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Cancer, Our Immune System and Noni

Cancer is a disease of the cells – all of the more than one hundred known cancers begin with one cell that mutates and eventually leads to wild cell proliferation. Are you aware that the cells in your body at this very moment are fighting off trillions of attacks by carcinogenic compounds many of which are by-products of life itself.

One of Noni’s strongest health benefits is its ability to work at the cellular level, helping abnormally functioning cells (like cancerous cells) to once again regain normal function and to stimulate the body’s immune system to fight invading pathogens. This sparks the excitement of a growing number of health experts over Noni’s apparent ability to both prevent and reverse cancer.

The immune system is important to cancer patients in many ways, some of the most exciting news from the world of cancer research revolves around immunotherapy or encouraging the body’s immune system to battle the disease. Cancer and its treatment can weaken the immune system. Cancer weakens the immune system by invading the bone marrow where the cells that help fight infection are made. This happens most often in leukemia or lymphoma. But it can happen with other cancers too. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can weaken immunity by causing a drop in the number of white blood cells made in the bone marrow.Some cells of the immune system can recognize cancer cells as abnormal and kill them. Unfortunately, this is not enough to get rid of a cancer altogether. Noni the natural health supplement boosts our immune system to fight cancer.

A considerable number of studies on the role of Noni in cancer preventive and therapeutic approaches have been carried out so far and their results have been published in various reputed scientific journals.


In 2001 , at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Reasearch, Noni was listed as one of the top ten alternative cancer treatment used in conventional settings. Research shows that more and more people are using alternative theraphy in addition to, or in place of, conventional cancer treatment. According to cancer researcher Ralph W.Moss, Ph.D, surveys from the American Cancer Society done in 1989 found that 9% of cancer paitents were using one or more alternative treatments.

Some of the most successful treatments by doctors are those that include a combination of different types of cancer treatments. Since cancer can be such a pervasive intruder, many medical professionals feel it is best to attack it from different angles.

What ways does noni help in cancer?

For primary prevention of cancer – "To take medicine only when you are sick is like digging a well only when you are thirsty — is it not already too late?" (Chi Po, c 2500 BC). This proverb suggests that prevention is more important than treatment

Epigallocatechingallate (EGCg)-

EGCg is a polyphenolic flavonoids antioxidant that is found in abundance in Noni. EGCg in Noni inhibits the Quinol Oxidase (NOX) enzyme tumor activity property thus helps in antiangiogenesis. NOX enzymes are found in a variety of cell types and tissues where they react with oxygen to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), the free radical forms of oxygen that damage the DNA of cell.


The ROS is involved in mutations and tissue damage in diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Normal amounts of NOX production are important to regulate the cell growth. It is generally in active during the normal cell division process on response to growth hormone stimulation but it is active in all the time in cancerous cell and responsible for the cancerous cell proliferation, cell motility, invasion and angiogenesis process, all of them prerequisites for tumor metastasis.


EGCg, a primary component of NONI inhibit the NOX activity of cancer cells. According to DR.Morre’s experimental studies it is found that EGCg in NONI inhibits NOX carcinogenesis activity but does not inhibit the NOX activity of healthy cells.

Role of Antioxidant in Cancer Prevention

Oxidative stress in our body is the underlying cause of cancer. When excessive free radicals are allowed to exist near the nucleus of cell, significant damage to the DNA of cell can result. Free radicals can also wreck damage on the genetic structure of the DNA, which can then lead to abnormal growth of cell. As these cells continue to replicate, this mutated DNA is carried to each newly developed cell. when there is further oxidative stress to this mutated DNA of the cell, more damage occurs. The cell will then begin to grow out of control. It spread from one part of the body to other(metastasis), thus becoming a true cancer.


Oxidative stress is indeed the cause of cancer, antioxidants used to bring free radical back into balance would lower the risk of cancer. Therefore the bet strategy is to maximize your own body’s immune system and antioxidant defense and this begins by eating a healthy natural suppliment that rich with antioxidants. Noni is the rich source of antioxidants. The high anti oxidant property of Noni helps to prevent the formation carcinogen-DNA adducts. It was hypothesized that the antioxidants in Noni may have cancer protective effects by scavenging reactive oxygen free radicals and quenching lipid peroxides.

Clinical application of Noni in cancer

Noni can be used as a supplemental cancer treatment. Many phytochemicals and the xeronine, the alkaloid of Noni helps in increasing the cancer cell membrane permeability to chemo agents. Thus potentiate the pharmacological action of medication.


In 1992, Hirazumi, a researcher at the University of Hawaii, reported anticancer activity from the alcohol-precipitate of Noni fruit juice (noni-ppt) on lung cancer in C57 Bl/6 mice at the 83th Annual Meeting of American Association for Cancer Research. The noni-ppt was shown to significantly prolong the life of mice up to 75 % with implanted Lewis lung carcinoma compared with the control group. It was concluded that the noni-ppt seems to suppress tumor growth indirectly by stimulating the immune system. Improved survival time and curative effects occurred when noni-ppt was combined with sub-optimal doses of the standard chemotherapeutic agents such as adriamycin (Adria), cisplatin (CDDP), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and vincristine (VCR), suggesting important clinical applications of noni-ppt as a supplemental agent in cancer treatment. These results indicate that nonippt may enhance the therapeutic effect of anticancer drugs. Therefore it may be of benefit to cancer patients by enabling them to use lower doses of anticancer drugs to achieve the same or even better results.

Noni exhibits antiangiogenesis effects on the malignant cells

The cancer tumor has the ability to develop its own blood vessels around it to get their nutrition for growth by the process of angiogenesis. Many phytochemicals present in NONI like Damnacanthal, Alizarin, Limonene, Epigallocatechingallate (EGCg) etc, just a few among the 150+ phytochemicals present in Noni that exhibit ANTIANGIOGENESIS effect on the malignant cells. This inhibits the growth and mutations of malignant cells and induces programmed cell death or apoptosis.

Noni prevents the carcinogen DNA adduct formation on cell

Most chemical carcinogens needs activation by our body enzymes to be transformed to an ultimate form that readily binds to genetic DNA to form DNA adducts. Carcinogen DNA adducts formation causes DNA damage. Carcinogen DNA adducts can be repaired by body enzymes. The unprepared DNA damaged cell will be responsible for mutation and the consequent cancer development. Therefore preventing carcinogen-DNA adduct formation is a key step for primary prevention in cancer at the initiation step of carcinogenesis.


Noni helps in prevention or block the formation of carcinogen induced DNA adduct. Hence it may prevent cancer at the initiation stage of carcinogenesis.

Antioxidant activity of Noni

In order to explore the mechanisms of the cancer preventive effect of Noni , the antioxidant activity was examined. It is known that oxidative damage induced by reactive free radicals is involved in the development of cancer. Epidemiological studies demonstrated that consuming fruits and vegetable reduced free radical-induced oxidative damage and the consequent lipid peroxidation, therefore reducing cancer risk. It is believed that fruits and vegetable are major sources of antioxidants. Noni is a medicinal plant that helps different health conditions in many different ways. It was hypothesized that the antioxidant activity of Noni may protect individuals from oxygen free radicals and consequent lipid peroxidation.


In order to examine this hypothesis, the antioxidant activity of Noni was analyzed. The study was designed to measure how well Noni scavenged superoxide anion radicals (SAR) and quenched lipid peroxides (LPO) by TNB assay and LMB assay, respectively. SAR scavenging activity was examined in vitro by tetrazoliumnitroblue (TNB) assay. In TNB assay, SAR reduces TNB into formazan blue, which absorbs at 602 nm. A SAR scavenger, such as Noni, reduces the absorbency by reacting with SAR. In this assay, a standard curve is produced when SAR are generated from NADH under aerobic conditions, with phenazinemethosulfate as a catalyst. In LMB assay, LPO oxidizes leucomethylene to methylene blue in the presence of hemoglobin. The resultant blue color can be quantified spectrophotometrically at 660 nm.


(a) In vitro Noni showed a dose-dependent inhibition of both LPO and SAR. The SAR scavenging activity of Noni was compared to that of three known antioxidants: Vitamin C, grape seed powder, and Pycnogenol at the daily dose per serving level recommended by US RDA's or manufacturer's recommendations. Under the experimental conditions, the SAR scavenging activity of Noni was shown to be 2.8 times that of vitamin C, 1.4 times that of Pycnogenol, and 1.1 times that of grape seed powder. Therefore Noni has a great potential to scavenge reactive oxygen free radicals.

High potassium contain of Noni relieves the malignant cachexia syndromes in cancer

The Xeronine, the alkaloid of NONI enhances the cell permeability for intracellular absorption of K and prevents the formation of lactic acid from glucose, thus helps in relieving the malignant cachexia symptoms in cancer patient.


It suggests the important clinical application of Noni as a supplemental agent on cancer treatment.

Recent unpublished study completed by Dr Wang and coworkers demonstrate that a cytotoxic effect of Noni on cultured leukemia cell line at various concen-tration. The cytotoxicity of Noni on cultured cancer cells showed a dose-dependent manner by inducing cancer cell necrosis at high doses and apotosid at lower doses. The synergistic effects of Noni with known anticancer drugs have been found. At a sub-optimum dose, both prednisolone and Noni could induce apoptosis. When the dose of prednisolone was fixed, and the dose of Noni increased, apoptotic cells were significantly increased. Therefore, Noni is able to enhance the efficacy of anticancer drugs such as prednisolone. When a single dose of Taxol induced a lower percentage of apoptosis in leukemia cells, Noni enhanced the rate of apoptosis to 100 %. This data indicates that Noni is able to enhance the therapeutic effect of anticancer drugs such as Taxol. This finding may be significant for the combination of anticancer drugs with Noni. It may allow one to decrease the dose of synthetic anticancer drugs, increase the tolerance of patients to the toxicity of anticancer drugs, and increase immune function. This creates a new method in treating cancer patients.


In 1993, Hiramatsu and colleagues reported in Cancer Letters the effects of over 500 extracts from tropical plants on the K-Ras-NRK cells. Damnacanthal, isolated from Noni roots, is an inhibitor of Ras function. The ras oncogene is believed to be associated with the signal transduction in several human cancers such as lung, colon, pancreas, and leukemia.


Hiwasa and coworkers demonstrated that damnacanthal, an anthraquinone compound, isolated from the Noni root, was reported to have a potent inhibitory activity towards tyrosine kinases such as Lck, Src, Lyn, and EGF receptors. In his study, he examined the effects of damnacanthal on ultraviolet ray-induced apoptosis in ultraviolet-resistant human UVr-1 cells. Consequently, the ultraviolet light induced a concurrent increase in both phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinases and stress-activated protein kinases. After pretreatment with damnacanthal, there was a stimulatory effect on ultraviolet-induced apoptosis.


Dong reported that two glycosides extracted from noni-ppt were effective in inhibiting cell transformation induced by TPA or EGF in the mouse epidermal JB6 cell line. The inhibition was found to be associated with the inhibitory effects of these compounds on AP-1 activity. The compounds also blocked phosphorylation of c-Jun, a substrate of JNKs, suggesting that JNKs are a critical target for the compounds in mediating AP-1 activity and cell transformation.

Clinical application as an immunotherapy in cancer:

NONI-ppt, the polysaccharide rich substances present in NONI develop an anti-tumor response by stimulating the release of various cytokines mediator of the immune system of our body like
Interferon – gamma 
Nitric oxide
Tumour necrosis factor
Natural killer cells

Thus they help for controlling carcinogenesis by inhibiting the growth and mutation of the malignant cells

Pretreatment with Noni followed by ultraviolet irradiation increased the levels of phosphorylated extra cellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) and stress-activated protein kinases (SAPK) enzymes in the body. Activation of SARK and ERKs plays an important role in triggering apoptosis. Thus their activation proves the stimulatory effect of Noni on ultraviolet-induced apoptosis

Reduction of side effects caused by chemotherapy

Noni contain a mixture of Anthraquinone, organic acids, xeronine, several vitamins (such as beta-carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine etc), some minerals, iron and calcium. The potassium content of Noni is very high. It is a powerful antioxidant. Thus this natural product, NONI JUICE, can be used to reduce the side effects of cancer treatments


Thus Noni’s effect on cancer most likely deals with the fact that both Noni and cancer work on a cellular level. It is further believed that Noni enhances cellular structure while cancer, of course, destroys it. One of Noni’s key components, Proxeronine, is sent to “sick” cells within the body by the Golgi apparatus and reticuloendothelium. These sick cells attract Proxeronine and an enzyme, Proxeroninease. The interaction creates Xeronine, a cellular enhancer.

Role of NONI in reducing pain in cancer

Noni is a selective COX-2 inhibitor - Pain, redness, heat, and swelling, which are the markers of inflammation, follow the release of prostaglandins. Pain killers reduce prostaglandins by blocking an enzyme which helps to produce them, called cyclooxygenase (COX). There are two COX enzymes in the body - COX-1 and COX-2. COX1 is easily identifiable and is important in regulating cell function. COX2 enzyme is largely responsible for causing pain and inflammation. Noni is a selective inhibitor of COX-2 enzyme. In addition, the Noni did no damage to the COX1 enzyme. Hence it relieves a lot in case of pain in cancer patient.


Role of Scopoletin in pain - Another reason for Noni’s pain fighting qualities may stem from several of its constituents. Noni has been shown to contain Scopoletin, which has anti inflammatory effects and pain reducing ability.

Role of Noni in reducing high mental stress of cancer paitent

Cancer patients are always in a state of high stress condition about their disease and cancer treatment. The cause of stress is due to the low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin, also called 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), is the brain's `happy chemical.’ Serotonin is often referred to as the body's natural mood-altering drug and changes in serotonin levels can quickly alter mood. If serotonin levels drop to low levels, depression is almost sure to follow. It is manufactured in our body using the amino acid tryptophan. When tryptophan is readily available, the body can use it if needed to increase serotonin levels. Manufactured by the body, it is found along with its receptor sites in the brain, blood platelets, and lining of the digestive tract. Noni juice is a normal and safe way for us to increase the effects of this feel good hormone. NONI juice elevate serotonin levels naturally. It contains 17 amino acids among the total 20 amino acids including all 10 essential amino acid. The amino acid tryptophan plays a great role in manufacturing this neuro transmitter serotonin. When tryptophan is readily available, the body can use it if needed to increase serotonin levels

NONI acts as an Immune enhancer in cancer patient

Our body immunity plays a great role in cancer –patient. The person with low immune power is most susceptible to attack by cancer. Cancer also depresses the body immunity power a lot. The standard cancer treatments also add fuel in reducing the immunity level more than before. So it is highly necessary to keep the immunity level balance of the cancer patient as well as in the standard cancer treatment.


NONI helps a lot in enhancing the immune power of cancer patient naturally. NONI-ppt, the polysaccharide rich substances present in NONI helps in improving the immune power by stimulating the release of various cytokines mediator of the immune system of our body. Those cytokines are Interleukin, Interferon – gamma, Nitric oxide, Tumour necrosis factor, Natural killer cells. Those helps for controlling carcinogenesis process by inhibiting the growth and mutation of the malignant cells.


The natural integrity of Noni is only part of the reason for its immune modulating character. There are two additional reasons contribution to NONI’s immune enhancing property.

Synergy of its Substances

The many known, and even some of the unknown substances, come together in a way that support the needs of many of our internal systems, concurrently. As the word synergy implies, these substances work far better in combination than they do separately. Many of the ingredients in Noni are found in varying amounts in other foods or herbs. There seems to be no known food or herb with either the rich list of substances or the high amounts of key substances all put together in one super food. Noni aids the body’s natural healing abilities.

Unique Combinations of Substances

Noni has an impressive array of ingredients. It has a rich complement of vitamins and minerals; including A, B vitamins (including the rare B-12), C, E, Iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, zinc and several trace minerals. It also has 17 of 20 amino acids. Terpenes, fungicides, glycosides, polysaccharides and other unique ingredients that even in small amounts can have significant physiological effects can be found in Noni.

Hence Noni is very helpful in any cancer as Primary prevention purposes, primary therapeutic purposes, supplemental to conventional treatment purposes, reduction of chemo and radio side effects cases, secondary prevention purposes in future, and to keep the body immunity power strong enough to fight for the diseases

Noni may enhance the therapeutic effect of anticancer drugs

From an experimental study report on lower animals at the University of Hawaii, USA it has been shown that Noni may help to potentiate the action of many anticancer drug. Thus it may suggest as an important clinical application of Noni as a supplemental agent in cancer treatment. Therefore it may be of benefit to cancer patients by enabling them to use lower doses of anticancer drugs to achieve the same or even better results.

High potassium contain of Noni relieves the malignant cachexia syndromes in cancer

The Xeronine, the alkaloid of NONI enhances the cell permeability for intracellular absorption of K and prevents the formation of lactic acid from glucose, thus helps in relieving the malignant cachexia symptoms in cancer patient.