Poster # 208. Joint Northwest and Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society. June 17, 2008. Park City, Utah, USA.
Noni juice increases athlete endurance via antioxidant mechanism.

Brett J. West, C. Jarakae Jensen.

Noni (Morinda citrifolia) fruit juice was traditionally used in Polynesia to promote endurance on long ocean voyages. Further, in vivo tests have revealed that noni juice can significantly increase endurance. Two human clinical trials in non-athletes have revealed that noni juice can improve physical functioning and fatigue indices of quality of life surveys. Chemical analysis, as well as human clinical research, has revealed that no chemical stimulants, illicit drugs, or otherwise prohibited substances occur naturally in noni fruit juice. It was, therefore, proposed that the notable antioxidant activity of noni juice is the mechanism responsible for the anti-fatigue (or pro-ergogenic) effect. To test this hypothesis, commercial noni juice from French Polynesia was evaluated in 40 highly trained athletes (ages 18-27 yr). The athletes were divided into two groups of twenty each, with one group consuming noni juice and the other consuming blackberry juice as controls. Each subject consumed 100 mL BID of either noni juice or blackberry juice for three weeks. For each athlete, the time-to-exhaustion in the treadmill test (increasing resistance), blood analyses, and urine chemiluminescence analyses were performed at day 0, day 10, and day 21 of the test. By day 21, the time-to-fatigue of the noni juice group was increase by 22% (p<0.05), whereas no increase was observed in the blackberry juice group. Blood analyses did not reveal any significant effects, with the exception of increased mean lactate level in the blackberry juice at day 21. Chemiluminescence decreased by 25% in the noni juice group (p<0.05), demonstrating a significant decline in lipid peroxidation, due to the antioxidant activity of noni juice. This confirms the hypothesis that improvement in physical performance and energy is associated with noni juice’s antioxidant properties. Further, the ability of noni juice to improve endurance in highly trained young athletes is demonstrated.