|Ask A Healer Natural Supplements Series
Will Noni Juice interact with your meds? Liquid Nutritionals - Health Benefits and Risks.
by N J Howell
This is part of a antioxidant-rich juices and juice blends. Here, you will find information on Mangosteen Juice benefits, safety and possible prescription drug interactions.
What is a Noni Juice? Called Polynesian or Tahitian Noni Juice, this healthfu beverage is derived from the fruit of the Indian Mulberry shrub.
This nutrition-packed juice has a lot of different names it can go by, including Hog Apple, Ba Ji Tian and Wild Pine but is typically marketed as Noni. The proper botanical name is Morinda Citrofolia.
Noni Juice Benefits and Cautions:
The benefits of this juice are also impressive including enhancement of the immune system and the inhibition of LDL's (helpful in controling fats in the blood, a condition called hyperlipidemia) but it is not without potential drug interactions.
Like Acai, Noni juice is a nutritionally rich supplement, containing phytonutrients, trace minerals and enzymes that are very beneficial to the body.
It is also high in vitamin C. If consumed in whole food form, the pulp of the mangosteen fruit is an excellent source of fiber and protein but these properties are lost or greatly reduced when consumed as a juice.
Noni Juice has been scientifically studied for it's effect on cancer and was found to inhibit cancer cell formation in animals but I didn't find any information on human studies of the same type.
Prescription Drug Interaction Alert: One very serious interaction is due to the high potassium levels in this juice. If you have kidney disease, I would not drink Noni Juice. Nor would I drink it if you are on blood pressure meds without checking with your doctor first.
If you take diuretics that are potassium-sparing (that is, they prevent removal of potassium) or you take a potassium supplement at the same time that you drink Noni, abnormal levels of potassium may result.
Now, the body obviously needs potassium to live. It is a vital substance for the body. That's one of the reasons a potassium-sparing medicine might be prescribed in the first place, to insure that potassium isn't removed from the body in too high amounts. However, too much of it can be just as dangerous as potassium deficiency.
This is just one more example of something we typically consider vital and healthy, in this case potassium, that becomes unhealthy if there is too much of it in our system.
I also came across one reference to a case of hepatitis where Noni was implicated but it was listed as "rare".
A second, more comprehensive reference reported two studies on noni juice and hepatitis but also mentioned a later report that negated the earlier ones saying that noni could affect the liver in a harmful way.
I personally would be very surprised if Noni were the only factor in that development and in that particular case.
Still, because there are these few references to liver problems with someone who drank it, I would not suggest Noni to anyone with known liver problems.
If you have liver problems or have been on statins or other drugs known to affect liver function with longterm use, you obviously need to discuss this with your doctor.
Noni Juice / Morinda Citrofolia Disclaimer: Antioxidant juices are considered safe for otherwise healthy people not on prescription meds. Diabetics and pre-diabetics should always consider sugar content in any juice, whether Noni Juice or other fruit juice.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers are always advised to consult with their doctors on any nutritional changes they want to make and before taking anything, whether natural or prescription.....I mean, ALWAYS. Regardless of how safe a product is, there is just almost no one who will say it's safe for a pregnant or nursing woman so check with your doctor, period.
Additionally, as mentioned above, consider other juices or phytonutrients rather than this one, if you have any type of liver problem or if on potassium-sparing meds.