Morinda citrifolia L. (noni), family Rubiaceae, has been used in Polynesia for over 2000 years for its reputed health benefits, one of which is its therapeutic effects on gout (langa e hokotanga hui). However, its healing mechanism has not been elucidated. This study showed that in an in vitro bioassay that Tahitian Noni Juice (TNJ) inhibited xanthine oxidase (XO) concentration dependently. Concentrations of 1, 5 and 10 mg/mL of TNJ inhibited XO by 11%, 113% and 148%, respectively, with an IC50 of 3.8 mg compared with an IC50 of 2.4 microm for allopurinol. Noni fruit juice concentrate (NFJC) also inhibited XO concentration dependently. Concentrations of 1 and 5 mg/mL NFJC inhibited XO in vitro by 184% and 159%, respectively. A 0.1 mg/mL methanol extract (NFJME) from the fractionation of noni fruit puree inhibited XO by 64%. It was elucidated that the noni fruit juice inhibitory effect on XO enzymes is the mechanism by which noni ameliorates gout and gout-like diseases. Further, the results also support the traditional usage of noni in the treatment of gout.
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