Noni (Morinda citrifolia) is increasing in worldwide popularity as a food or dietary supplement with versatile health benefits. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Noni fruit on anxiety symptoms in vitro. To this end, a competitive GABAa receptor-binding assay was developed. Our preliminary study indicates that the methanol crude extract of Noni fruit showed significant affinity to the gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAa) inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors, and displayed 75% binding inhibition of the agonist radioligand [3H] muscimol at a concentration of 100 microg/ml. Further experiments demonstrated that the MeOH extract, and its BuOH and H2O partitions, exhibited IC50 values of 22.8, 27.2, and 17.1 microg/ml, respectively, in the GABAa-binding assay. Experimental results with Noni fruit indicate the presence of competitive ligand(s), which may bind to the GABAa receptor as an agonist, and thus induce its anxiolytic and sedative effects. The study provides an in vitro rationale for one of Noni's versatile and traditional uses. In addition, an HPLC fingerprint profile of the methanolic extract of Noni fruit has been established for quality control purpose.
Deng S, West BJ, Palu AK, Zhou BN, Jensen CJ. Noni as an anxiolytic and sedative: a mechanism involving its gamma-aminobutyric acidergic effects. Phytomedicine. 2007 August Research and Development Department, Tahitian Noni International, American Fork, UT 84003, USA.