Mangosteen | A Fruit Under Watch

Published on: 30/06/2020

Mangosteen has been gaining a lot of interest recently and it’s being considered a super fruit.

In more ways than its purple peel, mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L) is aptly called as the queen of fruits. This exotic plant is known for its rich nutrients and medicinal properties. The leaves, bark, roots, seeds, fruit, and rind of mangosteen are used in traditional medicine to treat certain ailments, such as diarrhea, fevers, skin infections, wounds, and urinary problems.

There are various studies that show the myriad health benefits of the plant’s active compounds. Scientists discovered that xanthones, one of the notable chemical components of mangosteen, possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-allergic, and anti-tumor effects. 

More recently, mangosteen products like supplements and beverages have been made available on the market. However, further research is needed to support the plant’s pharmacological effects.

Anticancer Properties

Cancer is considered one of the deadliest diseases in the world. Conventional treatments and therapies can also cause serious side effects. Thus, scientific interest in utilizing alternative approaches to curing cancer, such as using medicinal plants, has grown.

Clinical trials for xanthones in mangosteen, specifically alpha-mangosteen, found that these components can inhibit tumor growth. A paper published in Current Molecular Medicine presents that alpha-mangostin has the biggest effect on leukemia, breast cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal carcinoma. But despite showing this anticancer promise, research on the safety and efficacy of mangosteen in treating cancer is lacking.

Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Control

Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes. There are studies that suggest mangosteen can lower glucose, improve insulin sensitivity, and help with weight management. Scientific evidence for these claims is limited though.

Ongoing research into the plant is being done to prove that it can aid in slimming down and keeping healthy blood sugar levels. There are reports that mangosteen products like tea, juice, and supplements help do so. Nonetheless, it will be best to seek a medical professional before taking them.    

Potential Antidepressant

It’s said that mangosteen can help boost mood and reduce stress levels. There are also studies that investigate the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of mangosteen’s bioactive ingredients against depression. 

Clinical evidence for mangosteen as a psychiatric treatment is still scarce, but its promising results in experiments indicate that it can halt the mental decline and support brain function. More research studies should be done to translate mangosteen’s potential for clinical care.   

Excellent Antibiotic

The antibacterial potency of mangosteen has been known for ages. Studies show that xanthones are effective in treating tuberculosis, meningitis, and respiratory problems. 

This information can help establish the importance of developing drugs from natural food sources. Because of the often unpleasant side effects of synthetic medicines, the shift from chemical drugs to plant-based therapy is beneficial to society.   

Overall Wellness

Mangosteen is packed with vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for a healthy immune system and bodily functions. Therefore, the fruit is a good choice to include in a balanced diet. Other benefits that are said to be gained from mangosteen include having a healthy vision, improved skin elasticity, and reduced risk of heart disease.

The plant is commonly found in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It’s a gift from nature that shouldn’t be overlooked for its abundant advantages, which can’t only be gained from eating the delicious fruit but also through using its ‘waste materials’, the seeds and peel.