More Benefits of Fermented Foods

A study published last year in Oncology Reports found that fermented noni (an Asian fruit) juice fights cancer in rats.

Noni (Morinda citrifolia) has been used in traditional Polynesian folk medicine for more than 2,000 years. Recently, researchers have discovered that Noni juice has the ability to destroy cancerous tumors. . . .

The researchers evaluated Noni’s ability to both prevent and treat cancer. In the prevention study, female mice were injected with one of three substances: fNE, a phosphate-balanced solution (PBS, which is similar to saline solution), or lipopolysaccharides (LPS, a natural toxin found in bacteria and in fermented Noni juice) for three days. Then the researchers injected the mice with lung cancer and sarcoma cells. In the treatment study, the mice were first injected with the cancer cells, and then treated with three doses of fNE [fermented noni exudate], LPS [lipopolysaccharides], or PBS [phosphate balance solution].

After the mice were injected with fNE, they developed greater numbers of immune cells such as granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) and natural killer (NK) cells, indicating that fNE had stimulated their immune system. A month after receiving fNE for sarcoma treatment or prevention, more than 85 percent of the mice were not only alive, but also cancer-free. fNE also was effective against lung cancer tumor cells, although the tumor prevention rate was slightly lower (62 percent). Meanwhile, all of the mice that received PBS or LPS died.

Emphasis added. It is telling that they used fermented noni juice rather than plain noni juice; apparently plain noni juice is less effective. Fermented juice has many more bacteria than plain juice; it makes a lot of sense that the fermented bacteria stimulate the immune system.

Thanks to Peter Spero.

6 Replies to “More Benefits of Fermented Foods”

  1. Here’s a link to a U of Hawaii web site talking about noni, and how it goes through the fermentation process, which is why I’m fairly sure that fermenting it is the standard preparation:

    http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/noni/fruit_juices.asp

    The first time I tried Noni was when I was on my honeymoon in Belize about six years ago. I had heard about Noni, but had never tried it. But I got our naturalist/guide to take me to a small village where there was an herbalist. He lived in this small ramshackle house on the edge of town, and there was a noni bush growing outside. In the house, there was a shelf with some recycled plastic bottles of brown liquid, which I was told was noni juice. I imagine it was fermented. I think all noni juice is basically fermented, but maybe I’m wrong about that. This stuff was, though.

    I bought a couple of bottles, and to my wife’s dismay, started drinking the juice. She (and our guide) thought I was nuts to drink this unlabeled brown liquid out of these used plastic bottles (they were from an orange-juice bottling plant in the next town.)

    Within a couple of weeks, a shoulder problem that had been stopping me from swimming for a number of years was basically gone, and I was up to a mile or so every other day within a couple of months. An enlarged prostate seemed to go away, too, and I didn’t have to get up at night to go to the bathroom anymore. So along with any cancer protection, my experience was that it was a pretty potent anti-inflammatory, but that may have been because that was my body’s particular reaction. I have heard that from others, though.

  2. Now I’m remembering that there is a controversy in the noni-juice biz about fermenting vs. non-fermenting. The non-fermenters claiming there is no scientific evidence that fermented juice is better. (You can google around for this, I don’t want to link to commercial sites.)

    I’d be interested to hear why they chose the fermented version for this study…

  3. Just Google “fermented noni juice,” or go to a local whole foods or similar. There are a lot of brands of noni juice out there. Just read the label carefully to make sure it’s fermented, as some aren’t.

    Getting good at reading between the lines of labels is a useful skill in any case.

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