Aloe Vera: Not a Source of Vitamin B12
A reader told me that she has been seeing aloe vera talked about as a source of vitamin B12 recently. HerbWisdom.com says, “Aloe vera is one of the only known natural vegetarian sources of Vitamin B12,…”
Sigh. It turns out that there have been a couple studies which show that aloe vera enhances the absorption of vitamin B12 for older people:
Yun JM, Singh S, Jialal R, Rockwood J, Jialal I, Devaraj S. A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Crossover trial of Aloe Vera on Bioavailability of Vitamins C and B(12), Blood Glucose, and Lipid Profile in Healthy Human Subjects. J Diet Suppl. 2010 Jun;7(2):145-53. | link
Devaraj, S., Patel, S., Jialal, R., Jialal, I. Aloe supplements enhance bioavailability of vitamin C and B12 in older adults. The FASEB Journal: Experimental Biology 2007 Abstracts 8.1-701.35. Washington, DC; April 28-May 2, 2007. | cited here
Of course, increasing absorption of B12 is not the same as actually containing it. (Please note that I don’t know anything about how to increase B12 absorption through the use of aloe vera.)
And, unsurprisingly, I couldn’t find anything on PubMed that would indicate aloe vera actually contains vitamin B12.