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Noni: know this controversial fruit that is forbidden in Brazil

Noni: know this controversial fruit that is forbidden in Brazil

Morinda citrofolia Linn , is the fruit of a medium-sized tree originating in Asia and Polynesia, which has adapted well to the Brazilian climate in order to produce fruit throughout the year. Noni use in Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia noni is used in folk medicine for the treatment of various diseases. In the last decades, there has been a significant increase in consumption of the fruit and its derivatives in Brazil.

However, noni consumption is controversial in the country due to the lack of conclusive studies on the fruit and its derivatives. Since many research has shown the toxicity of juices and preparations with noni. Therefore, the National Health Surveillance Agency, ANVISA, has banned the marketing of any food containing noni as one of the ingredients.

Main nutrients of noni

The nutritional composition of noni is not yet fully completed. Some studies state that phenolic compounds represent the largest group of functional substances present in this fruit.

Noni also has good amounts of vitamin C. According to a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Agroindustrial Technology in 2014, physical analysis -Chemistry of the ripe fruit had an average amount of 243.16mg of vitamin C in 100 grams of pulp. Thus, 100 grams of noni has 270% of the recommended amount of vitamin C in a day.

Understand why noni is forbidden in Brazil

Noni is controversial due to lack of conclusive studies on its harms or benefits. According to ANVISA, products containing noni can not be marketed as food in Brazil, as they have not yet demonstrated safety of use.

ANVISA banned the sale of noni derivatives - Photo: Getty Images

Several case reports published in indexed scientific journals suggest that consumption of noni juice is associated with cases of hepatic toxicity. In addition, an experimental study presented at the XV Brazilian Congress of Toxicology investigated the possible adverse effects of the aqueous extract of the noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia) on the pregnancy and parturition of progenitor rats. The authors concluded that exposure to the noni fruit extract may have adverse effects on the gestation of these animals.

Some studies suggest that the substances responsible for the toxic effects are anthraquinones. The complete characterization of noni and its juice has not yet been completed, including in relation to the anthraquinones, which were previously believed to be present only in roots and leaves of this plant.

Noni study benefits

Available studies on the noni are still inconclusive in relation to their beneficial or harmful effects on health. It has been suggested that noni can protect cells against the harmful action of free radicals.

Noni has today been shown to be beneficial in several aspects, such as help in the production of melatonin, relief of chronic pain, reduction fatigue and even to help in hypertension. However, there are no definitive studies on the subject.

In addition, noni contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps in digestion and is also present in pineapple. This, along with its bioflavonoids and anthraquinones (antioxidants and digestive stimulants) make it interesting for digestion.

Noni helps to lose weight?

Noni can be combined with grape juice - Photo: Getty Images

No it is possible to know if noni helps in weight loss or not. This is because there are no studies that were able to prove this benefit.

It is important to emphasize that in order to lose weight, it is enough to have a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, reduce fats, salt and sugar, consume less calories and do physical activities. Noni

There is no specific recommendation for noni consumption to date.

Noni: consume or not?

As the available noni studies are inconclusive, the benefits are not yet clear from its antioxidants and the harmful effects related to its toxicity. Therefore, caution is important when consuming noni.

Combining noni

Noni has a very intense taste and odor, so it has been consumed with fruits such as grapes, guavas,

Nutritionist Carina Tomida Shaletich member of the Regional Council of Nutritionists 3rd Region

Industrial chemist Edy Brito, researcher at Embrapa Agroindústria Tropical.

National Health Surveillance Agency


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