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Noni (Morinda Citrifolia): Scientific Studies & News

Noni Juice, Xeronine, Damnacanthal
& Scientific Studies


As a researcher in Hawaii, Dr. Ralph Heinicke became aware of the marvelous benefits of the Noni fruit and set out to find the pharmacologically active ingredient of the Noni. Dr. Heinicke had spent over 45 years studying the effects of an alkaloid he discovered and named xeronine. Xeronine is a relatively small alkaloid which is physiologically very active and important for the proper functioning of all cells in the body. In his research, Dr. Heinicke discovered that the Noni juice contains appreciable amounts of the precursor of xeronine that he named "pro-xeronine. "Pro-xeronine releases pure xeronine in the intestines when it comes in contact with a particular enzyme also found in the Noni Juice.

Dr. Heinicke's theory is that, when released, xeronine actually works at the molecular level to repair damaged cells. Dr. Heinicke states that the primary function of xeronine is to regulate the rigidity and shape of specific proteins. Since these proteins have different functions within the cells, this explains how the administration of Noni Juice causes an unbelievably wide range of physiological responses. "Some of the problems which drinking Noni Juice might favorably affect are: high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, arthritis, gastric ulcers, sprains, injuries, mental depression, senility, poor digestion, atherosclerosis, blood vessel problems, drug addiction, relief of pain, and many others. Although this list looks like a page torn out of a traveling medicine man's manual, it is probably conservative." -Dr. Heinicke When Ralph M. Heinicke received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota, he wanted to escape from those cold Minnesota winters and so he took a job with Dole Pineapple Company in Hawaii. His first assignment was to develop a method to extract the enzyme that caused pineapple to prevent gelatin deserts from setting up. He found it was an enzyme called bromelain and in due time he and his coworkers found a way to extract it. Soon the Dole Company found that every day they had over a thousand pounds of this crude bromelain enzyme extract left over as a waste product. At the time it had no commercial value, and so the company president asked Dr. Heinicke to see if he could find some use for this material. Eventually he found it was a proteolytic enzyme that had some medical applications. He worked with Smith-Kline and the Rohr pharmaceutical companies to expand its medical use.

In order to get FDA approval for this enzyme he had to refine the crude bromelain extract down to an extremely pure protease enzyme. Much to his and the drug companies amazement, the more pure the enzyme became, the less beneficial it was in many of its applications. Eventually, in its purest state, it had only 5% of its original potency for many of its uses. Dr. Heinicke was then asked to find what it was they were removing that had given the crude bromelain extract all of its power. Meanwhile the giant Japanese drug company Toshiba had also launched a 3 year, 3 million dollar program to find the same answer. At the end of that time they had used up all their money and not found the answer. Not one to give up easily, Dr. Heinicke continued his research and eventually found to his great surprise that the active ingredient was not a protein, carbohydrate or fat, but a substance known as an alkaloid.

Alkaloids are one of the most important classes of phytochemicals known, and are a major source from which many modern medicines are drawn from Nature. By isolating this alkaloid into a pure state, he was able to identify is exact chemical structure. Because it could be reduced to a dry crystaline structure he decided to use the Latin prefix "Xero" meaning "dry" as the first part of its name. Since it was also an alkaline compound he tacked on the suffix "ine" indicating its alkaline nature. When the prefix and suffix are combined it gives us the word "Xeronine" which means, "a dry alkaline compound". Which is the descriptive name he chose for the compound he discovered.

Eventually he found that Xeronine was a very important biochemical in the human body and essential for good health. So essential that the human body has a limited ability to manufacture it from the raw material found in certain fruits. Like many other biochemicals produced in the body, he found that positive thoughts and emotions, along with exposure to art, music, nature and spiritual experiences increased its production. While negative thoughts, emotions and stressful experiences suppressed it's production. He also learned that as the body's level of Xeronine declined with age, stress and a poor diet, the level of health and recovery declined right along with it.


Being a scientist, Dr. Heinicke knew that he would have to find a way to prove the essential nature of this amazing alkaloid before he or anyone else could really believe this was essential to good health. During the course of his research through the scientific literature for compounds similar to Xeronine, he located one that had a chemical structure that was extremely close.

This chemical cousin is called Tetrodotoxin and is the most potent neurotoxic poison known to man. It is a potent alkaloid found in the Puffer Fish. When Dr. Heinicke discovered this fact he realized that here was a way to determine for sure whether the Xeronine he had isolated from the pineapple was essential to human health or not. You see, the only reason the body takes up certain toxic chemical substances is because they chemically mimic one the body must normally have. For example, morphine is addictive to the brain only because it chemically mimics natural chemicals of the brain called endorphines and are taken up by the same receptors in the brain. Realizing this Dr. Heinicke reasoned that Tetrodotoxin must mimic Xeronine. If this were true, Dr. Heinicke realized that the presence of Xeronine in the tissues would block the uptake of the poisonous Tetrodotoxin and prevent its lethal effect.


In a groundbreaking experiment Dr. Heinicke proved the Tetrodotoxin is accepted by the body only when Xeronine was missing. He did this by taking 30 laboratory mice and dividing them into 3 groups of 10 each. He gave an injection of the Tetrodotoxin to one group and they all immediately died. Next he gave an injection of an equivalent amount of Xeronine to the second group and of course they all lived. Finally he mixed together the amounts of Tetrodotoxin and Xeronine he had used with the other 2 groups of mice and injected the third group of mice. Not only did all 10 of these mice live, but unlike mice would normally do who have received an intestinal injection, they did not curl up in the wood shavings to recover when placed back in their cages. Instead these mice were alert, energetic, curious and active. Yet these mice had justreceived a lethal dose of the most powerful neurotoxin known to man. This experiment had proven that Xeronine is an essential biochemical of good health, and a natural constituent of the body. Because of this, Xeronine had been preferentially taken up by the nerve tissue, totally blocking out the highly poisonous Tetrodotoxin, and provided not only protection, but exceptionally good health and vigor as well. 

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