Some of the most powerful antioxidants in the world might come from the rind of a tropical fruit called mangosteen—with its benefits and extraordinary potential against ailments ranging from infection …to cancer…to mental health issues?
Despite the similarities in name, the mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is not related to the mango. Once you discover the extent of the mangosteen’s curative and preventative powers, you’ll never confuse the two again!
The mangosteen is a dark purple fruit that thrives in the hot, humid climates of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The flesh of the mangosteen has a sweet, tangy flavor, but it’s the hard pericarp—or rind,which can be nearly an inch thick—that contains all the nutritive value.
It has been used to treat skin infections, wounds, diarrhea and many other maladies for generations. Now, science suggests its healing powers may extend to cancer and mental health, as well.
Xanthones: The Most Powerful Antioxidants in the World
The rind contains more than 40 chemical compounds called xanthones, these are where the vital mangosteen benefits come from. These natural compounds are the most powerful antioxidants found in nature. They offer a wealth of benefits such as repairing cell damage from free radicals…warding off degenerative disease…and preventing mental deterioration.
All xanthones have similar molecular structures, but each has a unique chemical composition. Some of the most important xanthones are:
• Alpha-mangostin, a potent antioxidant
• Gamma-mangostin, a powerful anti-inflammatory
• Garcinone B
• Garcinone E, a vital anti-tumor agent
According to Sloan-Kettering’s Integrative Medicine online information portal, the xanthones found in the mangosteen have potency against bacteria, fungus, and microbes, and are also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
A Promising Anti-Cancer Treatment
At this point, almost all studies on the mangosteen benefits have been done in test tubes. However, the early research looks promising.
A 2006 study in Bangkok, Thailand found several kinds of xanthones in mangosteen to be cytotoxic. Cytotoxic substances (like chemo and radiation) target and kill cancer cells.
Then in 2008, faculty from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois screened 12 xanthones. Four of them were formidable aromatase-inhibitors—compounds that lower estrogen levels. That means they can successfully treat estrogen-dependent tumors. The study’s abstract notes that xanthones could play an important role in breast cancer treatment.
Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., a nutrition expert and best-selling author, says there “are questions that still need to be answered through rigorous research [such as extensive human clinical trials]. However, some of the in vitro studies regarding mangosteen’s anti-cancer potential are intriguing and certainly worthwhile to further explore.”
Mangosteen Benefits and Mental Health
Some of the mangosteen benefits may become a revolutionary natural option for treating mental health problems. Indeed, researchers believe that the mangosteen benefits could eventually be used to treat depression…generalized anxiety disorder…and social phobias.
One especially exciting study was published recently in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The researchers were following up on reports that the xanthones in mangosteen are the same as the active ingredients in St. John’s Wort, the popular and proven effective herbal antidepressant.
Xanthones have been shown to…
- Help the mind think more clearly and adapt better
- Provide a sense of stability and well-being
- Stop damage to neurons that otherwise prevents them from maturing and replicating properly
- Support healthy functioning of cell walls and neurotransmitters
Dosage and Availability
Mangosteen fruits cannot legally be imported in the United States because of concerns about parasites. They are, however, available as a fruit puree or juice concentrate.
Dr. Ray Sahelian explains that there are 2 common mangosteen extracts, namely, alcohol extract and water-based extracts. There are also various extract potencies with regard to xanthones content, including 5%, 6%, 10%, and 25%.
The best xanthone concentration and type of mangosteen for you may depend on the reason you’re adding mangosteen to your daily regime, or the therapeutic effects you desire.
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