Appreciated for years, because considered one of the main natural remedies in the treatment of various deficiencies, aloe-based supplements become banned by the European Union.
The European Food Safety Authority found that the hydroxyanthracene derivatives aloe-emodin and emodin and structurally related substance danthron have been shown to be genotoxic in vitro. Aloe extracts have also been shown to be genotoxic in vitro most likely due to hydroxyanthracene derivatives present in the extract. Furthermore, aloe-emodin was shown to be genotoxic in vivo. The whole leaf aloe extract and structural analogue danthron were shown to be carcinogenic.
Given that aloe-emodin and emodin may be present in the extracts, the Authority concluded that hydroxyanthracene derivatives should be regarded as genotoxic and carcinogenic unless there are specific data to the contrary and that there is a safety concern for extracts containing hydroxyanthracene derivatives although uncertainty persists. The Authority was unable to provide advice on a daily intake of hydroxyanthracene derivatives that does not give rise to concerns for human health.
Considering the severe harmful effects on health associated with the use of aloe-emodin, emodin, danthron and aloe extracts containing hydroxyanthracene derivatives in food, and that no daily intake of hydroxyanthracene derivatives that does not give rise to concerns for human health could be set, such substances should be prohibited.