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Mangosteen ~ [Issue 0206-1]  Wellness Weekly
 Feb 06, 2006 13:58 PST 

Copyright 2006 by Jim Kosglow

Many of us know that herbs and other botanicals can lead to
substantial improvements in health. But why all the fuss today about
an unusual fruit called the mangosteen? How can a single fruit offer
so many benefits? And why is it being introduced to the United States
now though it has been a part of natural health in the Orient for

Read on for some intimate knowledge about what mangosteen could do
for your health.

The mangosteen fruit is grown in southeast Asia and has been used for
centuries to relieve digestive, inflammatory, skin, and other
ailments. It is roughly the size of a tangerine with a dark purple
rind or pericarp that is thick and tough. Encased within this
protective coating is a snow-white fruit that separates into wedges,
much like a citrus fruit.

The taste of the fruit's flesh is exquisite. It is often referred to
as the "Queen of Fruits" in areas where it is grown.

The raw mangosteen is fragile and the United States forbids its
importation. So why does this mysterious fruit merit such praise and
recent scientific attention?


The mangosteen contains a large number of active substances including
vitamins, catechins (potent antioxidants), polysaccharides, etc.
However, modern science has examined the mangosteen, and the
phytonutrients that receive the most scientific attention are
xanthones which are biologically active, natural molecules found in a
few plants.

Science has identified approximately 200 xanthones. The mangosteen
contains an amazing 43 - some herbs and plants like St. John's Wort
might contain one or two but no plant compares with the quantity and
vibrancy of xanthones in mangosteen. In fact, mangosteen is the best
known source of these powerful phytochemicals.

Each xanthone has a unique chemical formula that enables it to
perform specific biologic functions in the human body.

For example, alpha-mangostin serves as an anti-oxidant,
gamma-mangostin as an anti-inflammatory and garcinone E as an
anti-tumor agent. Xanthone derivatives show other beneficial
properties . . . antiallergic, antiviral, anti-diabetic,
antibacterial, etc.

Xanthones, possibly in conjunction with other biologically active
substances mentioned above, are responsible for the wide range of
medicinal benefits experienced by people who consume the mangosteen.


Recently, research and clinical observations have confirmed some of
the health benefits of mangosteen's xanthones:

1. Anti-inflammatory - gamma mangostin, one of the xanthones in
mangosteen, dramatically slows the production of the COX 2
(cyclo-oxygenase) enzyme, the major precursor to inflammation,
without negative side effects. Some physicians have noted that
mangosteen can be as effective as leading anti-inflammatory
medications without serious side effects typical with drugs like
Vioxx, Celebrex, and Bextra.

For example, Vioxx, a selective Cox-2 inhibitor, was withdrawn from
the market because it caused blood clots and an increased incidence
of heart attacks. In experimental data, mangosteen did not affect
blood-clotting mechanisms yet had all the anti-inflammatory benefits.

2. Anti-oxidant - the xanthone gamma mangostin was found to be a more
powerful antioxidant than vitamin E.

3. Anti-cholesterol - the bad cholesterol, LDL, first must be
oxidized before it can cross the artery's endothelial wall and become
part of an atherosclerotic plaque. Oxidized LDL is one of the causes
of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Scientists from Australia and
Thailand concluded from in-vitro studies that mangosteen xanthones
inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

4. Anti-tumor - Scientists in Taiwan tested Garcinone E against human
cancer cell lines for primary liver, stomach and lung cancers.
Garcinone E was capable of killing all cancer lines but one and it
was more efficient than several anti-cancer medications commonly in
use today.

5. Anti-diabetic - Some xanthones tend to reduce insulin resistance,
the core defect in type II diabetes according to a leading clinician.
Additionally, the Germans treat peripheral neuropathy with
antioxidants based on the belief that diabetic complications can
involve free radical damage.


Only recently has the fruit become commercially available in North
America as a beverage so that anyone can evaluate its healing power.

While the mangosteen pericarp is rich in xanthones, it tastes very
bitter. Additional natural fruit juices are usually added to create
an appealing taste.

Most brands contain about 2 grams of natural sugar per ounce, making
it possible for diabetics to consume the juice and in many cases, to
lower blood sugar levels and reduce reliance on medication.

This delicious juice has already influenced many lives and will
continue to benefit people searching for natural alternatives to
better health.

Jim Kosglow is a frequent contributor to health publications about
informative tips on living a more natural wholistic lifestyle. He
lives in Aspen, Colorado and can be contacted at jimko-@aol.com
or by phone toll-free 866 831 5539 MST regarding any questions or
comments you may have regarding this article or mangosteen.
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