What is Noni?
The noni or morinda plant is a tropical evergreen tree that grows to about 10 feet tall in Tahiti and other Pacific Islands, as well as in parts of Asia, Australia, South America and the Caribbean. The tree can grow to as tall as 10 feet and bears a fruit about the size of a potato which starts out green and ripens into yellow or white. The juice, fruit, bark, and leaves are used in herbal remedies and Polynesian folk medicine.
Noni has been used in folk remedies by Polynesians for over 2000 years, and is reported to have a broad range of therapeutic effects, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antitumor, antihelminth, analgesic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, and immune enhancing effects. Noni juice is also promoted to enhance energy and wellbeing. In India, use noni as a remedy for asthma and dysentery, and folk healers in the Pacific islands use it for many types of illness. In the United States, some noni juice distributors promote it as a general tonic, stress reliever, facial and body cleanser, and dietary and nutritional supplement.
In the United States, noni products are sold in various forms including juice, extract, powder, capsules (nutritional supplements and diet aids), facial cleansers, bath gels, and soaps. Noni distributors and Internet sites selling the juice or supplements often recommend that they be taken on an empty stomach.
Chemical constituents of Noni Powder Extract
Noni has been documented to contain a mixture of anthraquinones, organic acids, xeronine, several vitamins (such as beta-carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin C), some minerals, iron and calcium. The potassium content of noni is similar to that in tomato juice and orange juice. Some of the other beneficial constituents include various terpene compounds, caproic and caprylic acids, and alkaloids. However, Noni is famous for the presence of an alkoloid proxeronine, which is believed to be a precursor to xeronine.
Benefits of taking Noni Powder Extract supplements:
Activates serotonin receptors
Noni Powder Extract contained a naturally occurring component which activates serotonin receptors in the brain and throughout the body. Serotonin is a neuroendocrine compound which along with its receptors is found in high levels in the brain, the blood platelets and the lining of the digestive tract. It is well established that serotonin is an important brain neurotransmitter, and plays a significant role in temperature regulation, sleep, hunger and sexual behaviour. Serotonin deficiency has been implicated in a number of pathological conditions including migraine headaches, obesity, depression and Alzheimer’s disease
Research at the University of Metz in France, demonstrated the central analgesic activity of noni to alleviate pain of many types. Moderate doses of noni was measured to be about 75% as effective as an equivalent dose of morphine sulfate.
Evaluation of the ergogenic potential of noni juice.
Phytother Res. 2007.
Traditionally, noni fruit was used by Polynesians to combat fatigue. Clinical studies have revealed that consumption improves quality of life scores related to physical functioning and energy levels. To further evaluate the ergogenic (antifatigue and endurance promoting) potential of noni juice, aged mice were pretreated orally with increasing doses (10, 20 and 40 mL/kg body weight) of Tahitian Noni Juice and then compared with young and aged controls in the forced swim test and rotarod test. The average times of all Tahitian noni juice dose groups were significantly longer than the aged controls in both the swim test (36% to 45%) and the rotarod test (59% to 128%), and were similar to those of the young controls. This demonstrates not only an improvement in endurance but also in balance and flexibility. These results confirm the its reported use to combat fatigue, improve endurance and increase overall physical performance.
Noni delivers a precursor called “pro-xeronine” to the body which then changes into “xeronine” at the cellular level. It is a substance vital to the function of your body. Without xeronine, your proteins would not be able to function and you would not be able to survive. Most people do not get an adequate supply of xeronine in the food they eat and without a proper supply, many health problems will occur.
Xeronine regulates the rigidity and shape of specific proteins. Since these proteins have different functions, a deficiency of xeronine can affect an unbelievably wide range of physiological responses.
The liver releases just the right amount of proxeronine into the blood stream where it is distributed throughout various tissues in the body every two hours. It is these semi- hourly releases of proxeronine that is responsible for what physiologists call biorhythms, or increases in mental and physical alertness.
Noni increases body energy and has a positive effect on mild mood states. The action of Noni in making a person feel well is caused by xeronine converting certain brain receptors proteins into active sites for the absorption of the endorphones, the well-being hormones.
Noni fruit juice contains a polysaccharide-rich substance called noni-ppt with anti-tumor activity. In a study performed at the University of Hawaii, administration of noni-ppt significantly enhanced the duration of survival of mice with lung tumor. The researchers say, «This suggests possible clinical applications of noni-ppt as a supplemental agent in cancer treatment.» No long term human trials are available to tell us whether it is useful as a cancer treatment or for prevention.
Morinda citrifolia noni reduces cancer risk in current smokers by decreasing aromatic DNA adducts.
drinking 1 to 4 oz of Tahitian Noni Juice daily may reduce the cancer risk in heavy cigarette smokers by blocking carcinogen-DNA binding or excising DNA adducts from genomic DNA.
Noni and cholesterol, lipid disorders
Reductions in total cholesterol and triglycerides have been seen in smokers who drank a product containing juice from the fruit every day for a month.
Scientific World Journal. 2012. Noni juice improves serum lipid profiles and other risk markers in cigarette smokers. Department of Pathology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, 1601 Parkview Avenue, Rockford, IL Cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress leads to dyslipidemia and systemic inflammation. Morinda citrifolia fruit juice has been found previously to have a significant antioxidant activity. One hundred thirty-two adult heavy smokers completed a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to investigate the effect of noni juice on serum cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and homocysteine. Volunteers drank noni juice or a fruit juice placebo daily for one month. Drinking 29 mL to 188 mL per day significantly reduced cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and hs-CRP. Decreases in LDL and homocysteine, as well increases in HDL, were also observed among non drinkers. The placebo, which was devoid of iridoid glycosides, did not significantly influence blood lipid profiles or hs-CRP. Noni juice was able to mitigate cigarette smoke-induced dyslipidemia, an activity associated with the presence of iridoids.
Noni and diabetes, blood sugar control
In Java, noni fruit has been part of the treatment for diabetes. Most of the folk uses for diabetes involve chewing the leaves or a combination of the plant and leaves. Chewing mulberry leaves releases and activates large amounts of mucilage or insoluble dietary fiber. The fiber may slow the absorption of simple sugars from the gut. The effect in most patients would be a slight reduction in the peak glucose level following a meal.
Infections and immune system
Infections are the most common applications. The extract from the leaves (not the fruit) displayed a moderate suppression of Ascaris lumbricoides (intestinal nematodes) growth in the test tube. However, noni juice has not been shown to improve infections once symptoms have manifested, although there are anecdotal reports of patients feeling better from mild infections after using it. Decoctions of the leaves or roots of related mulberry species may have some suppressive effect on parasitic infections.
Food Chem. 2013. Beneficial effects of noni (Morinda citrifolia juice on livers of high-fat dietary hamsters. Drinking it helped reduce hepatic damage from a high fat diet.
Noni and pain relief
The treatment of pain, painful inflammation and swellings are a common usage. Studies in mice have demonstrated that extracts from the root (again, not rendered from the fruit) have some pain relieving and sedative activity.
Side effects and safety of Noni Powder Extract
In some regions of the world noni and other mulberry species are used as a laxative. Predictably, some patients using higher concentrations of noni juice may experience some diarrhea. Although the risk of long-term adverse reactions is not currently known, it should be very low, because of the long history of mulberry species as a food in wide geographic regions.
Dosage of Noni Powder Extract supplement:
Taking less than 10 g every day.