromal cell proliferation and differentiation in vitro. These works suggested ACE as a therapeutical agent for tissue repair.”
PubMed.gov, run by the National Library of Medicine and the National Center for Biotechnology Information, published an abstract of National Product Communications’ (Aug 2014)’s article “Acemannan, an extracted polysaccharide from Aloe vera: A literature review.” The article itself reviewed the “composition, actions, and clinical applications of acemannan in medicine and its effectiveness as an adjunct in the treatment of diseases are presented,” going on to note that acemannan “has various medicinal properties like osteogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial, which accelerate healing of lesions.” The article also states acemannan “is known to have antiviral and antitumor activities in vivo through activation of immune responses,” optimistically concluding that “Aloe vera has immense potential as a therapeutic agent.”
Another extensive study was written up for Molecules (Apr 2019), available at the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health website. Titled “Extraction, Purification, Structural Characteristics, Biological Activities and Pharmacological Applications of Acemannan, a Polysaccharide from Aloe vera: A Review,” it offers rave reviews for ACE, noting “aloe leaf possesses numerous functions, which are attributed to the presence of polysaccharides, such as immunomodulation, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti cancer, anti-inflammatory properties,” and singling out ACE for “many pharmacological and biological applications in medical and industrial fields, such as oral diseases, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, [and] tumor diseases.”