Mangosteen: Sounds like mangos + teen. But it’s nothing like mangos, and teens might think it tastes sour. This power fruit is a new health food buzzword and lots of people are drinking its juice!
Fun Fact: Mangosteen is nicknamed “The Queen of Fruit” because it is said that the Queen of Victoria would pay a wealthy sum for these prized fruit in the early 1900’s.
Latin Name: Garcinia mangostana, this plant belongs to the family Guttiferae. It is a Southeast Asian tropical evergreen tree bearing a purple fruit. It has been used as a folk remedy for many generation to help with various digestive complaints and skin conditions. In addition, modern scientific studies have demonstrated its antioxidant, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. However, more human studies are needed. Studies indicate it’s xanthones seems to be a key active constituent (1). It is also rich in polysaccharides.
Why should you eat mangosteen? Read more…
Here are some potential health benefits of ingesting mangosteen.
An Immunity Boosting Fruit
In a study of 59 healthy humans ages 40-60, ingesting a mangosteen product for 30 days showed potential improved immunity. Then, blood analysis identified an increased immunity cell concentration. Plus, participants indicated they felt healthier (2).
Antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body that can lead to aging an disease. Many colorful fruit are rich in antioxidant activity. In a study with 60 adults, 30 days ingesting mangosteen lead to increased antioxidant biomarkers in the blood. Plus, both immunity cells increased and inflammation biomarkers decreased. Further, there was no effect on liver and kidney function (3). In another small study by the same authors, 10 healthy adults drank a supplement with mangosteen, aloe vera, green tea, and multivitamins. Then, results suggested that it effectively increased plasma antioxidant levels (4).
Inflammation in the body can lead to pain and disease. Certain herbs and plants can have an anti-inflammatory effect. In a study of 84 overweight people, each drank a mangosteen juice over an 8 week period. Then, results showed a reduction in inflammatory biomarkers. Plus, there was an increase in antioxidant levels in the blood (5).
Regulating insulin levels more effectively may help lead to weight loss. In a small study, 22 obese female patients were randomized to ingest a placebo or a mangosteen extract over 26 weeks. Then scientists showed a reduced insulin sensitivity with no side effects in those who took the extract (6).
This fruit has been used as a folk remedy by local people to reduce abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery, and chronic ulcers. Further, scientific studies have demonstrated its antioxidant, antitumor, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. Thus, all of these actions may contribute to reducing digestive upset. (7)
General studies have indicated antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities of this purple powerhouse. This can have an effect on acne, caused by bacteria and resulting in skin infection and inflammation. In a study of, 94 subjects with acne, ingesting mangosteen daily for three weeks reduced acne lesions over the placebo. More human research is needed (8).
Avoid during pregnancy due to a lack of research. Further, this fruit may also cause a blood thinning effect. Avoid with blood and cardiac disorders and medications and around the time of surgery (9).
- Pedraza-Chaverri, J., Cárdenas-Rodríguez, N., Orozco-Ibarra, M., & Pérez-Rojas, J. M. (2008). Medicinal properties of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana). Food and chemical toxicology, 46(10), 3227-3239.
- Tang, Y. P., Li, P. G., Kondo, M., Ji, H. P., Kou, Y., & Ou, B. (2009). Effect of a mangosteen dietary supplement on human immune function: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of medicinal food, 12(4), 755-763.
- Xie, Z., Sintara, M., Chang, T., & Ou, B. (2015). Daily consumption of a mangosteen‐based drink improves in vivo antioxidant and anti‐inflammatory biomarkers in healthy adults: a randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled clinical trial. Food science & nutrition, 3(4), 342-348.
- Xie, Z., Sintara, M., Chang, T., & Ou, B. (2015). Functional beverage of Garcinia mangostana (mangosteen) enhances plasma antioxidant capacity in healthy adults. Food science & nutrition, 3(1), 32-38.
- Udani, J. K., Singh, B. B., Barrett, M. L., & Singh, V. J. (2009). Evaluation of Mangosteen juice blend on biomarkers of inflammation in obese subjects: a pilot, dose finding study. Nutrition journal, 8(1), 48.
- Watanabe, M., Gangitano, E., Francomano, D., Addessi, E., Toscano, R., Costantini, D., … & Gnessi, L. (2018). Mangosteen Extract Shows a Potent Insulin Sensitizing Effect in Obese Female Patients: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Nutrients, 10(5), 586.
- Gutierrez-Orozco, F., & Failla, M. (2013). Biological activities and bioavailability of mangosteen xanthones: a critical review of the current evidence. Nutrients, 5(8), 3163-3183.
- From: Sutono, T. (2013). Efficacy of Garcinia mangostana (mangosteen rind extract) to reduce acne severity. Medical Journal of Indonesia, 22(3), 167-72.
- WebMD. (). Mangosteen. Retrieved in December, 2018. Retrieved from: WebMD.
Post By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC), Professional NAHA and AIA Member, LMT