Noni Immune System Booster?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: No Name Given
Posted on: March 30, 2002

Please tell me where I can find information on the Polynesian Noni fruit – an herb that is supposed to boost your immune system.

The noni fruit has been promoted widely as a panacea for a variety of illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, and more. There is a booklet on noni by Dr. Neil Solomon called "Liquid Island Noni (Morinda citrifolia)" (Woodland Publishing, Pleasant Grove, Utah, 1998) that reviews the properties and uses of noni juice.

Recently there have been reports that suggest that noni does indeed have immune boosting properties.

In two studies, noni juice prolonged the lives of mice innoculated with lung cancer cells (Hirazumi et al. 1994, Hirazumi et al. 1996). The second study concluded that the anticancer effect of noni occurs via immunomodulation because noni slowed the rate of growth of Sarcoma 180 ascites tumour growth in mice and S.180 is "widely used in the screening of immunomodulators" according the authors.

In one study (Wang and Su 2001), noni juice was tested in rats that were treated with a known cancer-causing agent, and noni juice appeared to partially block the chemical binding of this agent to DNA in the heart, lung, liver, and kidney. This study suggests that noni juice acts as a preventative stopping cancer from beginning. How exactly this occurs is not clear but it could involve a immune system process. A preliminary report of this work can be read online (see reference below).

Another study (Liu et al. 2001) showed that two compounds from noni fruits suppress the transformation of mouse epidermal cells by cancer-causing compounds. It is postulated that the effect occurs by blocking a certain class of enzymes called c-Jun kinases.

References

Hirazumi A, Furusawa E, Chou SC, and Hokama Y, 1994. Anticancer Activity of Morinda citrifolia (Noni) on Intraperitoneally Implanted Lewis Lung Carcinoma in Syngeneic Mice. Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc. 37:145-146.

Hirazumi A, Furusawa E, Chou SC, and Hokama Y, 1996. Immunomodulation Contributes to the Anticancer Activity of Morinda citrifolia (Noni) Fruit Juice. Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc. 39:7-9.

Liu G, Bode A, Ma WY, Sang S, Ho CT, Dong Z, 2001. Two Novel Glycosides from the Fruits of Morinda citrifolia (Noni) Inhibit AP-1 Transactivation and Cell Transformation in the Mouse Epidermal JB6 Cell Line. Cancer Res 61(15):5749-56.

Wang MY, Su C, 2001. Cancer Preventive Effect of Morinda citrifolia (Noni). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 952(1):161. http://www.annalsnyas.org/cgi/content/full/952/1/161?view=full&pmid=11795436

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