Aim of the study: Noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia L.) juice has been used for more than 2000 years in Polynesia as a traditional folk medicine. The aim of the present study was to finely characterize noni juice from Costa Rica and to evaluate its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities.
Materials and methods: A microfiltrated noni juice was prepared with Costarican nonis. HPLC-DAD and Electro Spray Ionization Mass Spectrometric detection (HPLC-ESI-MS) were used to identify phenolic compounds and iridoids. The anti-oxidative activity of noni juice was measured in vitro by both Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging methods. The anti-inflammatory effects of noni juice were investigated in vitro by: measuring its effect on nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2 production by activated macrophages, evaluating its inhibitory activities on cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 and in vivo on a carrageenan-induced paw oedema model in rats.
Results: Several polyphenols belonging to the coumarin, flavonoid and phenolic acid groups, and two iridoids were identified. Noni juice demonstrated a mean range free radical scavenging capacity. Furthermore, it also reduced carrageenan-induced paw oedema, directly inhibited cyclooxygenase COX-1 and COX-2 activities and inhibited the production of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandins E(2) (PGE(2)) in activated J774 cells, in a dose dependent manner.
Conclusions: This study showed that noni's biological effects include: (1) anti-oxidant properties probably associated with phenolic compounds, iridoids and ascorbic acid and (2) anti-inflammatory action through NO and PGE(2) pathways that might also be strengthened by anti-oxidant effects.
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