Cancer preventive effect of Morinda citrifolia (Noni)

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Dec;952:161-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb02737.x.

Abstract

Morinda citrifolia (Noni) has been extensively used in folk medicine by Polynesians for over 2,000 years. It has been reported to have broad therapeutic effects, including anticancer activity, in both clinical practice and laboratory animal models. The mechanism for these effects remains unknown. The hypothesis that Morinda citrifolia possesses a cancer preventive effect at the initiation stage of carcinogenesis was studied. Our preliminary data indicated that 10% Tahitian Noni Liquid Dietary Supplement or Tahitian Noni Juice (TNJ), made from Morinda citrifolia fruit by Morinda Inc, in drinking water for one week was able to prevent DMBA-DNA adduct formation. The levels of DMBA-DNA adducts were reduced by 30% in the heart, 41% in the lung, 42% in the liver, and 80% in the kidney of female SD rats. Even more dramatic results were obtained in male C57 BL-6 mice: 10% TNJ was able to reduce DMBA-DNA adduct formation by 60% in the heart, 50% in the lung, 70% in the liver, and 90% in the kidney. In order to explore the mechanism of this preventive effect, the antioxidant activity of TNJ was examined in vitro by lipid hydroperoxide (LPO) and tetrazolium nitroblue (TNB) assays. In the LPO assay, LPO oxidizes leucomethylene blue to methylene blue in the presence of hemoglobin. The resultant blue color was quantified at 660 nm spectrophotometrically. In the TNB assay, superoxide anion radicals (SAR) reduce TNB into formazan blue that was also measured by absorption at 602 nm. TNJ showed a dose-dependent inhibition of both LPO and SAR in our system. The antioxidant activity of TNJ was compared to the effects of vitamin C, grape seed powder (GSP), and pycnogenol (PYC) at the daily dose per serving level recommended by U.S.RDAs or manufacturers. The results suggest that prevention of carcinogen-DNA adduct formation and the antioxidant activity of TNJ may contribute to the cancer preventive effect of Morinda citrifolia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinogens
  • Citrus
  • Colorimetry
  • DNA Adducts / analysis
  • DNA Damage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use
  • Fruit*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Polynesia
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Vitis

Substances

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Carcinogens
  • DNA Adducts
  • Flavonoids
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Plant Extracts
  • pycnogenols
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene