Noni Reduces Pain, Inflammation and Cholesterol
Multiple studies are confirming that the fruit and juice of Noni (Morinda citrifolia) can significantly reduce inflammation as well as cholesterol levels. Research also finds that noni provides pain relief that rivals the NSAID ibuprophen. It also boosts immunity.
What is Noni?
Noni fruits are found on trees that grow to about 30 feet high. Noni trees typically grow in the tropics. They are prevalent in the South Pacific islands, Northern Austrailia, Thailand, India, Northern Australia and Hawaii.
It is also called the Indian mulberry.
Pacific islanders have been including Noni leaves and fruit in their diets for centuries. The leaves are often cooked with other foods and the fruits are often crushed and made into mash or juices.
Noni has been used medicinally in these traditional cultures for a number of conditions. These include inflammation, abscesses, heart attacks, blood sugar issues, abdominal pain, backaches and joint pain, burns, warts and stings.
Noni juice lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol
Research has found that Noni juice significantly reduces inflammation and corrects poor cholesterol levels.
The researchers, the University of Illinois College of Medicine, gave 132 adults who were heavy smokers either 29.5 or 188 milliliters of Noni juice per day for thirty days. Another group drank a placebo. The clinical trial was randomized, double blind and placebo-controlled.
The researchers chose heavy smokers as subjects because heavy smoking has been shown to significantly increase levels of inflammation, increase triglycerides, increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and reduce HDL-cholesterol. High levels of LDL-c and triglycerides have been associated with greater incidence of artery and heart disease.
Furthermore, these two indicators are easily tested with blood testing. Inflammation was tested by way of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels and homocysteine levels. These two inflammation markers have been linked to cardiovascular disease and a number of other inflammatory conditions.
Noni reduces inflammation
Smoking causes greater levels of oxidative stress, due to the greater influx of oxidative radicals from the toxins contained in tobacco and cigarettes. One review of research studied 54 clinical trials and found smokers will maintain 3% higher cholesterol levels, 9% higher triglycerides, and almost 6% reduced HDL-cholesterol (the good cholesterol) than non-smokers.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, of which more than 250 have been found to produce inflammation and degenerative conditions.
After the 30 days, those in the Noni groups showed significantly lower levels of inflammation and corrections in their respective cholesterol levels. The hs-CRP levels went down by 15% among the Noni groups. Homocysteine levels decreased by 24% among the Noni group. The triglyceride levels of the noni groups went down from 29% to 41%. The LDL-cholesterol levels of the Noni group went down by 9-28% after the thirty days, and HDL-c levels went up by 49 to 57 mg/dL.
Interestingly, the researchers found no significant difference in the results between the Noni group that drank 29 mL versus the group that drank 118 mL per day of Noni. The researchers commented that “this may indicate a possible threshold of antioxidant activity.”
This notion of “antioxidant threshold” has been found in other studies, where there is a certain point the phytonutrients seem to reach a point of diminishing returns with increased doses. This is not a surprise to natural health experts, who understand that the body must maintain balance.
The researchers reported that there were no adverse events reported among the Noni consumers.
How do these results compare to statins?
Consider these results carefully: This is only after thirty days of Noni consumption of as little as 29.5 mL per day, drank on an empty stomach in the morning. Note that 29.5 mL is one ounce.
Now compare these results to the kind of reductions seen with statins, which come with significant adverse side effects. Statin use has been shown to increase HDL-c (“good” cholesterol) by as much as 5-15%, decrease triglycerides by up to 7-30% and decrease LDL-c by a range of 18-65% according to multiple-study reviews.
These results are typically with non-smokers.
Furthermore, the higher levels of correction with statins have been found with significantly higher dosages – such as 80 milligrams a day.
Side effects from statins include liver damage, muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, rashes, diabetes, possible memory loss and confusion.
Noni boosts immunity
Multiple studies have tested Noni against the physical stress of smoking. One study tested 285 adults who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day. Half were given fruit juices and the other half were given Noni juice. Those taking the Noni juice had significantly more reductions in superoxide anion radicals, lipid hydroperoxide levels and reduced oxidative stress.
Another study tested 203 people. This found that men showed reduced genetic damage from smoking after taking Noni for 30 days.
Yet another smoker study of 245 heavy smokers found that Noni reduced lipid peroxidation – which leads to atherosclerosis. The Noni also resulted in protecting DNA mutations.
In all of these studies, the conclusion of the research found that the Noni helped protect the smokers.
Noni helps relieve pain
Several studies have tested Noni for neck pain. In a four-week study, researchers gave 90 patients conventional therapies or without Noni juice. The Noni group reported a significant reduction in joint pain compared to the other groups. Furthermore, 60 percent of the neck pain patients who took the Noni had complete relief of the pain.
Another study of 82 osteoarthritis patients took three fluid ounces of Noni a day (1 ounce three times a day) for 90 days. The researchers found a 24 percent decrease in severe pain frequency and a 16 percent decrease in pain severity.
A 2014 study tested 51 patients who underwent tooth extraction. They have half ibuprofen and the other half were given Noni. The research found the Noni reduced pain consistent with the ibuprofen.
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National Institutes of Health. Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (PDF), July 2004, The National Institutes of Heath: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Case Adams is a California Naturopath and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and diplomas in Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling and Colon Hydrotherapy. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies.