Interview with Dr. Santiago Rodriguez: the History and Benefits of Aloe vera Extract
*The following feature on Acemannan, an active ingredient in Aloe vera, is paraphrased and extracted from an interview conducted this year between Regenrus and Dr. Santiago Rodriguez. The claims made here are not official statements by Regenrus, and they should not be considered or inferred as such, specifically in regard to effects of these ingredients in the body. These claims should not be taken as assertion of fact by Regenrus or any affiliated party.*
Dr. Santiago Rodriguez was born and raised in the balmy tropics of Costa Rica, surrounded by a lush tapestry of biodiverse flora. Coming from a family of both scientists and natural product users, he became interested in the science behind plants and the body. As a youth, he would even accompany his aunt to the laboratory she worked in. After taking opportunities to do research in Costa Rica, Dr. Rodriguez took up studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. It was through a UTD internship that he discovered the regenerative power of Aloe vera and the unique immune system modulating polysaccharides it contains. Dr. Rodriguez began to focus on these Polyacetylated Mannans, or Acemannan as they are commonly known, seeking to understand how these long chains of mannose sugars interact with the human immune system. Dr. Rodriguez collaborated with a company studying the effects of these amazing compounds when injected directly into the bloodstream and made some incredible discoveries about the ingredient as well as processes for research, FDA regulations and everything in between. After many years of working with the company, he decided to break off on his own and continue his work introducing the power of Aloe vera Extracts to the world. Regenrus is fortunate to collaborate with Dr. Rodriguez on the development of our proprietary RegenAloe(TM) Aloe vera Extract ingredient found in our REGEN and REST products, with more to come in the future.
We got a chance to sit down and talk with him about quality care for ingredients, the immune system, RegenAloe, and how to live a healthy and balanced life. The following wisdom is paraphrased from that conversation.
Integrity of Your Ingredients: Processing with Care
Before talking about Acemannan, let’s talk about the importance of processing Aloe, or any other ingredient. Many of these kinds of organic compounds are fragile. They may not work well if you are not careful and can even be completely destroyed. The example I like to use is an egg. Let’s say you have a hen living in ideal circumstances -- drinking pure water, living healthily and eating appropriate food. The hen produces a perfect organic egg. In the egg white is the compound albumin, an active ingredient. If you break the egg and remove the egg white, there it is. Now let’s say you take the same egg and you heat it up, creating a hardboiled egg. Obviously something changed. The second one is a hard substance, while the first is a viscous liquid. If you wanted a sample of the albumen, you want it in the liquid, bioavailable form, rather than the hardened version. This is the importance of processing. You want to make sure the compound you are looking for has been treated properly, and if you look at the details, you may find a great deal of inconsistency in the treatment of the actual resource.
*We at Regenrus fully believe in and follow this careful ethos surrounding the processing of ingredients. All of our manufacturers and ingredient sources are vetted for their quality and care of development.
Aloe vera, a Powerful Health Aid Vetted Across the World
Let’s start with an early story in India, circa 1985. A doctor took 5,000 of his patients and had them introduce raw Aloe vera and fibers into their diets. Now, there was no placebo control, but he did follow this rather large sample group for five years. The results were, in a word, amazing. This was a peer reviewed and published study. All members showed signs of improved lipid profiles, and the general well being of the group was overall vastly improved. You can find many other studies focused on different systems of the body that show positive results for many different populations.
Now all of these studies have one thing in common, and the more science allows us to see it, the more evident it becomes: immune system modulation. It affects so much. The more we study mental decline for instance, the more we see the immune system could be a major player. These early studies raised suspicion from the medical and regulatory establishment because the variety of benefits stemming from the use of Aloe were so many – it seemed like a "cure all"; however, with time it became clear that an optimally functioning immune system provides these benefits in a natural way and that what the Aloe vera is doing is providing the body with nutritional elements that makes this happen. The impact Aloe vera has on the immune system is the key.
The Immune System and RegenAloe
The immune system is critical for everything from vision repair to fighting off external and internal attacks on the body. A properly working immune system keeps our health from degrading as we age. One of the primary factors of why young people are healthier is because their immune system works better. Although we don't use Acemannan to treat, prevent or mitigate any disease, if you provide the proper nutrition in the diet and give the immune system what it needs, then you can improve the wellbeing of a person in a very substantial and very intimate way because the immune system is critical to everything.
As the Acemannan in our ingredient RegenAloe(TM) is metabolized by the body, it is broken down into smaller parts inside cells, giving support to the cells. Acemannan engages with specific receptors in immune system cells, and it interacts with these cells in a way that activates them. The next way that Acemannan helps the immune system is it interacts with bacteria in our colon, nurturing the proper bacteria that are known to be beneficial agents to the immune system
Ninety percent of the cells in our body are not human – only 10% of our cells are ours. The other 90% are foreign organisms that live within us and protect us. They help make our immune system work, and they help digestion. If you take a microscope and look at the human eyebrow, you will find tiny worms that clean it and prevent bad things from falling into our eyes. Oftentimes people use antibacterial soap because they think they need to sanitize their skin. However, they are killing all of the organisms, both the good and the bad.
Aloe vera, and especially Aloe extracts rich in Acemannan like RegenAloe(TM), help provide nutrition for the good guys. This is the final way it helps our immune system and our capacity for our bodies to regulate health. The body and the organisms within it are smart. We have the capability to create the conditions for health within ourselves, we just need to supply the body with the proper nutrients so it can optimize for health.
Bringing it All Together: Our Bodies Are Built for Health, RegenAloe(TM) Helps
Nature is smart, the body is smart. Give it what it needs, and it will ensure the immune system runs properly.
To summarize, Regenrus's proprietary Aloe vera Extract RegenAloe(TM) helps the body by providing elements of nutrition that directly interact with our systems and cells at various levels of the immune system and the gut.
Aside from taking REGEN and REST on a daily basis, there are three ways we can support our immune systems:
Rest. Get the proper amount of sleep. People don’t sleep enough or get good enough quality rest these days. We need it!
Exercise, good exercise. Not just listening to the news while running at the gym. Go outside. Use your body. Live.
Nutrition, as we covered.
Talking to Dr. Santiago Rodriguez was an inspiration and joy, and we can’t wait to bring REGEN and REST to you and your family and friends.