What Are Iridoids & Why Should I Care?

What the heck are iridoids?

Like antioxidants, iridoids are compounds found in plants that play an important role in protecting cells from damage. Unlike antioxidants, hardly anyone has heard of them!

While antioxidants are well-known for their ability to neutralize free radicals, iridoids also possess antioxidant properties, which means they can help safeguard cells from oxidative stress and damage.

Plants produce iridoids to protect themselves from harm, such as attacks from insects or diseases. Think of them as nature’s defense system!

Iridoids Through the Ages

Throughout history, people haven’t been able to explain much about the power of iridoids, but they’ve seen how effective they are by using or consuming plants that contain them.

Here’s a fun fact: Cats have been rolling around in iridoid-containing catnip for insect protection for a long, long time. And humans have been taking advantage of that bug protection, too! For centuries, our ancestors have been benefiting from the insect-repelling properties of plants with iridoids. We know this because there are references to the use of catnip as a human bug repellent from texts dating back to 1638!1

Iridoids aren’t just for avoiding the bugs, though. The people of French Polynesia celebrated noni fruit — which, you guessed it, has lots of iridoids — as an indispensable part of their culture and daily life.

As Polynesian voyagers sailed the Pacific Ocean, they carried noni in the limited space they had in their canoes. Why?! Well, it served a multitude of purposes, including aiding in the improvement of stamina during long voyages (just think of how tired their arms were from rowing) and serving as a vital medicinal remedy. Noni was actually the only thing they brought along as medicine!

The Health Benefits of Iridoids

While ancient people considered iridoid-containing plants beneficial, we now have the science to prove that they are. Studies have proven that iridoids have antioxidant properties, which means they can help protect our cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. This means iridoids could potentially help keep our bodies healthy and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

Additionally, research on the anti-inflammatory potential of iridoids reveals promising prospects for human health. Since too much inflammation can lead to problems, such as arthritis or heart disease, iridoids could help promote better overall health. In fact, plants containing iridoids are prevalent in natural medicine due to their anti-inflammatory effects.1

Tahitian Noni: A Rich Source of Iridoids

When it comes to finding a potent source of iridoids, Tahitian noni fruit is the answer, and clinical studies show just how effective Tahitian noni is for human health.

In one study, 245 people who smoked cigarettes were given either noni juice with iridoids or fruit juice without iridoids. They drank this juice every day for one month. Scientists then checked their blood to see if there were any changes to their DNA.

The results? Drinking a small amount of noni juice every day reduced the damage to DNA caused by smoking by up to 54.9%. In contrast, this effect was not seen in those who drank the fruit juice without iridoids. Therefore, it seems that the iridoids within noni juice help protect DNA from harmful carcinogens. Interestingly, the noni juice drinkers also experienced reduced cholesterol levels and triglycerides.2

Iridoids and Your Well-being

With the science to back it, it’s evident that iridoids hold immense potential for promoting holistic well-being. Get a concentrated source of rare iridoids in Tahitian noni plants, which can be easily incorporated into your daily routine when you drink Tahitian Noni® ORIGINAL or MAX.


1 https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2024/the-cats-out-of-the-bag-the-biological-reason-why-cats-cant-get-enough-of-catnip/ 2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3967752/