Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L.) is a tropical fruit known for its sweet and sour taste. Its tree can grow as high as 6 to 10 meters, while its leaves are oblong, leathery, and have pointed tips. If you’re planning on taking mangosteen vitamins, what health benefits can you potentially get? Find out here.
The health benefits of mangosteen
It is nutritious
Instead of snacking on sugar or salt-filled foods, you might want to give mangosteen a try. According to the USDA Food Data Central, a cup of mangosteen fruit (canned in syrup then drained) contains the following nutrients:
- 0.41 g of protein
- 0.58 g of fats
- 17.91 g of carbohydrates
- 1.8 g of fiber
- 12 mg of calcium
- 13 mg of magnesium
- 48 mg of potassium
- 2.9 mg of Vitamin C
- 35 IU of Vitamin A
It increases your antioxidant capacity
One of the health benefits of mangosteen extract is its antioxidant properties.
If you’ve heard about antioxidants before, you probably know that it’s associated with free-radicals.
Free-radicals are molecules that our bodies produce when we digest food or are exposed to pollution such as cigarette smoke. Various studies have also linked free-radicals to serious health conditions, like cancer and heart diseases.
But, what does that have to do with antioxidants? In general, antioxidants are special substances that help protect our cells from free-radicals. For this reason, doctors emphasize that we need to have enough antioxidants in our body through diet and nutrition.
Several studies revealed that mangisteen contain a lot of nutrients with antioxidant properties, including Vitamin C and xanthones. Moreover, one study even concluded that a mangosteen-based formula can significantly increase our antioxidant capacity.
It possesses anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response when a disease-causing pathogen tries to invade our body. Normally, it protects our health. However, there are cases when the process of inflammation “persists day in and day out” despite the absence of pathogens.
This can become a problem since scientists have linked chronic or long-term inflammation to many serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases, depression, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s a good thing then that one of the health benefits of mangosteen extract is its ability to reduce inflammation. Several studies concluded that mangosteen fruit or mangosteen–based beverages have anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, it might be a good idea to take mangosteen vitamins.
It has the potential to be an anti-cancer drug
One study revealed that because of its high xanthone content, mangosteen can be a potential anti-cancer drug. Xanthone possess chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive abilities, and has successfully demonstrated both of these promising capacities in different stages of carcinogenesis. Moreover, the xanthones in mangosteen can also “inhibit the proliferation” of human tumor cells.
It improves immunity
One of the possible health benefits of taking mangosteen vitamins is that it can help improve your immune system.
In one study, researchers divided 59 participants in 2 groups: one received the placebo treatment while the other took a mangosteen product with vitamins and minerals. After 30 days, the investigators revealed that the participants in the mangosteen group developed “enhanced immune response” and had an improved self-report of their overall health status.
It can improve insulin-resistance
Insulin resistance is a major risk factor in the development of diabetes mellitus.
When a person is insulin-resistant, he or she does not “recognize” the hormone (insulin) that helps sugar enter the cell. As a result, the sugar accumulates in the blood, leading to high blood glucose. A 26-week research involving 22 obese women revealed that patients who received a daily dose of 400 mg of mangosteen extract supplement exhibited significant reductions in insulin resistance.
This might suggest that taking mangosteen vitamins can decrease diabetes risk and/or improve its symptoms.
Special precautions and warnings
What should I know before using mangosteen?
According to researchers, allergic reactions to the fruit are possible, though they are quite rare.
Hence, if you haven’t eaten mangosteen fruit before, stay on the safe side and determine if you’re possibly allergic to it before consuming it fully in any form.
How safe is mangosteen?
Mangosteen is generally safe when taken in normal serving sizes. There are also reports saying that mangosteen is possibly safe for long-term intake, from 12 to 16 weeks.
Can a pregnant or breastfeeding mother eat mangosteen?
Research is still needed to determine if mangosteen is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. For this reason, it’s best to avoid eating the fruit or taking mangosteen-based drinks and supplements unless you have your doctor’s approval.
Side effects & interactions
For some people, consuming mangosteen might lead to some digestive symptoms like bloating, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. A study also suggests that the xanthones in mangosteen can interfere with blood clotting. Thus, it’s not advisable to eat it if you have a bleeding disorder or if you’re about to have a surgery.
Lastly, we need more studies to confirm if mangosteen interacts with other food and drugs.
The safest way to take mangosteen vitamins and reap its health benefits is to consume it as fresh fruit. If you have difficulty finding fresh mangosteen, you can buy the canned version. However, canned mangosteen may have added sugar in it.
According to DOH’s Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care, you can use the rind or the peel of the mangosteen to help stop diarrhea:
- Grind the dried rind of half of the mangosteen fruit
- Mix the ground rind in 2 glasses of water
- Drink 1 cup of the decoction 3 to 4 times a day after every meal
As of now, mangosteen also comes in different variants like supplemental pills containing mangosteen extract, powdered preparation, and fruit juice. If you’re planning to take mangosteen regularly or use it as an herbal medicine, consult your doctor first.
The vitamins and other nutrients in mangosteen fruits offer a lot of health benefits. The fruit in itself is nutritious and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, it might help boost immunity, improve insulin resistance, and fight cancer.
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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.