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Diabetes: Noni Plant Stands out as Natural Remedy to Prevent and Treat It

Updated on February 25, 2014

English version of my book. published in 2008

Front cover of the Chinese version of my book

Several herbs give properties for diabetes; noni is a medicinal plant that provides a lot of them


Normal sugar level is 70 to 100 mg/dl. Insulin that normalizes sugar level is secreted by the b-cells of the Islets of Langerhans of the pancreas.

Specially for women

Women need more insulin 1.5 weeks before their period. Sugar level must be controlled before pregnancy, otherwise the baby’s health is at risk. Congenital birth defects may develop during the first to 10th week of the fetus. If mothers develop diabetes after pregnancy, they may develop hypertension, and the baby may grow very big that will require a caesarian delivery (Faelten, S., editor. 1998. Food and You).

Hypertension, overweight, and body swelling are symptoms of preeclampsia that may lead to premature birth. Preeclampsia may graduate to eclampsia that threatens the life of the mother and the baby (WorldBook 2005).

To prevent diabetes, eat high-fiber carbohydrates, eat less fat, cut back on salt, control stress, control weight, consume vegetables and fruits with antioxidants.

Properties that herbal remedies for diabetes should have

(1) They provide amino acids, and lecithin that are building blocks for liver self-repair, regeneration of pancreas, and production of insulin. Noni contains essential amino acids from which non-essential amino acids are made.

Insulin is composed of 51 amino acids. Lecithin makes up 30% of the liver. Zinc is a mineral component of insulin. The building blocks of lecithin are choline, inositol, magnesium, methionine and B-6 (Walker, M., M.P.D., The Miracle Healing Power of Chelation Therapy. 1984:203) all of which are found in noni.

Sources of inositol: whole grains, fruits, vegetables.

Sources of methionine: garlic, lentils, onion, soybean, seeds.

Sources of zinc: seafoods, whole grains, legumes, tofu, pumpkin seeds, cereals, aloe vera, brewer’s yeast, oats, amaranth (uray), noni, corn germ.

Sources of choline: soybeans, whole grain cereals, legumes, aloe vera, noni.

(2) They have the precursors of melatonin.

The precursors of melatonin are serotonin and tryptophan (Sahelian, R. MD. Melatonin: Nature's Sleeping Pill. 1995). Serotonin is found in the end tip of a banana fruit, abundant in the “saba” variety. Melatonin rejuvenates organs, including pancreas, among its other functions. The body converts tryptophan into serotonin, in turn, into melatonin that is a natural tranquilizer that controls stress and prevents release of adrenalin. This hormone overrides insulin thus contributes to the dysfunction involving insulin like insulin resistance. Noni contains serotonin and tryptophan.

Sources of tryptophan: brown rice, cereals, noni, peanuts, soy.

(3) These natural remedies should contain fibers (soluble and insoluble) that “slow the absorption of carbohydrates, so blood sugar levels remain more constant” and that capture bad cholesterol (Ornish, D., MD Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease 1996). Noni contains fibers.

The original damage inflicted by free radicals on the beta cells of the Islets of Langerhans of the pancreas is exacerbated by irregular levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. If it rises abruptly the insulin level might not be able to cope with the load.

A diabetic has more than his share of bad cholesterol that contributes to the risk of heart attack. Dr. Ricardo Fernando, a Filipino, put it emphatically: "Diabetes is a heart disease because 80 percent of those who die of myocardial infarction (heart attack) have diabetes" (Anon. "If you love your children, don't overfeed them." The Philippine Star. April 30,2006). What is the origin of bad cholesterol? Fats have a component called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is also called bad cholesterol. Why? When attacked by free radicals LDL turns into a free radical that engulfs a whole molecular oxygen with its two unpaired electrons intact. This in turn becomes a free radical called lipid peroxy radical that continues the chain of creating new free radicals.

Soluble fibers absorb LDL like a sponge absorbing water with suspensions.

The good cholesterol is high-density lipoprotein (HDL) that escorts the LDL to the liver for disposal. However, LDLs usually outnumber HDLs.

One complication of insulin-dependent diabetes (type 2) is severe constipation. An acquaintance of mine has type 2 and constipation. His constipation was solved after consuming less than 300 ml of noni juice.

"It is also recognized that higher levels of circulating lipid peroxide correlate with worse symptoms of diabetes - indicating that free radicals are at work" (Sharma, H. Freedom from Disease. 1993:94).

[I have Hubs "Why Insulin Needs Chromium To Treat Your Diabetes Type 2," "Some Natural Herbs To Remedy Diabetes, Also Cancer," and "How To Counter Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)].

(4) Remedies must contain antioxidants to protect b-cells by capturing free radicals.

They should contain zinc, selenium, cysteine, cystine, vitamin B-2 that are components of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase; copper and manganese that are components of the body’s built-in antioxidant enzyme, the superoxide dismutase (SOD). Noni has them all; a plant has at least 25 parts per million of copper.

Sources of manganese: nuts, green vegetables, seeds, whole grains, avocado, seaweed, aloe vera. Supplement: 30 mg/day.

Cashew contains selenium.

The master free radical is superoxide that can induce the production of many reactive oxygen species (ROS) that act like free radicals do (hydroxyl radical, hydrogen peroxide, alkoxy radical, lipid peroxide, peroxynitrite). Superoxide is formerly a molecular oxygen that had grabbed one electron; now it has one free unpaired electron.

SOD converts two molecules of superoxide into hydrogen peroxide that is dismantled by glutathione peroxidase into safe water. Copper and zinc are components of the copper/zinc SOD that protects the cytoplasm of the cell from the ravages of free radicals. Manganese is a component of the manganese SOD that protects the mitochondria, the energy factory of the body. Zinc is a component of insulin.

They must have vitamin C, E and beta-carotene that neutralizes singlet oxygen. This is a free radical that is produced by the ultraviolet rays of the sun by exciting molecular oxygen and reversing the spin of one of the unpaired electron, indicated as 1O2 (Prasad, M. Heavy Metals in Plants. 2000:100). Neutralization involves heat absorption; beta-carotene (natural colored food for that matter) absorbs heat like chlorophyll absorbs heat from the sun. Heat absorbed by colored food is dissipated, or lost in the surroundings.

Sources of vitamin C: apples, citrus, fresh fruits, vegetables, sweet/red green peppers, tomato, papaya, carrot, squash, melon, spinach, guava, strawberry (vitamin C 84.5 g), guayabano.

Sources of beta-carotene: asparagus, broccoli, carrot, sweet pepper, spinach, squash, sweet potato, tomato, honeydew, papaya, watermelon.

Sources of copper: almond, molasses, broccoli, garlic, raisins, salmon, seafood, green leafy vegetables, orange, oats, nuts, mushroom, liver, radish, beans, avocado (caution on this fruit as it contains saturated fats), aloe vera

Heat, of at least 1216kcal/mol, also excites the water in the skin and produces hydroxyl radical, the most destructive free radical (Sharma, H., MD. Freedom from Disease. 1993).

(5) They should contain B-sitosterol, a compound that lowers blood sugar (Elkins, R. The Noni Revolution. 2002). Noni and aloe vera contain B-sitosterol.

(6) They should contain glucose. This sugar induces secretion of more insulin if it is made to linger for sometime in the mouth before swallowing. Insulin is secreted in anticipation of the coming of sugar. Glucose that goes through the citric acid cycle produces glutamate that is a component of glutathione (comprised of glutamate, cysteine, cystine, and co-factors zinc, selenium, B-2, and lipoic acid which is made by the body). Noni contains glucose and fructose and all elements of glutathione, except lipoic acid which the body makes anyway.

(7) They must contain B-7 (biotin) that helps metabolize blood sugar, RDA: 30 to 100 mcg (Pedersen, S. 2000. Vitamin B: Balancing Body and Mind). Noni contains vitamin B complex.

Other sources of biotin: brewer’s yeast, broccoli, nuts, sweet potatoes, whole grains, soybeans, sunflower seeds.

(8) They must contain B-12 (cobalamin) that helps prevent or reduce damage of nerves in persons suffering from diabetes.

Other sources of B-12 or cobalamin: seafood, brewer’s yeast, soybeans.

(9) They should enhance the concentration of glutathione-sulfhydril (glutathione peroxidase) in the liver and protect it against cirrhosis (Pressman, A. H.D.C., Ph.D, C.N.N.and S. Buff. Glutathione: The Ultimate Antioxidant.1998). Cirrhosis (scar in the liver) is a sort of embalming even while the person is still alive (Cranton, E., MD and A. Brecher. Bypassing Bypass. 1984). It is caused by alkoxy radical; alkoxy is related to formaldehyde from which the embalming fluid formalin (67% formaldehyde) is derived. Where does formaldehyde come from? From alcohol that the liver converts into furfural and formaldehyde. Alkoxy radical is formed from the reaction of superoxides in the presence of copper as catalyst. Copper is leaked by injured cells like those of arteries with plaque. This copper is in excess of needs of the body and in unwanted place.

Liver is part of the human apparatus that controls sugar level. It stores glucose in the form of glycogen that is why it deserves protection.

One medicinal plant that meets almost all the above requirements is noni (Polynesian), apatot (Ilocano), nino (Visaya), Morinda citrifolia L (scientific name). Noni contains 64 ingredients, amazing for one medicinal plant. That is why in the world it ranks second as the most researched herbal remedy, next perhaps to garlic. Rita Elkins listed 64 ingredients found in noni (Elkins, R. The Noni Revolution.2002:59). A Swiss research team (that works for a distributor of noni products) found that it also contains lactic acid.

Glutathione is composed three peptides that cannot be absorbed as a whole by the small intestines. A supplement glutathione when taken is first broken down into its free amino acid components then reconstituted by the body. It is the co-factors, especially vitamin B-2, that assemble them together. It is better to make sure that all the elements of glutathione are available than to take a glutathione supplement bought from a drug store. Some of its elements are prone to be lost in the absorption by the small intestines, or destruction by the hydrochloric acid of the stomach, according to Pressman and Buff.

(10) They must contain glukinins (insulin-like substance in plants) and chromium.

Chromium (the trivalent variety) is available in brewer's yeast which is principally a fungus (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). This is available over the counter. Glukinin is available in flowers, ripe fruit and leaves of banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa L.), a tree growing in the Philippines.

Alsup had sugar levels ranging from 100 to 239 and was taking 2125 mg of Glucophage. After taking noni juice for 2 weeks his blood sugar went down to 93 to 97 level, then remained stable. He reduced his Glucophage intake by 40% (Health Matters, vol. 4, no. 2).

Noni is safe

“Data from clinical studies, toxicity tests, and chemical test have substantiated the use of this juice as a safe food. More detailed examination of the few recently reported cases of adverse health effects reveals that these were likely due to factors other than noni fruit” (Wang Mian-Ying, Brett J. West, C. Jarake Jensen, Diane Nowicki, Su Chen, Afak Palu, Gary Anderson. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2002 Dec. 23(2):1127-1141).


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