Forever Aloe Berry Nectar is a bottled beverage made by Forever Living Products. The creators claim that the drink can boost immunity, support healthy digestion and provide energy — but these statements have not been validated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any scientific studies.
Forever Aloe Berry Nectar is a drink sold by a multilevel marketing company. The website says it has several health benefits, but these claims are not supported by the FDA.
What Is Aloe Vera?
There are over 420 known species of the aloe vera plant, which is a succulent. The fleshy leaves of the plant contain a clear, soft gel that is used in cosmetics, ointments, dietary supplements and beverages. This gel is generally safe to use both topically and orally.
Aloe vera leaves also contain latex, a yellow substance found just under the plant's skin. This latex has strong laxative properties, and the Mayo Clinic says it may be harmful when ingested in large quantities. High amounts of aloe vera latex can cause acute kidney failure, which is potentially fatal. If you are concerned about the safety of any supplements you are taking, stop taking them and speak to your doctor about any issues.
Forever Aloe Berry Nectar
Forever Aloe Berry Nectar is a beverage made by Forever Living Products, a multilevel marketing company based in Arizona. The ingredients listed in Forever Aloe Berry Nectar are:
- Stabilized aloe vera inner leaf gel (91 percent aloe vera inner leaf gel, ascorbic acid and citric acid)
- Natural apple juice concentrate
- Natural cranberry concentrate
The Forever Living website says that Forever Aloe Berry Nectar can support your digestion and urinary health, help you maintain "natural energy levels" and promotes a healthy immune system. However, these statements about Forever Aloe Berry Nectar benefits have not been validated by the FDA.
Apple Juice Concentrate Benefits
One of the ingredients in Forever Living Aloe Berry Nectar is apple juice concentrate. The company website says that the apple juice concentrate ingredient provides a phytonutrient called quercetin, which they describe as a "powerful antioxidant."
A 6-ounce serving of unsweetened apple juice concentrate provides 350 calories, 1 gram of protein, almost 1 gram of fat and 87 grams of carbs, including almost 1 gram of fiber and 82 grams of sugar. It also provides 945 milligrams of potassium and 4.4 milligrams of vitamin C.
Harvard Health explains that apple juice concentrate is commonly used as a sweetener, but says that the substance is mostly empty calories. That's because juice concentrates don't have the same fiber, mineral content or vitamin content as whole fruits.
It's unclear how much quercetin is present in the apple concentrate ingredient. An oft-cited study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in November 2002 establishes that juicing fresh apples reduces their antioxidant content by 90 to 97 percent.
Cranberry Concentrate Benefits
Another ingredient in Forever Aloe Berry Nectar is cranberry concentrate. The Forever Living website claims that the cranberry ingredient contains antioxidants and proanthocyanidins, providing urinary health support and a dose of vitamin C.
A 1-cup serving of Ocean Spray cranberry concentrate provides 60 calories and 18 grams of carbs, including 9 grams of sugar. It also provides 170 milligrams of potassium.
UMass Dartmouth explains that certain compounds in cranberries can prevent E. coli bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract, which can help prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberries also contain phenolic compounds that may help protect against chronic diseases like diabetes and stroke. However, Forever Living's claims about the health benefits of their drink cannot be assessed without knowing the exact cranberry content of their product.
Aloe Vera Drinks
Drinks that contain aloe vera pulp have a slightly different nutritional content. For example, one serving of an Eden Tropics aloe vera juice with pulp provides 98 calories and 24 grams of carbohydrates, including 24 grams of sugars. It also provides 91 milligrams of calcium, 34 milligrams of sodium and over 20 milligrams of vitamin C.
Aloe Vera Gel Benefits
A January 2015 review of literature published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine concluded that aloe vera is a "multipurpose medicinal agent" with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. According to the paper, aloe vera latex can be used as a laxative and the gel as a skin healing agent.
The University of Rochester Medical Center says that aloe vera gel has antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, astringent and emollient effects. It can do the following when applied topically to the skin:
- Moisturize and soften skin
- Help sunburns and minor burns heal
- Soothe insect bites
- Stimulate the regeneration of skin cells
Drinking Aloe Vera
The benefits of drinking aloe vera gel have not been rigorously established through peer-reviewed studies. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, proponents of aloe vera gel say that drinking it can soothe stomach irritation, heal stomach problems, heal ulcers and ease menstrual problems.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says there may be some safety concerns around drinking aloe vera latex, which has laxative properties. The substance contains organic compounds called anthraquinones, including one called aloin. The aloin content of various aloe vera drinks is unknown, because manufacturers don't need to list it on labels.
It has not been established for sure that aloin is harmful to humans, or in what quantities, but the institute recommends caution based on an August 2013 National Institutes of Health toxicology study. This study linked aloin content in drinking water to intestinal tumors in rats. The institute calls the study a "cause for serious concern" and has called for more research into the matter.
- Forever Living: "Forever Aloe Berry Nectar"
- University of Rochester Medical Center: "Aloe"
- Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine: "Evaluation of Biological Properties and Clinical Effectiveness of Aloe Vera: A Systematic Review"
- Mayo Clinic: "Aloe"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Apple Juice, Frozen Concentrate, Unsweetened, Undiluted, Without Added Ascorbic Acid"
- Harvard Health: "Added Sweeteners"
- Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: "Activity and Concentration of Polyphenolic Antioxidants in Apple Juice. 1. Effect of Existing Production Methods"
- USDA Branded Food Products Database: "100% Unsweetened Cranberry Juice From Concentrate"
- UMass Dartmouth: "Cranberries and Health"
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: "Aloe Vera"
- National Institutes of Health: National Toxicology Program: "Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of a Nondecolorized Whole Leaf Extract of Aloe Barbadensis Miller (Aloe Vera) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Beverages, Aloe Vera Juice Drink, Fortified With Vitamin C"
- USDA Branded Food Products Database: "Puraloe, Aloe Vera With Pulp"