In vitro studies suggest that Aloe vera has antiviral activity due to its interference with DNA synthesis (Saoo et al 1996). The polysaccharide fractions of aloe gel inhibit the binding of benzopyrene to primary rat hepatocytes and thus prevent the formation of potentially cancer-initiating benzopyrene-DNA adducts in vitro. This was later confirmed by in vivo studies (Kim & Lee 1997). Moreover, in vitro experiments have shown the anthraquinones in aloe to be virucidal against HSV 1 and 2, vaccinia virus, parainfluenza virus and vesicular stomatitis virus (Anderson 2003).

Investigation with the acemannan component has identified antiviral activity, particularly against feline AIDS, HIV type 1, influenza virus, measles virus and herpes simplex (Kahlon et al 1991 a,b, Sydiskis et al 1991).

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