Tiktok can be an excellent place for information and hacks that make your life easier. However, the problem with it, and all other social media sites, is that misinformation can spread so quickly. This is especially a problem regarding nutrition information and gut health, as these are very trendy topics. Follow along with this TikTok series diving into whether or not these hacks are Fact or Fad?
Disclaimer: I will not be posting these TikTok accounts from which I have gotten this information because I don’t believe we should attack these individuals. This article is to help you realize that not everything you see online is accurate and to do more research yourself or work closely with a registered dietitian who can help you discern what is evidence-based or not.
The TikTok: Many creators are using aloe vera juice to help with bloating and gut health in general. Some creators mention that it aids in “going to the bathroom” and helps relieve constipation.
The Science: As a supplement, aloe vera juice has been studied for its role in skin health, gut health, and oral health. Regarding gut health, aloe vera juice has been used as a laxative since it contains anthraquinone glycosides, a plant compound with laxative effects. However, in 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that studies could not confirm aloe vera juice’s safety; therefore, it was banned as an over-the-counter laxative. Since then, research has been minimal on aloe vera juice for gut health. No long-term studies show its safety or proper dosage, and therefore is not recommended for gut health or constipation. As far as the other benefits of aloe vera juice, it has been studied as a pain-reducing mouthwash for individuals with mouth pain and oral cancers, likely due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, long-term studies still need to be done.
The bottom line: If you are constipated, Miralax is an excellent over-the-counter option that adds additional water to your intestines to help you pass your stool easier. However, long term, try adding more fiber and water to your diet for the best results. I would not recommend drinking aloe vera juice for its laxative effects. If you have issues with chronic constipation, speak with a dietitian about some tips that can help.