What's more effective? Aloe vera or omeprazole for gastric ulcers?
A clinical trial was conducted at the University of Adelaide to compare the effects of Aloe Vera on horses suffering from gastric ulcers to that of equine Omeprazole.
Forty horses were used in the trial. Initially an endoscopy was performed on the forty horses. All horses taking part in the trial were confirmed to have ulcers grade two or higher. These horses were then separated into two groups.
Group one was treated with equine Omeprazole and group two was treated with Aloe Vera.
The horses received 4 mg/kg body weight omeprazole once daily.
Aloe Vera Treatment:
The horses received 17.6 mg/kg body weight of dehydrated inner leaf aloe vera powder. The reconstituted powder was administered twice daily.
The team at the University of Adelaide performed a repeat endoscope after four weeks. The result showed that horses treated with aloe vera showed squamous lesion improvement.
However the ones on the omeprazole treatment showed an even greater improvement.
- Ulcers becoming Grade 1 lesions or less were 17% for the aloe vera group.
- Ulcers becoming Grade 1 lesions or less were 75% for the omeprazole group.
- 65% of horses on the aloe vera treatment improved by at least one lesion grade.
- 85% of horses on the omeprazol treatment improved by at least one lesion grade.
The following claim was made by Samantha Franklin BVSc, PhD Dipl ACVSMR MRCVS.
We found that Aloe Vera was not as effective as omeprazole for equine gastric ulcers. But some horses did show a slight improvement. Further investigation will help better understand glandular lesion development.
The trial result showed that Omeprazole proves to be a better treatment against gastric ulcers as opposed to Aloe Vera. That is why to date omeprazole remains the treatment of choice for gastric ulcers within the equine industry.
Horses with a history of ulcers often have a relapse. Therefore there is a keen interest to further investigate the use of aloe vera as a preventative approach. This should be another interesting trial.