Long prized by Polynesians for its medicinal properties, noni juice contains a rich mixture of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and a wide array of healthful phytonutrients. The U.S. market for the juice, derived from the fruit of the Morinda citrafolia tree, has grown exponentially since the late 20th century. The “organic” label on noni juice indicates that the product was grown, processed and transported without the use of any chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and/or additives.
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Ancient Polynesians, who were the first to recognize the health benefits of noni juice, used it to combat fatigue, a finding confirmed by some clinical studies that produced improved quality-of-life scores in the areas of energy level and physical functioning. To further investigate the ergogenic potential of noni juice, a team of Chinese researchers conducted an animal study. Researchers gave older mice the noni juice in varying strengths --10, 20 and 40 milliliters per kilogram of body weight -- and then evaluated their performance in physical endurance tests against a control group of younger mice and older animals that had not received the juice.
In their findings, published in the November 2007 issue of "Phytotherapy Research," researchers reported that older mice that had been given noni juice significantly outperformed older mice in the control group that had not received the juice. The older mice receiving the juice turned in performances that were comparable to those of much younger mice in the control group. Researchers concluded that their findings “confirm the reported use of noni juice to combat fatigue, improve endurance and increase overall physical performance.”
Promotes Cellular Health
First isolated from noni juice by University of Hawaii researcher R.M. Heinicke, prexeronine is an alkaloid precursor to xeronine, a compound that plays a critical role in the maintenance of cell health. Heinicke’s studies led him to conclude that healthy levels of xeronine promoted optimal function of the body’s many proteins. In his preliminary studies, he found that noni’s effects on xeronine production made the juice useful in the treatment of arthritis, atherosclerosis, depression, gastric ulcers, hypertension, menstrual cramps, pain relief and sprains.
Could Fight Cancer
In “Herb-Drug Interactions in Oncology,” authors Barrie R. Cassileth, K. Simon Yeung and Jyothirmai Gubili report that early animal and in-vitro studies indicate that noni juice has antitumor and immunomodulatory properties that might be useful in treating some forms of cancer. In animal studies, polysaccharides from noni juice were combined with suboptimal amounts of certain chemotherapy agents, producing increased survival times and curative effects in test subjects. Although the American Cancer Society acknowledges some promising results from preliminary studies, the organization insists that larger-scale studies must be conducted before making any definitive conclusions.
Nutrition in Noni Juice
A serving size of pure noni juice is 1 tablespoon. That tablespoon delivers 3.5 calories, less than 1 gram of carbohydrate and less than 1 gram of sugar. It also contains a small amount of vitamin C, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron.