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In surprisingly small amounts, Aloe vera sterols improve skin
Aloe vera contains sterols. These compounds have a stimulating effect on skin cells. Their effect is so strong that supplementation with just 20 micrograms per day improves skin elasticity and hydration.
The extract was produced by the Japanese food company Morinaga. Although the article does not mention funding, it is clear that Morinaga had a hand in the research. 4 employees of Morinaga's R&D department were co-authors.
The subjects in the experimental group took 500 milligrams of extract every day. These were extracted from the plant with supercritical carbon dioxide and contained a total of 20 micrograms of sterols, such as lophenol, 24-methyl-lophenol, 24-ethyl-lophenol, cycloartanol and 24-methylene-cycloartanol.
Aloe vera sterol supplementation had no effect on wrinkles.
The supplement also had no effect on the hydration of the skin - measured with a corneometer that sends currents through the skin. However, the latter was the case when the Japanese only looked at women with dry skin. In that subgroup, Aloe vera sterols statistically significantly increased hydration.
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Morinaga then tested the effect of 40 micrograms of sterols in human research - with good results. [Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2016;29(6):309-17.] Half of that dose apparently also works fine, we now know.