14 Things to Know About Noni Juice And Its Benefits For Your Health
Noni juice is a fairly new product that is being sold as a dietary or nutritional supplement. As with many similar products in the news, anyone considering adding Noni juice to their dietary menu should want to become familiar with all aspects of the supplement prior to taking it. Consult with your personal physician before trying any new product, especially if you are taking any prescription drugs.
There are many important details that are known and publicized about Noni Juice as a health product and disease fighter. Different sellers will publicize different facts, and different Noni products that are made by different manufacturers will have different nutrient content and beneficial qualities. It is important to become educated about Noni products before you make any purchases. Here are fourteen of the most important things to know about Noni juice:
1. What is noni?
Noni, known also by the scientific name of Morinda Citrifolia, is a tall perennial evergreen and flowering tree shrub. It is a seed plant that bears a type of potato sized fruit with a peculiar odor that has gained it the nickname of the cheese fruit. As the odor is unpleasant, it has also been called the vomit or cheese fruit. Within the Plant Kingdom, Noni falls under the Genus of Morinda and Species of Morinda Citrifolia. It is commonly called the Indian Mulberry, and is part of the coffee family, Rubiaceae. The fruit, bark, leaves and seeds of Noni are all usable. Dyes can be made from the bark, skin lotions can be made from leaves, and the fruit is used for juicing and making powdered Noni. Seeds can be roasted and eaten.
2. Is it like other products?
Noni juice is similar to some other fruit products, like Acai berries, in that the berries themselves are unpleasant to eat unless fully ripened, and the commercially available product is sold in a different form than raw. Noni berries can be eaten, and the seeds also, but only are eaten in a survival situation in most cases. The smelly plant attracts ants, which help deter plant pests; the unpleasant odor is attractive to fruit bats, and that attraction in the long run helps the plant spread seeds for reproduction of itself. Also like the Acai Berry, Noni is sold for consumption in powder or pulp juice form. Vitamin C levels are about half that of an orange; sodium levels are higher than that found in an orange. Potassium levels are high also, and this is an area for some persons to use caution. Micronutrient content is similar to a raw orange. Also similar to other various plants, Noni contains a number of phytochemicals and antioxidants, but the effects of these are still under study.
3. Are there alternatives to noni juice?
Many products offer claims that duplicate those attributed to the use of Noni Juice. It would be necessary to look at the reasons why a person is seeking relief and from what ailment relief is sought to determine whether to try Noni juice or Noni juice alternatives. For example, Noni juice is claimed to be an energy booster by many who take it on a regular basis. The same claims are touted by persons who are taking another relatively new dietary supplement, Coenzyme Q10. Both products, and others like Acai berry, are also described as potential treatments for many physical ailements, such as weight loss, cancer treatment and general health improvements. Research studies are being conducted on many products, including these and Noni Juice, to determine if there is validity to health claims, but there are few conclusive results. Many natural origin products, such as Noni Juice, are food products that have a long history of use in native folk medicine. Many medicines, and all folk medicines derive from plants.
4. Where does noni come from?
Noni fruit is widely found in areas of the South Pacific countries, and in the U.S. states of Florida and Hawaii It is native to Australia and countries in Southeast Asia, India and the tropics. The fruit may vary slightly from geographic area to geographic area, similarly to variations found in oranges from Florida, Mexico and California. The plant prefers a tropical environment and thrives in either shady forests or open areas, rocky lands or sandy shore areas. Once it is mature, after about a year and a half of growth, Noni plants will bear fruit monthly all year long, producing about 8.8 to 18 pounds of fruit monthly. It is a very hardy and tolerant plant, able to grow in many types of soils, including volcanic lava soil, limestone, salty soils, and other non-prime soil areas. Noni plants are very tall, reaching mature heights up to 30 feet, and its leaves are dark green and shiny, featuring deep veins. The flowers are a lovely white color and have six petals. The fruit at first is a green color that changes to yellow and finally white as it ripens. The fruit is an oval shape with many seeds.
5. How is Noni Juice manufactured?
Noni Juice is manufactured by many different companies. Some take the whole fruit, without bark or leaves, wash it and then age, or ferment the fruit product for a couple months. The fruit is then cold pressed, which extracts juice. The juice is pasteurized and packed while the by-product left over pulp can be returned to the growing areas to be used a fertilizer. It takes about twenty pounds of Noni fruit to end up with one pound of Noni juice. Some manufacturers convert juice or pulp into a powder form for use. Different manufacturers will claim that their processes are superior and that other processes can harm or reduce the helpful properties in the Noni fruit during handling and processing. It is important to ask or otherwise discover how a particular brand name Noni juice is manufactured in order to separate the better products from those that may have lost beneficial qualities during processing and/or manufacturing. If high heat is used in processing natural substances, the heat can destroy beneficial qualities.
6. Are there different kinds of Noni Juice?
There are different kinds of Noni juice, including sweetened juice and unsweetened juice. Juice from fully ripened fruit is sweeter than juice from that from unripened fruit. The juice is fermented and then some is pasteurized, but some types of Noni juice are not pasteurized. The drink made from fermented juice has a sour taste. Sometimes the freshly pressed and unfermented fruit drink is diluted and sold as a sweet beverage. In supermarkets, Noni juice is sold that also contains grape or raspberry juice to flavor and sweeten the beverage. Powdered Noni juice can be added to other drinks. There are other Noni fruit products on the market as well, such as Noni fruit leather.
7. Which is considered to be the best kind of noni juice and why; how should it be taken and how much should be used (dosage)?
Many claim that the best type of Noni Juice to use would be juice that is 99% to 100% pure. This is the only way to ensure getting the most beneficial effect and natural nutrients from Noni juice. Additives will only dilute the product, but may also enhance the taste. If the juice tastes better, a person may drink more and therefore this argument may be less important. Within the manufacturing and selling community for Noni juice and Noni products, there are arguments about which is better, but the bottom line is that the important element is getting enough of the essential beneficial qualities of the fruit. The geographical area in which the Noni fruit is grown is not a concern or something that ultimately affects the final usefulness of the fruit and its nutrients. Geography and soil will have some impact upon the plant, but the basic plant is the same, no matter where it is grown.
Dosage of beneficial Noni juice varies according to who is taking it, how old they are, and why they are taking it. For many persons, one ounce daily is sufficient. Other manufacturer recommendations are for one to two ounces, once or twice daily. Most manufacturers recommend taking Noni early in the day, during a peaceful time and on an empty stomach. It is always advisable for persons taking nutritional supplements like Noni juice to consult with their physician prior to taking any product.
As with many similar products that have had a long history of use as folk medicine, use with children should either be avoided or carefully monitored just to be extra cautious because research on these types of products is still under study. There are several reasons for this, including that natural products like Noni juice do have medicinal drug qualities and may either enhance or reduce the effectiveness of other drugs a person may be taking. Claims are that Noni is safe for adults, children and pets. There may be certain drugs, like statins or beta blockers, that could be negatively or positively affected by these natural products.
8. How is Noni Juice beneficial to the human body?
Noni juice has been used by native people living in Noni fruit growing areas of the South Pacific for thousands of centuries. It was well known in local folk history as a survival food source in times of famine, even though it does not taste all that good. Modern products frequently have sweeteners like pear juice or raspberry juice added to the Noni juice. Many users are loyal to Noni juice and other Noni products because they have experienced successful relief of problems. This is important, but clinical results will carry more weight as conclusive evidence. These natural products do have important phytochemicals, macronutrients, micronutrients and other elements that are known to be beneficial to the human body. They are an important part of folk medicine and alternative medical treatments. The way Noni works within the body cells is to open them up to better reception of nutrients.
9. Does it affect health and how?
The Noni plant parts and fruit were found to be helpful as medicine by ancient people. They rubbed leaves of the Noni plant onto patients afflicted with painful gout. The leaves were also used to heal wounds. The Noni juice and Noni fruit was used by primitive doctors to treat some mouth and throat problems, menstrual problems of bleeding, as a laxative and many other medicinal uses. Modern doctors are treating many other diseases with Noni, including blood pressure and blood sugar levels, to boost energy, as a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory drug, It is used medicinally to help with arthritis symptoms and joint pain, cancer treatment and to enhance the health of cells in the human body. There is research that is ongoing for Noni juice and other similar natural products. These fruits, juices and plant part treatments do affect the human body, and many users report positive results from taking this as a nutritional supplement. As an antioxidant, Noni can help improve cellular health, and fight diseases like cancer and other immune system ailments. Some users have also reported successful relief from swelling, backache, digestive problems and joint flexibility. Noni creams have been used to treat some skin problems and on animals.
10. What does research tell about Noni Juice?
There are some interesting studies on Noni. One biochemist and researcher, Dr. Ralph Heinicke, has spent much of his research time studying an alkaloid called xeronine. This is found in Noni and is also produced by the human body. This element works to allow the body to activate enzymes that regulate and provide structure to proteins. It is an element present in the body that the body cannot live without, but it does not accumulate at high enough levels in the body to be extracted. Noni juice does not contain appreciable amounts of this xeronine alkaloid, but it does contain large amounts of what is a precursor to xeronine called proxeronine. The research done by Dr. Heinicke focuses on the effects of enzymatic reactions that are due specifically to taking Noni juice on an empty stomach. The aim of his research is to show that Noni aids in the process that begins cellular repair.
Much of the best research is being conducted at the University of Hawaii, where researchers are studying the impact of Noni upon cancer diseases. Related research studies are looking at the use of Noni to fight auto-immune diseases, effects of aging, diabetes and other diseases. It has been tested and found to be effective as an antioxidant. A large study involving 15,000 participants was conducted by Dr. Neil Solomon. The test involved taking Noni over a seven month period. An impressive 75% of the study participants reported improvements in their disease conditions and of those persons, 95% saw their subjective improvements occur within three months if they followed the study guidelines for taking Noni daily.
There is a list of Noni research studies to be found on the website of http://www.noniresearch.org, which summarizes various study areas and results of scientific research, and scientific abstracts. The website includes links to each study. Studies were conducted in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Areas of research listed here include research into whether all Noni juices are the same, safety analysis, safety of Noni with regard to liver function, use of Noni leaves as food, use of Noni as a calming and relaxing agent, blood pressure control, inhibition of COX-2 enzymes, use for lowering cholesterol levels, effects of use by smokers on heart and cholesterol, effects on athlete endurance and performance, and many other studies.
11. Are there any side effects?
No serious side effects have been exhibited following use of Noni juice or products. It is considered to be a safe product and is not on any danger list. The US Government War Department indicated that Noni is edible during World War II, and Pacific Islanders instructed soldiers about using Noni for emergency food. Persons who initially take too high a dosage may have some intestinal distress or experience a laxative effect from Noni. Negative effects like digestive problems, intestinal distress, diarrhea, bloating and other problems generally subside quickly. Persons who experience coughing or breathing difficulty following doses of Noni may be allergic to Noni and should discontinue taking Noni immediate and consult with their personal physician. Any negative side effects may be reduced by increasing consumption of water when taking Noni.
12. Is Noni Juice just another scam product?
Whether Noni juice is just another scam product is up for discussion. Many doubters claim it is a scam, and many users claim they have definitely received benefits from using Noni juice. Perhaps some of the doubting and scam claims are generated because of the way some Noni juice is sold, in a multi-level marketing program that boosts prices. The fact remains that this natural product has been used by humans as a medicine for thousands of years. If it were not showing some effectiveness, people would have stopped using it a long time ago.
Recent research is showing some effectiveness for Noni in the fight against some cellular diseases. More research will be ongoing, as it is for other similar products that have not completed conclusive clinical studies. Noni is an antioxidant, and antioxidants do successfully fight age related diseases and cancer. Part of the problem with products made from natural foods like Noni is that the methods for processing those foods decrease the amount of beneficial properties in those foods, and also may become unreliably reported by manufacturers and sellers. The end product may only contain a small fraction of the original content of the beneficial food product. Processing with heat, allowing fermentation to occur, blending with other ingredients, and misrepresentation through malice or ignorance all can contribute to end claims that Noni and other similar products are just a scam. It is very difficult to find a Noni product that actually delivers what the packaging claims for content. This is where research studies can be helpful, and results by brand names are available online.
13. Glossary of Terms
When comparing Noni juice manufacturers, sellers, or websites, there are many terms applied that may be unfamiliar. It is important to understand the meanings of some of these terms.
Alkaloid – These naturally occuring organic compounds are complex, contain at least one nitrogen atom, and they have a physiological effect on humans and animals. Examples of alkaloids include painkillers like morphine, codeine and cocaine. Other alkaloids are caffeine, nicotine, quinine and strychnine. Chemically, they are bases, colorless and taste bitter. They may be used as medicine or poisons.
Antioxidant – Substances that are categorized as being antioxidants are able to inhibit oxidation. This is beneficial because oxidation is thought to cause damage to cells. They bind themselves to free radicals that otherwise would cause damage to cells. Natural antioxidants in the body decrease with age, leading to age-related disease. Noni juice is an antioxidant.
Anti-inflammatory – A substance is called an anti-inflammatory substance if it is able to reduce inflammation. This helps reduce pain due to inflammation and swelling. Steroids and non-steriod inflammatory drugs like aspirin, cortisone and ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory substances frequently used to relieve the pain of arthritic joints. Noni juice is anti-inflammatory.
Beta Blockers – These medications are used mainly to lower blood pressure and treat heart and blood vessel diseases. They are also used to treat glaucoma, migraines and angina. Noni juice is claimed to also lower blood pressure.
Clinical Research Study – Clinical Studies or Clinical Trials are made on drugs before they are approved for use by humans. Testing is done on volunteers who have provided informed consent to participate in the studies. Studies progress through four phases and continue even after the drug is on the market.
Cold Pressed – Oils or juices that are processed in a manner where any heat produced is not above 120 degrees Fahrenheit are called cold pressed products. Examples are peanut, olive and sunflower oils. Cold pressed oils are also called virgin oils. The use of heat can destroy some nutritional value, so cold pressed oils or juices are the best.
Cox-2 – This is an enzyme in the body that is responsible for pain and inflammation. The Cox-2 inhibitor drugs are drugs that are non-steriods (NSAID) that target these enzymes in order to reduce pain and inflammation. There are some side effects, in particular with liver function, that need to be monitored. One benefit that NSAID drugs have is a reduction in gastrointestinal problems. Noni is an anti-inflammatory substance that can act as a Cox-2 inhibitor.
Enzyme – The body uses chemical reactions for cellular functions. An enzyme is a protein; the body has thousands of many types of chemical reactions sparked by enzymes. Enzymes either speed up or inhibit those chemical reactions. They act as a catalyst to increase or decrease reactions in cells. If the body is deficient in enzymes, supplementation can provide positive benefits. Enzymes work in many ways, like generating movement in muscles, and aiding in digestion. Noni juice has been found to contain a precursor to an enzyme that is important to digestive function, proxeroine. The proxeronine and proxeronase found in Noni juice allows production of the enzyme xeronine, which is a catalyst needed for an important chemical reaction.
Fermentation – This is a naturally occuring aging process. It is used in the production of substances like Noni juice. Fermentation allows the production of naturally occuring beneficial substances like enzymes, bacteria and yeast to develop. With Noni juice manufacturing, only the white ripe fruit will properly ferment, and this is the only type that can be used. Fermenation of Noni fruit is done prior to cold pressing for the juice.
Macronutrient – Macronutrients are substances like proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are essential to the body and that also must be consumed in large quantities. There are good levels of macronutrients in Noni pulp powder, but negligible levels in the juice.
Micronutrient – Micronutrients are substances like Vitamin C, iron, potassium, Vitamin A, calcium, sodium and niacin. Noni has substantial micronutrient levels, especially for Vitamin C. Micronutrients are only needed in small daily quantities.
Nutritional Supplement – No matter how well a person may consume food, there still can be a deficiency in the amount of nutrients that are needed on a daily basis. For this reason, manufacturers have developed nutritional supplements to help boost the levels of required nutrients that a human can obtain on a daily basis. Examples include vitamins, fiber, minerals and amino acids. Some products are defined as foods, others as health products or drugs. Nutritional supplements can have many purposes. There are a few that are used to depress appetites and help with weight loss. Others, like Noni, are used to boost energy and provide important substances that are antioxidants to improve health. Another example of a nutritional supplement would be Vitamin D, the vitamin that is helpful in geographical areas lacking sunlight exposure. Vitamin C and E are supplements that can boost immunity and help fight disease and promote cellular healing. In some countries like the USA, nutritional or dietary supplements must meet strict contents requirements to qualify to be classified as supplements. This is good, because it means that the products are regulated with regard to quality control and purity.
Pasteurization – This is a process that helps control bacterial growth in food products. There usually is some heat and then fast cooling applied that will slow microbiotic growth. Some Noni is pasteurized following fermentation and juicing. Heat will destroy some medicial qualities, and some Noni is processed with a cold process to overcome this problem.
Phytochemical – Also known as phytonutrients, these are found in plants. They are bioactive chemical compounds that are believed to be beneficial to human health. Examples are anti-oxidants, flavenoids and caretonoids. Many clinical trials are conducted on phytochemicals in a search for good disease fighters.
Statins – These are drugs that are prescribed for the purpose of lowering plasma cholesterol. They inhibit the Cox-A enzyme action in the liver, which inhibits sythesis of cholesterol. Some natural substances, like Noni and Coenzyme Q10, reduce levels of cholesterol and can be helpful to those taking statins as it may result in those persons being able to reduce their statin drugs. Anyone taking Noni for this purpose must consult their personal physician to assure that it will not interfere with their medical treatment or interact with other drugs they may be taking.
Xeronine – This is an enzyme that aids digestion. Noni juice contains a substance that is a precursor to this enzyme, which is needed for essential chemical reactions.
14. Noni Juice Potential Problems
It is wise to consult with a doctor before adding any dietary supplement to routine food intake. Some substances can increase or decrease the effects of other drugs that are being used. If a person is on medication to reduce blood pressure and they then take a supplement that also reduces blood pressure, this could result in a dangerously low blood pressure. Certain substances, like potassium, must be kept balanced, and some supplements like Noni, that are high in potassium, could raise potassium levels to dangerous levels.
Persons with certain diseases, such as kidney disease, should not take supplements like Noni. Again, stay in close communication with doctors if you have any medical problems like kidney disease, high blood pressure or other conditions requiring medication.
Noni has been advertised as a superfruit or superfood, due to many health benefit claims and its anti-oxidant qualities. It is an adaptogen, which is a plant that can help the body react and adapt to various stresses. It tends to help the body maintain a normal balance without side effects.
Noni has been claimed to help with breast cancer, cancer, immune system diseases, joint and arthritis disease, blood pressure regulation, controlling cholesterol and many other good benefits. However, preliminary clinical trials dispute some claims, but agencies like the US National Cancer Institute and Mayo Clinic are continuing to do additional clinical studies on Noni.
Certified Personal Trainer by I.S.S.A., CPR
Source: Noni Juice Health Benefits