What Is Noni Juice? Everything You Need to Know
By Maria Zamarripa
Noni juice is a tropical drink derived from the fruit of the Morinda citrifolia tree.
This tree and its fruit grow among lava flows in Southeast Asia, especially in Polynesia.
Noni (pronounced NO-nee) is a lumpy, mango-sized fruit that is yellow in color. It's very bitter and has a distinct odor that is sometimes compared to stinky cheese.
Polynesian peoples have used noni in traditional folk medicine for more than 2,000 years. It's commonly used to treat health issues like constipation, infections, pain and arthritis (1).
Today, noni is mostly consumed as a juice blend. The juice is packed with potent antioxidants and may provide several health benefits.
This article provides everything you need to know about noni juice, including its nutrients, potential health benefits and safety.
The nutritional content of noni juice varies widely.
One study analyzed 177 different brands of noni juice and found significant nutritional variability among them (2).
This is because noni juice is often mixed with other fruit juices or added sweeteners to mask its bitter taste and foul odor.
That said, Tahitian Noni Juice — produced by Morinda, Inc. — is the most popular brand on the market and widely used in studies. It's comprised of 89% noni fruit and 11% grape and blueberry juice concentrates (3).
The nutrients in 3.5 ounces (100 ml) of Tahitian Noni Juice are (3):
- Calories: 47 calories
- Carbs: 11 grams
- Protein: less than 1 gram
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Sugar: 8 grams
- Vitamin C: 33% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Biotin: 17% of the RDI
- Folate: 6% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
- Potassium: 3% of the RDI
- Calcium: 3% of the RDI
- Vitamin E: 3% of the RDI
The nutritional profile of noni juice varies by brand. In general, noni juice provides a great source of vitamin C, biotin, and folate.
Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Noni juice is known for its high levels of antioxidants.
Antioxidants prevent cellular damage caused by molecules called free radicals. Your body requires a healthy balance of antioxidants and free radicals to maintain optimal health (6).
In particular, Iridoids demonstrate strong antioxidant activity in test-tube studies — although more research is needed to confirm their effects in humans (11).
Noni juice is packed with antioxidants, including iridoids, that may provide numerous health benefits.
Potential Benefits of Noni Juice
Noni juice has a number of potential benefits. Still, it's important to keep in mind that research into this fruit is relatively recent — and more studies are needed on many of these health effects.
May Reduce Cellular Damage From Tobacco Smoke
Noni juice may reduce cellular damage — particularly from tobacco smoke.
Exposure to tobacco smoke generates dangerous amounts of free radicals. Excessive amounts can cause cellular damage and lead to oxidative stress (14).
In one study, heavy tobacco smokers were given 4 ounces (118 ml) of noni juice per day. After 1 month, they experienced a 30% reduction of two common free radicals compared to their baseline levels (19).
Noni juice may reduce levels of these cancer-causing chemicals. Two clinical trials found that drinking 4 ounces (118 ml) of noni juice daily for 1 month reduced the levels of cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smokers by about 45% (13, 20).
Yet, noni juice does not negate all of smoking's negative health effects — and should not be considered a replacement for quitting.
May Support Heart Health in Smokers
Noni juice may support heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
One study found that drinking up to 6.4 ounces (188 ml) of noni juice per day for 1 month significantly reduced total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and the inflammatory blood marker C-reactive protein (24).
However, the subjects of the study were heavy cigarette smokers, so the results cannot be generalized to all people. Researchers suspect that noni juice's antioxidants may reduce the high cholesterol levels caused by smoking tobacco (24).
A separate, 30-day study gave non-smokers 2 ounces (59 ml) of noni juice twice daily. Participants did not experience significant changes in cholesterol levels (25).
These results suggest that the cholesterol-lowering effect of noni juice may only apply to heavy cigarette smokers.
That said, more research on noni juice and cholesterol is needed.
May Improve Endurance During Exercise
Noni juice may improve physical endurance. In fact, Pacific Islanders believed that eating noni fruit strengthened the body during long fishing trips and voyages (9).
A few studies show positive effects of drinking noni juice during exercise.
For example, one 3-week study gave long-distance runners 3.4 ounces (100 ml) of noni juice or a placebo twice daily. The group that drank noni juice experienced a 21% increase in average time to fatigue, which suggests improved endurance (26).
The increase in physical endurance associated with noni juice is likely related to its antioxidants — which may reduce the damage to muscle tissue that normally occurs during exercise (9).
May Relieve Pain in People With Arthritis
For over 2,000 years, noni fruit has been used in traditional folk medicine for its pain-relieving effects. Some research now supports this benefit.
For instance, in a 1-month study, people with degenerative arthritis of the spine took 0.5 ounces (15 ml) of noni juice twice daily. The noni juice group reported a significantly lower pain score — with complete relief of neck pain in 60% of participants (28).
In a similar study, people with osteoarthritis took 3 ounces (89 ml) of noni juice daily. After 90 days, they experienced a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of arthritis pain, as well as an improved quality of life (29).
Arthritis pain is often associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress. Therefore, noni juice may provide natural pain relief by reducing inflammation and combatting free radicals (30, 31).
May Improve Immune Health
Noni juice may support immune health.
Like some other fruit juices, it's is rich in vitamin C. For example, 3.5 ounces (100 ml) of Tahitian Noni Juice packs about 33% of the RDI for this vitamin.
Many other antioxidants present in noni juice — such as beta carotene — may improve immune health as well.
Noni juice has numerous potential benefits, including boosting endurance, relieving pain, supporting your immune system, reducing cellular damage caused by tobacco smoke, and aiding heart health in smokers.
Dosage, Safety and Side Effects
There is conflicting information regarding the safety of noni juice, as only a few human studies have evaluated its dosage and side effects.
For example, one small study in healthy adults indicated that drinking up to 25 ounces (750 ml) of noni juice per day is safe (33).
However, in 2005, a few cases of liver toxicity were reported in people consuming noni juice. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) then re-evaluated the fruit, concluding that noni juice alone did not cause these effects (34, 35, 36).
In 2009, EFSA issued another statement confirming the safety of noni juice for the general population. However, EFSA experts did report that some individuals may have a particular sensitivity for liver toxicity effects (37).
Additionally, noni juice may interact with certain medications, such as those used to treat high blood pressure or those used to slow blood clotting. For this reason, it is important to consult with your medical provider before drinking noni juice.
High in Sugar
Noni juice may contain high amounts of sugar due to the variability between brands. What's more, it's mixed with other fruit juices that are often very sweet.
In fact, 3.5 ounces (100 ml) of noni juice contains roughly 8 grams of sugar. Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages like noni juice may increase your risk of metabolic diseases, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes (39, 40, 41).
Thus, it may be best to drink noni juice in moderation — or avoid it if you limit your sugar intake.
Noni juice is likely safe to drink for the general population. However, people with kidney problems and who take certain medications may wish to avoid noni juice. It can also be high in sugar.
The Bottom Line
Noni juice is derived from a Southeast Asian fruit.
It's particularly rich in vitamin C and may offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits — such as pain relief and improved immune health and exercise endurance. However, more research is needed.
Keep in mind that commercial varieties are often mixed with other juices and may be packed with sugar.
It's also important to remember that — despite exhibiting some benefits for smokers — noni juice should not be considered a preventative measure for tobacco-related illnesses or a replacement for quitting.
Overall, noni juice is likely safe. However, you may want to check with your medical provider if you're taking certain medications or have kidney problems.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Mark Hertsgaard
What follows are not candidate endorsements. Rather, this nonpartisan guide aims to inform voters' choices, help journalists decide what races to follow, and explore what the 2020 elections could portend for climate action in the United States in 2021 and beyond.
Will the White House Turn Green?<p>Whether the White House changes hands is the most important climate question of the 2020 elections. President Donald Trump rejects climate science, is withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement, and has accelerated fossil fuel development. His climate policy seems to be, as he tweeted in January when rejecting a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to protect New York City from storm surges, "Get your mops and buckets ready."</p><p>Joe Biden, who started the 2020 campaign with a climate position so weak that activists gave it an "F," called Trump a "climate arsonist" during California's recent wildfires. Biden backs a $2 trillion plan to create millions of jobs while slashing emissions—a Green New Deal in all but name. Equally striking, his running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, has endorsed phasing out fossil fuel production—a politically explosive scientific imperative.</p><p>The race will be decided in a handful of battleground states, five of which already face grave climate dangers: Florida (hurricanes and sea-level rise), North Carolina (ditto), Texas (storms and drought), Michigan (floods), and Arizona (heat waves and drought). <a href="https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us/" target="_blank">Public concern is rising</a> in these states, but will that concern translate into votes?</p>
Will Democrats Flip the Senate, and by Enough to Pass a Green New Deal?<p>With Democrats all but certain to maintain their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate will determine whether a potential Biden administration can actually deliver climate progress. Democrats need to pick up three seats to flip the Senate if Biden wins, four if he doesn't. But since aggressive climate policy is shunned by some Democrats, notably Joe Manchin of coal-dependent West Virginia, Democrats probably need to gain five or six Senate seats to pass a Green New Deal.</p><p>Environmentalists, including the League of Conservation Voters, are targeting six Republicans who polls suggest are vulnerable.</p><ul><li>Steve Daines of Montana, who denies climate science</li><li>Martha McSally of Arizona</li><li>Thom Tillis of North Carolina</li><li>Susan Collins of Maine</li><li>Joni Ernst of Iowa (bankrolled by Charles Koch)</li><li>John James of Michigan (also a Koch beneficiary)</li></ul><p>Republican Senators are even at risk in conservative Kansas and Alaska. In both states, the Democratic candidates are physicians—not a bad credential amid a pandemic—who support climate action. In Kansas, Barbara Bollier faces an incumbent funded by Charles Koch. In Alaska, Al Gross urges a transition away from oil, though his openness to limited drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve dims his appeal to green groups. He faces incumbent Republican Dan Sullivan, who receives an 8 percent lifetime voting record from the League of Conservation Voters.</p>
Will Local and State Races Advance Climate Progress?<h4>THE CLIMATE HAWKS</h4><p>Under Democratic and Republican leadership alike, Washington has long been a graveyard for strong climate action. But governors can boost or block renewable energy; the Vermont and New Hampshire races are worth watching. Attorneys general can sue fossil fuel companies for lying about climate change; climate hawks are running for the top law enforcement seats in Montana and North Carolina. State legislatures can accelerate or delay climate progress, as the new Democratic majorities in Virginia have shown. Here, races to watch include Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Colorado.</p><h4>THE CLIMATE POLICY MAKERS</h4><p>Perhaps the most powerful, and most overlooked, climate policy makers are public utility commissions. They control whether pipelines and other energy infrastructure gets built; they regulate whether electric utilities expand solar and energy efficiency or stick with the carbon-heavy status quo. Regulatory capture and outright corruption are not uncommon.</p><p>A prime example is Arizona, where a former two-term commissioner known as the godfather of solar in the state is seeking a comeback. Bill Mundell argues that since Arizona law permits utilities to contribute to commissioners' electoral campaigns, the companies can buy their own regulators. Which may explain why super-sunny Arizona has so little installed solar capacity.</p><p>In South Dakota, Remi Bald Eagle, a Native American U.S. Army veteran, seeks a seat on the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, which rules on the Standing Rock oil pipeline. And in what <em>HuffPost</em> called "the most important environmental race in the country," Democrat Chrysta Castaneda, who favors phasing out oil production, is running for the Texas Railroad Commission, which despite its name decides what oil, gas, and electric companies in America's leading petro-state can build.</p>
Will the Influencers Usher in a Green New Era?<h4>THE UNCOUNTED</h4><p>The story that goes largely under-reported in every U.S. election is how few Americans vote. In 2016, some 90 million, <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2018/08/09/an-examination-of-the-2016-electorate-based-on-validated-voters/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">roughly four out of every 10 eligible voters</a>, did not cast a ballot. Attorney Nathaniel Stinnett claims that 10 million of these nonvoters nevertheless identify as environmentalists: They support green policies, even donate to activist groups; they just don't vote. Stinnett's <a href="https://www.environmentalvoter.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Environmental Voter Project</a> works to awaken this sleeping giant.</p><h4>THE SUNRISE MOVEMENT</h4><p>Meanwhile, the young climate activists of the <a href="http://www.sunrisemovement.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sunrise Movement</a> are already winning elections with an unabashedly Green New Deal message. More than any other group, Sunrise pushed the Green New Deal into the national political conversation, helping Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey draft the eponymous congressional resolution. In 2020, Sunrise has helped Green New Deal champions defeat centrists in Democratic primaries, with Markey dealing Representative Joe Kennedy Jr. the first defeat a Kennedy has ever suffered in a Massachusetts election. But can Sunrise also be successful against Republicans in the general elections this fall?</p><h4>THE STARPOWER</h4><p>And an intriguing wild card: celebrity firepower, grassroots activism, and big-bucks marketing have converged behind a campaign to get Latina mothers to vote climate in 2020. Latinos have long been the U.S. demographic most concerned about climate change. Now, <a href="https://votelikeamadre.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Vote Like A Madre</a> aims to get 5 million Latina mothers in Florida, Texas, and Arizona to the polls. Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayak, and Lin-Manuel Miranda are urging mothers to make a "pinky promise" to vote for their kids' climate future in November. Turning out even a quarter of those 5 million voters, though no easy task, could swing the results in three states Trump must win to remain president, which brings us back to the first category, "Will the White House Turn Green?"</p>
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By Tony Carnie
South Africa is home to around 1,300 of the world's roughly 7,100 remaining cheetahs. It's also the only country in the world with significant cheetah population growth, thanks largely to a nongovernmental conservation project that depends on careful and intensive human management of small, fenced-in cheetah populations. Because most of the reserves are privately funded and properly fenced, the animals benefit from higher levels of security than in the increasingly thinly funded state reserves.
Vincent van der Merwe at a cheetah translocation. Endangered Wildlife Trust
Under Pressure<p>Cheetah populations elsewhere in Southern Africa have not prospered over the past 50 years. In Zimbabwe, cheetah numbers have crashed from 1,500 in 1975, to just 170 today. Botswana's cheetah population has held steady at around 1,500 over the same period, but illegal capture for captive breeding and conflicts with farmers and the growing human population are increasing. In Namibia, there were an estimated 3,000 cheetah in in 1975; roughly 1,400 remain today.</p><p>In contrast, South Africa's cheetah numbers have grown from about 500 in 1975 to nearly 1,300 today. Van der Merwe, who is also a Ph.D. student at the University of Cape Town's Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa (iCWild), says he's confident that South Africa will soon overtake Namibia and Botswana, largely because the majority of South African cheetahs are protected and managed behind fences, whereas most of the animals in the neighboring countries remain more vulnerable on mainly unfenced lands.</p><p>Wildlife researchers Florian Weise and colleagues have reported that private stock owners in Namibia still trap cheetahs mainly for translocation, but there are few public or private reserves large enough to contain them. Weise says that conservation efforts need to focus on improving tolerance toward cheetahs in commercial livestock and game farming areas to reduce indiscriminate trapping.</p><p>Van der Merwe says fences can be both a blessing and a curse. While these barriers prevent cheetahs and other wild animals from migrating naturally to breed and feed, they also protect cheetahs from the growing tide of threats from humanity and agriculture.</p><p>To simulate natural dispersion patterns that guard against inbreeding, the trust helps landowners swap their animals with other cheetah reserves elsewhere in the country. The South African metapopulation project has been so successful in boosting numbers that the trust is having to look beyond national boundaries to secure new translocation areas in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.</p><p>Cheetah translocations have been going on in South Africa since the mid-1960s, when the first unsuccessful attempts were made to move scores of these animals from Namibia. These relocations were mostly unsuccessful.</p>
Charli de Vos uses a VHF antenna to locate cheetahs in Phinda Game Reserve. Tony Carnie for Mongabay
Swinging for the Fences<p>But other wildlife conservation leaders have a different perspective on cheetah conservation strategy.</p><p>Gus Mills, a senior carnivore researcher retired in 2006 from SANParks, the agency that manages South Africa's national parks, after a career of more than 30 years in Kalahari and Kruger national parks. He says the focus should be on quality of living spaces rather than the quantity of cheetahs.</p><p>Mills, who was the founder of the Endangered Wildlife Trust's Carnivore Conservation Group in 1995, and who also spent six years after retirement studying cheetahs in the Kalahari, says it's more important to properly protect and, where possible, expand the size of existing protected areas.</p><p>He also advocates a triage approach to cheetah conservation, in which scarce funds and resources are focused on protecting cheetahs in formally protected areas, rather than diluting scarce resources in an attempt to try and save every single remaining cheetah population.</p><p>"People have an obsession with numbers. But I believe that it is more important to protect large landscape and habitats properly," Mills said.</p><p>He suggests that cheetahs enclosed within small reserves live in artificial conditions: "It's almost like glorified farming."</p><p>"In the long run we have to focus on consolidating formally protected areas," he added. "Africa's human population will double by 2050, so cheetah populations in unfenced areas will become unsustainable if they are eating people's livestock."</p>
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