How are Herbalife products related to cancer?

Öko-Test took a close look at various gels with aloe vera. A questionable substance was also discovered: This can increase the risk of developing cancer.

  • Öko-Test * has examined aloe vera gels.
  • in the test a questionable substance was discovered.
  • This should cancer favor in humans.

Kassel - a plant with many areas of application: Aloe vera. The desert plant is considered a miracle cure for health - the skin in particular should benefit from it. Whether sunburn, insect bites or cuts: the aloe vera gel promises a healing, cooling effect. Accordingly, cosmetic products as well as food and medicines advertise the healing power of the plant. Thereupon has Eco test checked 19 products in one test.

Often a concentration of the leaf juice of up to 100 percent is advertised. In many cases, creams and lotions only contain a small dose.

Aloe vera gel at Öko-Test: Eleven products do very well

Eleven products in test received the top rating of "very good". The experts at Öko-Test can recommend three aloe vera gels with “good”. However, the consumer magazine came to a terrifying result with two products.

During the test could be detected in the laboratory in these products formaldehyde / -apstalter. Even in small quantities, it is said to irritate the mucous membranes and trigger allergies. In the meantime it became known that the substance "cancer can produce ”- it was therefore banned in cosmetic products.

plantReal aloe (aloe vera)
Original homeArabian Peninsula
First scientific descriptionCarl von Linné (1753)

Aloe vera gel at Öko-Test: Two products in the test contain questionable substances that promote cancer

Formaldehyde has been used for a long time and was originally used to make products durable. According to the Federal Environment Agency, the substance was named “can” in June 2014 due to new findings cancer generate "classified.

Fabrics that cancer cause or increase the incidence of cancer are classified as carcinogenic. As reported by the Federal Environment Agency, rats that repeatedly inhaled high concentrations of formaldehyde have developed tumors in the nasal cavity in the course of their lives.

A total of 11 of the 19 aloe vera gels tested received an Öko-Test rating of “very good”. Among others certified as natural cosmetics like the Arya Laya Aloe Vera Gel (promotional link):

  • Alterra Oil-Free Aloe Vera Gel, Rossmann
  • Arya Laya Aloe Vera Gel, M.E.G. Gottlieb (health food store)
  • Bergland Aloe Vera Gel, Bergland-Pharma
  • Farfalla Aloe Vera Moisture All-Over Gel, Farfalla
  • Santaverde Aloe Vera Gel Pure without fragrance, Santaverde

But even with aloe vera gels that are not certified as natural cosmetics, some products have achieved the test rating "very good".

  • Huebner Aloe Vera Gel, Anton Huebner
  • Isana Hydro Care Gel Aloe Vera 90%, Rossmann
  • Jean & Len 100% Aloe Vera Gel, Junglück

The complete list with the exact test results is available from Öko-Test (for a fee).

Hazardous substances found in aloe vera gel: Can cause cancer

However, this does not apply to formaldehyde releasers. Here formaldehyde is only contained in bound form and is only released over time. Formaldehyde release agents are still permitted as preservatives. However, the spin-offs are not in any of the two products test on the list of ingredients.

Dangerous fragrance found in aloe vera gel in test: reproduction can be damaged

The source of the formaldehyde remains unclear. But that's not all: in one of the two Aloe vera gels it contains questionable fragrances. On the one hand, the synthetic fragrance Lilial. This one has to Eco test proven to be harmful to reproduction in an animal experiment.

But Galaxolid, an artificially produced musk fragrance, was also discovered. The fragrance should accumulate in the fatty tissue and distribute itself almost everywhere in the environment, including rivers.

Aloe vera gel at Öko-Test: Misleading product description on various products

Almost all providers in the test advertise the aloe vera content in their products. However, it is loud Eco test misleading to consumers. For example, the gel of the dm own brand “Balea” costs 90 percent Aloe vera 1.95 euros (200 milliliters). The gel of the “Santaverde” brand, on the other hand, costs 37.98 euros for what appears to be the same concentration and quantity.

On the other hand, “Jean & Len” advertises their product with a 100 percent aloe vera concentration. On the list of ingredients, however, the active ingredient is only in sixth position. This can be related to processing, among other things.

The “Santaverde” brand is one of the few manufacturers in the test, which process the pulp of the aloe vera plant into a not-from-concentrate juice and mix it into the gel. Because the juice has yet to be preserved, the company cannot increase the concentration.

Aloe vera gel at Öko-Test: Powder extract is often used

Manufacturer of the products in test often use a powder concentrate. To do this, the juice from the pulp of the plant is heated in several steps and then freeze- or spray-dried. This is easier to process and carries fewer risks when it comes to preserving the aloe vera leaves.

The powder can later be diluted back in the gel or overconcentrated. For example, the gel from "Jean & Len" was overconcentrated. Accordingly, there is a high one Aloe vera Salary does not automatically mean a high density of active substances.

Öko-Test: declaration of aloe vera gel unreliable

The labels on the article packaging in test customers cannot rely on. Half of the manufacturers advertise the juice of the plant: “Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice”. When asked, they gave Eco test indicate that they are using powder extract.

Overall, aloe vera gels are particularly suitable for travel. They cool light sunburn and soothe mosquito bites. A high concentration does not necessarily mean a high density of active substances. That depends above all on the quality of the raw materials.

Cancer from aloe vera: do not process the leaves yourself

It advises Eco test Do not process the aloe vera leaves yourself. Aloin, which is suspected, is hidden under the leaf peel cancer to create. But that's not a problem in cosmetic products. The inside of the aloe vera has to be peeled out and freed from aloin residues.

Cancer from milk *? Milk is one of the most controversial foods of all. Experts and nutritionists are now warning of cancer. The Federal Institute for Risk (BfR) has also expressed itself.

Cancer from food *: Eating healthy food can lower the risk of cancer. Stiftung Warentest gives tips on healthy eating. (Karolin Schaefer) * is part of the nationwide Ippen digital editorial network.

List of rubric lists: © SWR - Das Erste


Karolin Schaefer

Karolin Schäfer works as a freelancer for the central editorial office.