Safety of Noni & Mangosteen Juice

Safety of Noni & Mangosteen Juice
4.6 (92%) 10 votes

Multilevel marketing companies accused of using exaggeration and pseudoscience to promote potentially dangerous products, such as Metabolife and Hydroxycut, by designing studies that appear to purposely mislead consumers.

Discuss
Republish

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Another case report of acute toxicity linked to noni juice ingestion—this time in a 14-year-old. At least his liver didn’t fail more completely, like in two of the earlier cases. But, what might you expect from a product also known as “vomit fruit?”

The multi-level marketing company that sells noni products blamed aloe vera juice the boy had also consumed, which is, indeed, something else I’d encourage folks not to drink. But, what about all the scientific studies promoting these types of products bandied about on their respective websites?

Recently, a public health researcher took the time to review the “Science in liquid dietary supplement promotion”—evidently a “23 billion dollar market. “Central to the marketing of many [such] products is the citation of ’scientific studies’ supporting the product’s health claims. While these studies seem deliberately created for marketing purposes, their findings and quality are generally presented in a manner that appears designed to mislead potential consumers.”

Here, they use the case of mangosteen juice—another product I’ve warned about in the past—as an example of “how widely marketed and consumed liquid dietary supplements use exaggeration and pseudoscience to bolster their web promotions of product effectiveness and safety.”

The multilevel marketing company that sells mangosteen cited a study they paid for to support its assertion that their product is “shown to be safe at all dosages tested,” and indeed “safe for everyone.” The study involved exposing just 30 people to their product, though, with another 10 given placebo. As the researcher notes here, with that few people exposed, the stuff could kill 1 or 2% of people, and you’d never even know.

This study of the multi-level marketing supplement Metabolife had 35 on the stuff, and they seemed to do just fine until it was withdrawn from the market—after being linked to 18 heart attacks, 26 strokes, 43 seizures and 5 deaths. Oops.

Hydroxycut was studied on 40 people. No serious side effects, and same story—withdrawn after dozens of cases of organ damage including massive hepatic necrosis, requiring liver transplants, and death.

And, oftentimes, the multilevel marketing study researchers don’t disclose their funding sources, pretending to be objective scientists. But, a little detective work exposed a whole web of financial conflicts of interest, “at best reduc[ing] the face-validity of findings, and at worst [they] represent deception.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Tijuana Brass via Wikimedia. Thanks to Stephane Lahaye and Ellen Reid for their Keynote help.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Another case report of acute toxicity linked to noni juice ingestion—this time in a 14-year-old. At least his liver didn’t fail more completely, like in two of the earlier cases. But, what might you expect from a product also known as “vomit fruit?”

The multi-level marketing company that sells noni products blamed aloe vera juice the boy had also consumed, which is, indeed, something else I’d encourage folks not to drink. But, what about all the scientific studies promoting these types of products bandied about on their respective websites?

Recently, a public health researcher took the time to review the “Science in liquid dietary supplement promotion”—evidently a “23 billion dollar market. “Central to the marketing of many [such] products is the citation of ’scientific studies’ supporting the product’s health claims. While these studies seem deliberately created for marketing purposes, their findings and quality are generally presented in a manner that appears designed to mislead potential consumers.”

Here, they use the case of mangosteen juice—another product I’ve warned about in the past—as an example of “how widely marketed and consumed liquid dietary supplements use exaggeration and pseudoscience to bolster their web promotions of product effectiveness and safety.”

The multilevel marketing company that sells mangosteen cited a study they paid for to support its assertion that their product is “shown to be safe at all dosages tested,” and indeed “safe for everyone.” The study involved exposing just 30 people to their product, though, with another 10 given placebo. As the researcher notes here, with that few people exposed, the stuff could kill 1 or 2% of people, and you’d never even know.

This study of the multi-level marketing supplement Metabolife had 35 on the stuff, and they seemed to do just fine until it was withdrawn from the market—after being linked to 18 heart attacks, 26 strokes, 43 seizures and 5 deaths. Oops.

Hydroxycut was studied on 40 people. No serious side effects, and same story—withdrawn after dozens of cases of organ damage including massive hepatic necrosis, requiring liver transplants, and death.

And, oftentimes, the multilevel marketing study researchers don’t disclose their funding sources, pretending to be objective scientists. But, a little detective work exposed a whole web of financial conflicts of interest, “at best reduc[ing] the face-validity of findings, and at worst [they] represent deception.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Tijuana Brass via Wikimedia. Thanks to Stephane Lahaye and Ellen Reid for their Keynote help.

34 responses to “Safety of Noni & Mangosteen Juice

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

  1. If I rember correctly, you need 125,000 “patient-years” with a conventional drug, to exclude rare sideeffects, so a trial with 30 or 40 people followed for a short period of time, is an embarrassment, if you talk safety

    1. The U.S. FDA has no fixed requirement for phase II and phase III trial “patient exposure years” or “patient years of exposure” prior to drug approval, but from the first few hundred search results they seem run between 130 and 20,000.

      1. Darryl,
        Yes, and that is why very rare sideeffects emerge several years after approval. That is one reason not to want “the newest” prescription drug from your doctor. Somtimes it is better to get an older drug, that has been on the market for several years (or go plantstrong!)

      2. Darryl,

        Change in topic. I am trying to find the b12 supplements (methylcobalamin) you mentioned and I can’t find it. The ones I find have a lot of preservatives.

        Thanks for posting again.

  2. What do you think of noni juice from fresh noni? I live in Hawaii and many friends drink fermented and fresh noni juice from fruit off trees in their yard. I would assume it would be equally toxic?

  3. These type of videos leave me feeling disgusted. I keep hearing government officials proclaim on TV that our food supply is safe, but they seem to do nothing to actually make that statement true. This is another one of Dr. Greger’s videos that should be on the 6:00 news.

  4. The outer “latex” of aloe leaves is a very harsh laxative. What is wrong w/ the inner get only which is a mild, anti-inflammatory, tissue healing nutritive? Any specific negative research on the inner gel alone?

  5. Re: Metabolife- I do think “weight loss” products are pretty misguide if not outright stupid. That said, “active ingredients” were guarana and ma huang, both of which are central nervous system stimulants; guarana weighs in at an average of 5% caffeine if I remember correctly. Is this product somehow different than other stimulant herbals that have been seriously misused and abused by idiots seeking either performance enhancement (generally illegal) or seeking magical rapid weight loss without any change in lifestyle and eating habits who then blame the herb for their troubles?

  6. Morinda Noni Juice IS approved as a safe food

    “Hepatotoxicity and subchronic toxicity tests of Morinda citrifolia (noni) fruit.

    Abstract

    Morinda citrifolia (noni) fruit juice has been approved as a safe food in many nations. A few cases of hepatitis in people who had been drinking noni juice have been reported, even though no causal link could be established between the liver injury and ingestion of the juice. To more fully evaluate the hepatotoxic potential of noni fruit juice, in vitro hepatotoxicity tests were conducted in human liver cells, HepG2 cell line. A subchronic oral toxicity test of noni fruit was also performed in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats to provide benchmark data for understanding the safety of noni juice, without the potential confounding variables associated with many commercial noni juice products. Freeze-dried filtered noni fruit puree did not decrease HepG2 cell viability or induce neutral lipid accumulation and phospholipidosis. There were no histopathological changes or evidence of dose-responses in hematological and clinical chemistry measurements, including liver function tests. The no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) for freeze-dried noni fruit puree is greater than 6.86 g/kg body weight, equivalent to approximately 90 ml of noni fruit juice/kg. These findings corroborate previous conclusions that consumption of noni fruit juice is unlikely to induce adverse liver effects..”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19797868

  7. Mangosteen is a pretty common fruit in asia so I won’t worry too much about the dangers of mangosteen. I don’t know if noni is commonly consumed in its place of origin. Aloe vera is a very effective laxative and there is probably some danger from using any laxative for a long period. Most of the commercial aloe juice are required to be filtered to remove the laxative so the laxative free aloe juice might be safer. Aloe juice is good as a mouthwash and does kill bacteria in the mouth.

  8. In tradition, the inner gel of aloe vera was used as a burn treatment so the safety of ingesting the inner gel is something we might not be so sure about. The laxative free (filtered) aloe vera juice is sold in many stores and there are no newspaper reports of people being harmed by it. Some commercial mouthwash has aloe vera as the main ingredient. In tradition, the yellow bitter laxative from the latex of aloe vera has been used as a laxative for ages and was never intended for long term use as with any laxative.

  9. Does the danger lie in the fruit itself (whole fruit, dried, powder,
    etc), or is the danger simply in the supplement, which may have a host
    of other unwanted items?This wasn’t clear to me in the video.

    I put the inner portion of aloe in a smoothie, is that safe? I saw that filtered aloe juice drinks have the laxative properties filtered out, but I try to go whole food instead of processed, when possible. Do you find raw aloe to be dangerous?

  10. I came to know that 1 USA based company FOREVER LIVING PRODUCT is providing stabilised Aloe vera Gel, Bee honey based supplements which are very beneficial to humans for optimal health. And also the products correct prescription and consumption cures many diseases, I saw in my home town. What is your view?

  11. Not sure that I agree with just about anything you have posted…but especially Mangosteen….with the Mayo Clinics double blind study and all the independent research being done all over the world…you are either bought out and believe everything Big Pharma tells you, or you represent another company. People must do their own research and check their own findings. For me…will never be without…and my liver enzymes improved ( no more fatty liver) and my CRP dropped a bit over 3 pts. to .069 ! Please do your own independent research.

    1. Clover: Dr. Greger donates his time for this website. He makes no money off of it, and he is quite conscientious in his research. The only people Dr. Greger represents are everyday people like you and me.

      You are entitled to your opinion. Alternate opinions, especially personal experiences, are quite welcome on this site. However, false accusations are immature and unwelcome. We all make mistakes; you might consider fixing your post…

  12. This is the only item on your website that even mentions gymnema. Some articles I have read claim gymnema is helpful to diabetics, acting either by increasing insulin output, or by regrowing beta cells. Any chance you could research and/or comment on this? Please and thanks!

  13. Pubmed research published in May 2016 found Noni ‘leaf’ juice more successful against lung cancer than a specific chemo therapy. There was nothing mentioned about the fruit only the leaf.

  14. The video is supposed to be about Noni and Mangosteen juice. However there are other ingredients in the juice as well, and then he goes to other products. But the real kicker is at the 2:13 mark. He says a study of ‘Metabolife’ is linked to 18 heart attacks, 26 strokes, 43 seizures and 5 deaths. But pause at the 2:13 point and you will see that the report is on “DIETRY SUPPLEMENTS CONTAINING EPHEDRA”. This is deliberately misleading. He does not even mention Ephedra. Basically this is lying. And not very well done either. Fail.

  15. Do you Michael Greger or anybody else know of a scientific study of aloe vera gel, its good or bad nutritional properties. I mean the plant and products have been around for years now. And if you search the Internet all true facts are drowned in hearsay or flame wars. So it could be very interesting with som real nutritional facts.

  16. Hello, just want to say that Noni has been used for hundreds of years in Tahiti, Polynesia, this is considered local medicine. Also, i searched more info, i found Dr. Neil Solomon who claimed that of 10,000 users of Noni in his study, 78 per cent reported that it helped in some way, including the fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, strokes, dermatological, capillary and weight control problems. No clinical studies though. Can we reject a local medicine because it may be linked a few cases of hepatoxicity? I produce my own Noni juice as i have plenty in my garden, and take 10 ml every two days or so. There seems to be powerful antioxydants. Now i am really confused. I guess the choice is mine Doc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This