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.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zahida Sherman
Cooking has always intimidated me. As a child, I would anxiously peer into the kitchen as my mother prepared Christmas dinner for our family.
Falling in Love With Food All Over Again<p>Slowly, through my most intimate relationships with friends and partners, I began to see the beauty — and rewards — of cooking.</p><p>I got tired of giving in to defeat and always bringing chips or paper products to social gatherings. I started asking my mom to send me her Christmas and Thanksgiving recipes. I even volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner at my place.</p><p>Each time I heard my loved ones sing the praises of the foods I prepared for them, I felt a tinge more confident that I could carry out our traditions my way.</p><p>In reaching out to other relatives for their favorite recipes, I learned that they had a little help of their own. They didn't rely solely on their ancestral cooking instincts. They turned to Black chefs for guidance.</p><p>These 7 cookbooks by Black chefs have inspired my family and fed us in nutrients, joy, and spiritual sustenance. They're also helping me overcome my personal fears of cooking.</p>
Get CookingWhether you're in recovery from cooking fears like me, or are just looking to expand your culinary confidence with dishes honoring Black heritage, these Black chefs are here to support you on your journey.Turn on some music, give yourself permission to make mistakes, and throw down for yourself or your loved ones. Glorious flavors await you.
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By Tara Lohan
The conclusion to decades of work to remove a dam on the Middle Fork Nooksack River east of Bellingham, Washington began with a bang yesterday as crews breached the dam with a carefully planned detonation. This explosive denouement is also a beginning.
The History<p>The Middle Fork Nooksack drains glacier-fed headwater streams that run off the icy summit of 10,778-foot Mt. Baker. The Middle Fork joins the North Fork and then the mainstem of the Nooksack River, which travels to Bellingham Bay and Puget Sound. The entire Nooksack watershed stretches 830 square miles across Washington and into British Columbia.</p>
A Plan Comes Together<p>The Middle Fork dam is not a pool dam built for water storage. Much of the time, water flows over the top until dam operators drop a floodgate to divert water to new locations. That water travels about 14 miles through tunnel and pipeline to Mirror Lake, then Anderson Creek, and to Lake Whatcom before finally being delivered to residents' taps.</p><p>Before removing the dam, engineers had to move the water intake 700 feet upstream and situate it at an elevation that still enabled city water withdrawals throughout the year, regardless of flow conditions.</p><p>They also needed to make sure that the rushing water didn't sweep up fish and accidentally send them through the water-supply system.</p><p>"The solution required a fairly complex design in the intake structure, including a fish exit pipe out of that structure to put fish back into the river in a way that meets current environmental permit standards," explains LaCroix.</p>
Project layout for the removal of the Middle Fork Nooksack diversion dam and rebuilding of water intake. City of Bellingham<p>Despite the cost and the work, she says, being able to continue to meet their municipal water obligations while opening up habitat for threatened species has been a win-win.</p><p>"I think there's a lot of benefits to having a dam removal versus fish passage — the main one being that you get a free-flowing river that can be a dynamic ecosystem and change over time," she says. "A static fish ladder just can't provide that same level of ecosystem benefit."</p>
Restoration Success<p>Despite local authorities' championing dam removal on the Middle Fork, the project has largely flown under the radar, overshadowed in the Pacific Northwest by heated discussions about a much larger potential project — removing <a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/feds-reject-removal-of-4-snake-river-dams-in-key-report/" target="_blank">four federal hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River</a>, a major tributary of the Columbia River.</p><p>Proponents of dam removal there see it as the best chance for recovering threatened salmon populations, including Chinook, which could help starving Southern Resident killer whales. Those dams also provide irrigation water, barge navigation and hydropower, so there's been more pushback against removal efforts.</p><p>Previous dam removals around the country, however, have proved successful at aiding fish recovery and river restoration.</p><p>Most notably the 1999 demolition of <a href="https://therevelator.org/edwards-dam-removal/" target="_blank">Edwards Dam on Maine's Kennebec River</a> restored the annual run of alewives, a type of herring essential to the food web. The fish run has gone from zero to 5 million in the two decades since dam removal. Blueback herring, striped bass, sturgeon and shad have also extended their reach. And the resurgence has brought back osprey, bald eagles and other wildlife, too.</p><p>The overwhelming success of river restoration on the Kennebec helped to spur a nationwide dam removal movement that's now seen 1,200 dams come down since 1999. Last year a record <a href="https://www.americanrivers.org/conservation-resource/a-record-26-states-removed-dams-in-2019/" target="_blank">90 dams</a> were removed in 26 states, including <a href="https://therevelator.org/cleveland-forest-dam-removal/" target="_blank">20 dams in California's Cleveland National Forest</a>.</p>
Spider excavators remove on dam on San Juan Creek in California's Cleveland National Forest. Julie Donnell, USFS<p>The results have been seen in the Pacific Northwest, as well, which boasts the largest dam removal thus far in the country. In 2011 and 2014, the demolition of <a href="https://therevelator.org/elwha-dam-removal/" target="_blank">two dams</a> on Elwha River, which runs through Washington's Olympic National Park, opened up 70 miles of habitat that had been blocked for a century. Scientists have started seeing all five species of salmon native to the river coming back, particularly Chinook and coho. Bull trout, they've observed, have increased in size since the dams were removal.</p>
Benefits on the Middle Fork Nooksack<p>McEwan hopes to see a similar outcome on the Middle Fork.</p><p>Like the Elwha the Middle Fork Nooksack is a relatively pristine river with little development, and dam removal is expected to provide a big boost to fish. The additional miles of spawning habitat are important, but so is the temperature of that water.</p><p>The dam removal will open access to cold upstream waters, which are ideal for salmon and getting harder to come by as climate change warms waters and reduces mountain runoff.</p><p>"This is really great for the climate change resiliency for these species," says McEwan.</p><p>Steelhead will get back 45% of their historic habitat in the river, and scientists expect Chinook populations to increase in abundance by 31%.</p><p>That <em>could</em> help Southern Resident killer whales.</p><p>"When you get to the ocean, it's a little bit of a black box in terms of what you can model and say definitively is going to help, but more fish is better for orcas," McEwan says.</p><p>Upstream habitat will see benefits, too.</p><p>Oceangoing fish like salmon enrich their bodies with carbon and nitrogen while at sea. When they return to their natal rivers to spawn and die, the marine-derived nutrients they carry back upriver become important food and fertilizer for both riverine and terrestrial ecosystems — aiding everything from trees to birds to bears.</p><p>"Once the fish start making their way back, it will start changing the whole ecological system," says Delgado.</p><p><span></span>But any ecological benefit from salmon restoration, either in the ocean or the upper watershed, won't be immediate.<br></p><p>"The population of salmon on the Middle Fork is so low that we expect it's going to take quite a while to rebound," she says. "But the big picture is that what's good for salmon is good for the region — our history and our destiny are intricately intertwined."</p><p>After decades of work, that process of restoration has finally begun.</p>
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By Katie Howell
A new tool called The Food Systems Dashboard aims to save decision makers time and energy by painting a complete picture of a country's food system. Created by the Johns Hopkins' Alliance for a Healthier World, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Dashboard compiles food systems data from over 35 sources and offers it as a public good.
By Manuela Callari
It can grow to a maximum of six inches (16 centimeters), change color depending on mood and habitat, and, like all seahorses, the White's seahorse male gestates its young. But this tiny snouted fish is under threat.
Building an Ocean Seahorse Destination<p>Seahorses are found in tropical and temperate coastal water worldwide, but are most abundant around Australia, China and the Philippines. </p><p>Trade in the tiny creatures is strictly regulated because of their use in traditional medicine, aquariums and their sale as dried curios. But because they are poor swimmers and cannot easily move elsewhere, habitat loss is a particular threat for these curious animals. </p><p>Seahorses wrap their tails around seagrass and corals to avoid being carried away on currents. They use the habitat to spawn and hide from predators such as crabs, while also feeding on riches of plankton and small crustaceans living in the reef.</p><p><span></span>Where corals aren't available, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/aqc.1217" target="_blank">scientists</a> found seahorses taking up residence in fishing nets and old crab traps abandoned at the bottom of the ocean. </p>
Mixing With the Locals<p>Baby seahorse mortality is high in the wild because they are easily caught, so those bred in the protected environment of the aquarium weren't ready to be released into the wild until early May.</p><p>The team released 90 new arrivals into Sydney Harbor, placing some directly into the purpose-built hotels, and others onto a net that wild seahorses had already settled on.</p><p>Before setting them free, the researchers marked each young seahorse with a fluorescent tag with unique IDs inserted just beneath the skin to track how they get on in the different environments. </p><p>"The most exciting part was being able to put these animals into the wild and then go back a month later and still see them surviving and growing," said McCracken. </p><p>The seahorses will be old enough to mate and reproduce around October or November 2020. And researchers hope that by then, they will be able to breed with the wild population. </p>
Building a Global Seahorse Hotel Chain<p>With seahorses everywhere facing the loss of their coral reef homes, similar projects have sprung up in places like Greece and South Africa, home to the world's most endangered seahorse, the Knysna seahorse. </p><p>"The endangered South African seahorse is benefiting from something quite similar, even though it wasn't intentional," said Peter Teske, professor at the Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg.</p><p>In the South African <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322649251_An_endangered_seahorse_selectively_chooses_an_artificial_structure" target="_blank">case</a>, seahorses have bedded down in "Reno mattresses" — wire cages filled with rocks — that were used to build a new marina. Researchers from NGO Knysna Basin Project found the structures acted as a refuge for the animals.<span></span></p><p><span></span>While Teske describes the seahorse hotels as "a positive news story" and a great way to create public awareness of conservation, he added that establishing artificial habitats in some areas will only prevent the extinction of local populations.</p><p>"For a complete recovery, it is necessary to give the natural habitat a chance to regenerate," said the seahorse expert. </p>
Underwater Mascot<p>In Australia, the researchers hope the project could provide an opportunity to raise awareness not only of the plight of the Sydney seahorses but the other animals with which it shares its ocean habitat.</p><p>The waters around Sydney and the east coast are rich in biodiversity and include several threatened species like the weedy seadragon — a relative of the seahorse — and the grey nurse shark. Like the seahorse, they're also under pressure from pollution, ocean traffic and habitat loss through storms and coastal construction. </p><p>"It's a good thing to get people's support and interest. The seahorses are a useful vehicle to get people concerned if the harbor is in trouble," said David Booth, professor of marine ecology at the University of Technology Sydney who is also working on the project. </p><p>The hotels have become an attraction for divers hoping to catch a glimpse of these small but near mythical creatures. </p><p>"Everyone loves seahorses," added Booth, "they are so popular." </p>
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