The Noni Fruit | Research into skin care ingredient properties
Noni fruit (Morinda Citrifolia) has been used through-out Polynesia in the presence of a wide range of symptomatilogies including: poor digestion, intestinal parasites, skin disorders, allergy, arthritis and diabetes.
Now after few studies and more being on the way we can be almost sure that Noni fruit has the following benefits: Noni is an excellent ingredient of skin care products:
- Retards tumor growth by stimulating immune system.
- The compounds in Noni fruit actually work at the cellular level to cause cell regeneration and increase cell function.
- Noni fruit was shown to have significant impact on arresting the growth of implanted cancerous RAS cells (a precursor to certain types of cancer).
- Has analgestic effect.
- It is effective against at least seven different kinds of harmful bacteria.
- It is antiseptic
- It is effective against fungus and parasites.
Let's go now and see those studies.
Dr. R.M. Heinecke from University of Hawaii was studying the plant. Here is his story: "My search for the ingredient which is active in Noni fruit began with series of studies on the pineapple plant. Since about 1972 I had been attempting to identify the unknown ingredient in bromelain which gives crude preparations of this enzyme their potent pharmacological properties.
After many discouraging years of research I eventually identified this ingredient as a new alkaloid to which I gave the name xeronine. Noticing that the clinical claims for bromelain and Noni fruit were practically identical, I tried the same techniques on Noni fruit which I had developed for isolating xeronine from the pineapple plant. The technique worked! Not only was I able to isolate the same compound from Noni, but the yields were excellent. Today Noni is one of the best raw materials to use for isolation of xeronine".
Xeronine is powerful alkaloid which is physiologically active in the picogram range (a picogram is one trillion of a gram and gram is one-28th of ounce). Free alkaloid occurs in minute amounts in practically all healthy cells of plants and animals. But Noni fruit has appreciable amount of the precursor to xeronine (called proxeronine). In contrast to most plant colloids, this one contains no sugars, amino acids or nucleic acids (genetic proteins).
Heinecke states the following: "I am proposing that the primary function of xeronine is to regulate the rigidity and shape of specific proteins. Since these proteins have different functions, we have the usual clinical situation where administering one simple drug causes an unbelievable wide range of physiological responses". To put this in more simple language he believes that xeronine acts as powerful cell regenerating agent.
One study is not enough to be sure about benefits of any plant. You can find more studies in excellent and very fresh book about Noni fruit Noni Phenomenon by Neil Solomon. Here are a few more studies done on the subject which show positive properties for skin care:
"Introduction of Normal Phenotypes in RAS-transformed cells by Damnacanthal from Morinda Citrifolia (Noni fruit)" by T. Hiramatsu, M. Imoto, T. Koyano, K. Umezawa. Cancer Letters 73 (1993) 161-166 In this study, a team of Japanese researchers studied the effect of over 500 extracts from tropical plants on the K-ras-NRK cell (a pre-cursor to certain types of cancer). The compound, damnacanthal, found in the Noni fruit, was found to be an inhibitor of ras function.
The research: Ras cells were seeded into 96 plates and incubated at 33 degrees Centrigrade for 24 hours. The Noni plant extract was added and the cell morphology was examinated every day for 5-days. The Ras function was inhibited by the injected plant extract. The same compound has been found to inhibit the Epstain-Barr virus early-antigen activation. The extract from the Noni fruit was found to be most effective in inhibiting Ras function among the 500 tested extracts.
Another study: "Analgesic and Behavioral Effect of Morinda Citrifolia (Noni fruit)" by C. Younos, A. Rolland, J. Fluerentin, M. Lanhers, R. Misslin, F. Mortier. Planta Medica 56 (1990) 430-434In this study, the team lead by French scientist Chafique Yountos, test the analgesic and sedative effect of extracts from Noni fruit. They were aware of the traditional use of the plant as general analgesic, and set out to determine if those claims were valid.
The extract was shown to be non-toxic and did show significant, dose related, central analgesic activity in the treated mice. This study included various experiments on the treated mice to determine the analgesic effect, if any, from plant extract of the Noni fruit.
The conclusion of these researchers was that the extract did in fact demonstrated analgesic effect consistently in each experiment. Authors stated: "These findings validate the traditional analgesic properties of this plant".
How to use Noni fruit for maximum nutrition benefit? Noni fruit must be taken on empty stomach (about 20 minutes before breakfast). It is because pepsin in the stomach can deactivate enzyme that releases xeronine (most important ingriedient that couse most healing effect) in intestine. Also I recommend to avoid coffee, tobacco or alcohol while taking Noni. Combination of these substances and Noni fruit can give some unexpected side effects. And apart from this you probably know that those substances are not really healthy :-)
Here are the best product on the market with Noni fruit concentrate (according to my knowledge):
- Noni Complex I from Innerlight this is my favorite since it is in colloidal form and is instantly absorbed by blood bypassing the digestive tract - if you take this one you don't have to worry about empty stomach :-)
- Noni Plus from En Garde Health Products It is in liquid form what is better than capsules and it's ingredients are pure.
Want to learn more about Noni fruit? If so I recommend you Noni Phenomenon by Neil Solomon. This is the most new and very good resource on the subject. There is also very good book by Isabelle Navarre-Brown: 53 Ways to Use Noni Fruit Juice. But as I mentioned this one is little older. Jacob Filipek