WHAT IS MANGOSTEEN?
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is an exotic, tropical fruit with a slightly sweet and sour flavour.
It’s originally from Southeast Asia but can be found in various tropical regions around the world.
The fruit is sometimes referred to as purple mangosteen because of the deep purple colour its rind develops when ripe. In contrast, the juicy inner flesh is bright white.
Though mangosteen is a relatively obscure fruit, it shouldn’t be overlooked, as it may offer many health benefits due to its rich supply of nutrients, fibre, and unique antioxidants.
Written by Ansley Hill, RD, LD on March 6, 2019
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MANGOSTEEN?
HIGHLY NUTRITIOUS PROPERTIES
Mangosteen provides a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber while being low in calories. These nutrients are important for maintaining many functions in your body.
RICK IN POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANTS
Perhaps one of mangosteen’s most significant attributes is its unique antioxidant profile.
Antioxidants are compounds that can neutralize the damaging effects of potentially harmful molecules called free radicals, which are linked to various chronic diseases.
Mangosteen contains several nutrients with antioxidant capacity, such as vitamin C and folate. Plus, it provides xanthones — a unique type of plant compound known to have strong antioxidant properties.
In several studies, the antioxidant activity of xanthones has resulted in anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-aging, and antidiabetic effects.
Thus, xanthones in mangosteen may be responsible for many of its potential health benefits. Still, more human research is needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn.
ANTI INFLAMMITORY PROPERTIES
The xanthones found in mangosteen may play a role in reducing inflammation.
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that xanthones have an anti-inflammatory effect and may reduce your risk of inflammatory diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Mangosteen is also rich in fiber, which offers various benefits. For instance, some animal research indicates that a high-fiber diet may help reduce your body’s inflammatory response.
Though this data is encouraging, more research is needed to better understand how mangosteen affects inflammation and disease progression in humans.
ANTI CANCER EFFECTS
Population studies show that diets rich in vegetables and fruits like mangosteen are associated with reduced incidences of cancer.
Specific plant compounds in mangosteen — including xanthones — have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may help fight the development and spread of cancerous cells.
Multiple test-tube studies reveal that xanthones can inhibit cancer cell growth, including in breast, stomach, and lung tissue.
Similarly, a small number of studies observed that this compound may slow the progression of colon and breast cancer in mice.
Though these results are promising, insufficient research has been done in humans.
WEIGHT LOSS PROPERTIES
In the health and wellness industry, one of mangosteen’s biggest claims to fame is its potential to aid weight loss.
One study found that mice on a high-fat diet who received supplemental doses of mangosteen gained significantly less weight than mice in the control group.
Similarly, in a small, 8-week study, people who supplemented their diets with 3, 6 or 9 ounces (90, 180, or 270 ml) of mangosteen juice twice daily tended to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than the control group.
Additional research on mangosteen and obesity is limited, but experts theorize that the fruit’s anti-inflammatory effects play a role in promoting fat metabolism and preventing weight gain.
Ultimately, more studies are needed to better understand how mangosteen may fit into an effective weight loss plan.
CONTROLS BLOOD SUGAR
Both test-tube and animal studies show that xanthone compounds in mangosteen may help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
A recent 26-week study in obese women found that those receiving 400 mg of supplemental mangosteen extract daily had significant reductions in insulin resistance — a risk factor for diabetes — compared to the control group.
The fruit is also a good source of fiber, a nutrient that can help stabilize blood sugar and improve diabetes control.
The combination of the xanthone and fiber contents in mangosteen may help balance blood sugar. However, more research is needed.
MAINTAIN HEALTHY SKIN
Skin damage from sun exposure is a common occurrence worldwide and a major contributor to skin cancer and signs of ageing.
One study in mice treated with supplemental mangosteen extract observed a protective effect against ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation in the skin.
What’s more, a small, 3-month human study found that people treated with 100 mg of mangosteen extract daily experienced significantly more elasticity in their skin and less accumulation of a particular compound known to contribute to skin aging.
Researchers assert that mangosteen’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity is the main reason for these skin-protective effects, but more studies in this area are needed.
PROMOTES HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM
Fiber and vitamin C — both of which can be found in mangosteen — are important for a healthy immune system.
Fiber supports your healthy gut bacteria— an essential component of immunity. On the other hand, vitamin C is needed for the function of various immune cells and has antioxidant properties.
Additionally, some research suggests that certain plant compounds in mangosteen may have antibacterial properties — which could benefit your immune health by combating potentially harmful bacteria.
In a 30-day study in 59 people, those taking a mangosteen-containing supplement experienced reduced markers of inflammation and significantly greater increases in healthy immune cell numbers compared to those taking a placebo.
Your immune system requires many different nutrients to function optimally. Mangosteen may be a healthy choice to include alongside other nutrient dense foods as part of a balanced diet.
PROMOTE HEART HEALTH
Animal studies show that mangosteen extract effectively reduced heart disease risk factors like LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
PROMOTES BRAIN HEALTH
Studies indicate that mangosteen extract helps prevent mental decline, decrease brain inflammation, and improve symptoms of depression in mice, though human studies in this area are lacking.
PROMOTES DIGESTIVE HEALTH
Mangosteen is packed with fiber. Just 1 cup (196 grams) provides about 14% of the RDI. Fiber is essential for digestive health, and high-fiber diets help promote bowel regularity.
Though these results are promising, human studies in these areas are lacking.
It’s still too early to make definitive claims regarding mangosteen’s role in supporting brain, heart, and digestive health in humans.
HOW CAN I CONSUME MANGOSTEEN POWDER?
SMOOTHIES, SHAKE, BAKE,
SPRINKLE & STIR
Using Mangosteen Rind Powder couldn’t be easier – just mix 1-2 teaspoons (or half a teaspoon if you’re just starting out) into any dish or drink that could benefit from a nutrient dense powder. The easiest way to think of it as superfood seasoning – so just use it as you would any other herb or seasoning.