I have a little booklet on Aloe and yes as Shelley says it contains both monosaccharides such as glucose and fructose and polysaccharides of which polysaccharides are the most important. Just from some basic research I think glyconutrients only provide monowhatsits!
The booklet 'The Essential Aloe Vera: The Actions and the Evidence' by Dr. Peter Atherton (with tonnes of letters after his name!) who researched Aloe at Oxford says..
"The leaf and its contents....include
the parenchymatous gel
There are over 75 known ingredients in the aloe vera leaf itself divided into 8 distinct categories....The solid fraction only form 0.5% - 1.5% of the plant. It's average pH value is 4.55
Aloe contains a vast array of nutrients including
anthraquinones and their derivatives including
ester of cinnamonic acid
barbaloin (this is the main anthraquinone_
These compounds are found in the sap alone. Traditionally they are known as laxatives, and in high concentrations on their own, they can be toxic, but within the complex environment of the aloe vera plant they are not. They are excellent analgesics, or pain killers, and they also possess powerful antibacterial, antifungal and virucidal activity.
In order to obtain the painkilling benefit as well as the ability to enhance absorption from the gut, some sap containing anthraquinones should be present in any Aloe drink.
Chemistry of Anthraquinones
The main anthraquinone found in the sap, latex or resin in aloe vera is Barbaloin which is synonymous with Aloin. There are also derivatives which are anthrones and chromones. These form the phenolic fraction of the sap.
After ingestion Aloin is converted by bacterial action in the large bowel to Aloe-emodin-9-anthrone. This is the active ingredient which causes an increase in water content of the large intestine by inhibiting electrolyte absorption and stimulating electrolyte secretion. It may also stimulate peristalsis.
Other constituents in aloe...
minerals...calcium, manganese, sodium, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, iron.
vitamins...Vit B1, B2, B3, B6, Choline, B12, vit C, beta-carotene, folic acid
Amino Acids, all except tryptophan
Enzymes....peroxidase, aliiase, catalase, lipase, cellulase, carboxypeptidase, amylase, alkaline phosphatase
Sugars...polys and monos. The most significant polyssacharide has been isolated by Carrington Laboratories in the US under the trade name 'Carrisyn'.
The polys are called gluco-mannans or polymannose because molecules of mannose are linked to molecules of glucose but there are a few more of the mannose molecules. They vary in size tremendously form a few hundred daltons (the unit of measurement) to four million daltons and are very special sugars because of their mode of absorption from the gut. Most sugars are broken down by enzymes, absorbed piecemeal and are then reconstituted, but the long-chain gluco-mannans are absorbed whole by certain cells lining the digestive tract. This action is called pinocytosis, which results in these sugars entering the blood stream in their original form.
Different members of these compounds are thought to improve arthritis, hypertension and indigestion as well as lower cholesterol, improve liver function and promote the healing of bone by increasing uptake of calcium and phosphate. In a concentrated form they have been shown to help with inflammatory bowel conditions of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
The Acemannan Story
Acemannan is a B - (1,4) linked acetylated mannan. It possesses three pharmacological actions:
a) primary anti-viral activity
b) secondary immunomodulating activity
c) tertiary activity in reducing opportunistic infections
In vitro acemannan has been shown to enhance the capacity of cytotoxic 'T' lymphocytes by almost 50%. It has also been seen to activate macrophages (chicken) to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide acts as cytotoxic and cytostatic effector in killing tumour cells and intracellular parasites. Nitric oxide may be an important factor in mediating immune regulation and host defences in mammalian and avian species. The stimulation of macrophages has been found in rate to accelerate wound healing.
These plant steroids are important anti-inflammatory agents, the four main ones being:
Lupeol also acts as an anti-septic and analgesic agent. Finally, Aloe vera does contain some salicylic acid, an aspirin-like compound which together with lupeol provide some of its pain-killing properties. Other small molecules found in the solid fraction are plant hormones known as gibberellins and auxins".
Not sure if you wanted to know all that but as you can see I didn't have much else to do this evening!! Hope I got all the spellings right!!