Table of Contents
ISRN Gastroenterology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 206103, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/206103
Research Article

A Randomised, Cross-Over, Placebo-Controlled Study of Aloe vera in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Effects on Patient Quality of Life

1School of Medicine, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
2Clinical Research Unit, Morriston Hospital, Swansea NHS Trust, Swansea SA66NL, UK
3Morriston Hospital, ABM NHS Trust, Swansea SA66NL, UK
4Forever Living Products (UK) Ltd, Warwick, W346RB, UK
5Singleton Hospital, ABM NHS Trust, Swansea SA28QA, UK
6Neath Port Talbot Hospital, ABM NHS Trust, Port Talbot SA127BX, UK

Received 10 September 2010; Accepted 4 October 2010

Academic Editors: Y. Araki and W. A. Meier-Ruge

Copyright © 2011 H. A. Hutchings et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, difficult to treat condition. The efficacy of Aloe vera in treating IBS symptoms is not yet proven. The purpose of this study was to determine if Aloe vera is effective in improving quality of life. Methods. A multicentre, randomised, double-blind, cross-over placebo controlled study design. Patients were randomised to Aloe vera, wash-out, placebo or placebo, washout, Aloe vera. Each preparation (60 mL) was taken orally twice a day. Patient quality of life was measured using the Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Score, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Quality of Life, EuroQol and the Short-Form-12 at baseline and treatment periods 1 and 2. Results. A total of 110 patients were randomised, but only 47 completed all questionnaires and both study arms. Statistical analysis showed no difference between the placebo and Aloe vera treatment in quality of life. Discussion. This study was unable to show that Aloe vera was superior to placebo in improving quality of life. Drop outs and other confounding factors may have impacted on the power of the study to detect a clinically important difference. Conclusion. This study failed to find Aloe vera superior to placebo in improving quality of life proven Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients.