1. Fights Cancer
Mangosteens have been the focus of many anticancer studies, and results have been very positive to date support their standing as cancer-fighting foods. The mangosteen fruit itself is said to contain at least 20 known xanthones, and the majority of those are found in the fruit wall or pericarp. Findings from research conducted in 2008 by the Gifu International Institute of Biotechnology in Japan showed that one xanthone from mangosteen in particular, known as alpha-Mangostin, was found to have a cancer-preventive effect on animal subjects. This study concluded that xanthones should be used as an agent for cancer prevention and as cancer treatment in combination with other therapies.
A 2012 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine also showed that the xanthone extracts had anti-colon cancer effects in vitro and in vivo, while another study conducted by the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy indicated the mangosteen can successfully slow the progress of prostate cancer.
The cancer-fighting evidence doesn’t end there. A study published in 2016 in the International Journal of Oncology looked at the anticancer activity of mangosteen’s alpha-mangostin on human breast cancer cells. The research indicated that α-mangostin induced programmed cell death of cancer cells, and it was concluded that α-mangostin may be used as a food supplement as well as a potential therapeutic compound for breast cancer.
Skin cancers are often resistant to conventional chemotherapy, but mangosteen has shown ability to naturally fight cancers of the skin. One study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology examined the anti-skin cancer properties of crude ethanol extract of mangosteen pericarp on human squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The mangosteen extract showed strong anti-skin cancer effects on both skin cancer cell lines, showing its potential as skin cancer natural treatment.
Xanthones from mangosteen extracts have also been shown to be natural chemopreventive agents and have potential as anticancer drugs. Xanthones from the pericarp, whole fruit, heartwood and leaf of mangosteen are known to possess a wide spectrum of pharmacologic properties, including antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities. The ability of xanthones to both prevent and treat cancer have been demonstrated in different stages of cancer formation, including initiation, promotion and progression. The xanthones have also shown their ability to control cancer cell division and growth, programmed cell death, inflammation, and cancer metastasis.
2. Combats Inflammation and Allergies
Scientific research has shown that extracts of mangosteen have both anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties. One study specifically showed that these extracts worked better at inhibiting pro-allergy prostaglandin than an anti-allergy drug used in Japan. The extracts proved to be potent and successful inhibitors of the release of histamine and prostaglandin, which are both associated with inflammation in the human body as well as allergies. Alpha- and gamma-mangostins are two specific bioactive substances found in mangosteen that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.
3. Lowers Blood Sugar
Mangosteen can be a helpful way to prevent and keep diabetes under control because it helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. It has been shown to act as an alpha-amylase inhibitor, which means that it inhibits enzymes that cause starches to break down into glucose A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that the fruit contains compounds that were found to be comparable to that of acarbose, a prescription drug used for type 2 diabetes symptoms.
Mangosteen’s blood sugar-lowering ability is said to come from its tannic acid and even more so from its oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). OPCs are naturally occurring plant metabolites that are widely available in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, flowers and bark. In addition to being good for blood sugar, OPCs are primarily known for their antioxidant activity. They’ve also been reported to demonstrate antibacterial, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and vasodilatory actions.
4. Improves Acne
Mangosteen has been shown to be an effective home remedy for acne. One study out of Thailand compared mangosteen to other plants and determined that it possessed the most significant antioxidant activity and reduced the production of reactive oxygen species, two factors that affect the growth of acne. Garcinia mangostana was not only highly effective at scavenging free radicals, but it was also able to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that contribute to acne formation.
5. Boosts Heart Health
Increased oxidative stress and a deficit in antioxidants are two factors that are believed to play a role in heart attack occurrence. Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.
A study conducted by the Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany at the University of Madras in India on animal subjects showed the cardioprotective effect of alpha-mangostin, a xanthone derivative from mangosteen. The fact that mangosteen is high in xanthones, which are extremely powerful antioxidants, may be helpful in reducing heart attack risk.
6. Bolsters Immunity
Looking to fend off colds and flus or just generally boost your immune system? Then mangosteen is definitely a fruit to start eating. It’s packed with xanthones, which support many of vital functions of the body, including immune health. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, which helps scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals that can cause illness. Vitamin C also has been shown to stimulate both the production and function of leukocytes, the white blood cells that protect the body against both infectious disease and foreign invaders.
7. Aids Digestion
The high-fiber food, this fruit makes an excellent source for digestive health. Consuming fresh mangosteen fruit can help ward off constipation and all of the digestive distress that goes along with this common health concern. By consuming the fiber found in this tasty fruit, you also increase your intake of prebiotics, which help probiotics flourish inside your intestines. When you take of care of your digestive system, you can help the health of your entire body so don’t underestimate the importance of consuming fiber-rich foods like mangosteen on a daily basis.