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mangosteen“the queen of the tropical fruits.”

The mangosteen fruit (Garcinia mangostana L.) is grown in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, India and several other countries. Most of the scientific research on this fruit involves about a half-dozen of the two dozen knew xanthones in this fruit. Most of the xanthones in Mangosteen have yet to be researched. Mangosteen has a broad range of benefits, perhaps most result from its xanthone phytochemicals/antioxidants. However, Mangosteen also contains catechins, polyphenols, minerals, and vitamins.[1][2]

The fruit is round, 2.5 to 7.5 cm in diameter, and weighs about 75 to 150 g. The rind is smooth and 0.6 to 1 cm thick. The exterior is pale green when immature and dark purple when fully ripe. The inner pulp contains 4 to 8 juicy white segments that are sweet and faintly aromatic.[1][2]

Mangosteen possesses possible antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antihistamine properties.

Mangosteen Powered Antioxidants

Mangosteen provides powerful plant-based antioxidant protection and features a full array of phytonutrients including naturally-occurring xanthones. Xanthones are active antioxidants and provide the body with important nutritional benefits.[1][2]


The phenolic compounds from the hull of mangosteen have high antioxidant activity in 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity assays. One study documents the neuroprotective activity of extracts of the fruit hull. Similar studies document the antioxidant and ferric-reducing activity of mangosteen compared with various fruits.

A 60-day study with 20 healthy women found improvement of age-related changes in skin smoothness with the cream containing three antioxidants, including mangosteen, compared with placebo cream.[1][2]


Several studies found potent inhibitory activity on both histamine release and prostaglandin E 2 synthesis by mangosteen fruit extract. The xanthones alpha-mangostin and gamma-mangostin are histaminergic and serotonergic receptor blocking agents. Alpha-mangostin is a selective and competitive H 1 receptor antagonist while gamma-mangostin is a selective and competitive 5-HT 2A receptor antagonist. Alpha-, beta-, and gamma-mangostin suppressed the upstream degranulation (release of allergic mediators) process in basophilic leukemia cells.[1][2]


Various studies have shown that phytoceuticals in Mangosteen (in some cases known to be its xanthones) have properties such as anti-tumor (shrinks tumors), anti-leukemia, antifungal (critical for all cancer patients), antibacterial (to protect DNA), antioxidants (at least two dozen different kinds of xanthones are in the mangosteen fruit), antiproliferation, kills cancer cells and causes apoptosis (programmed cell death) for some types of cancer. This is a pretty impressive list of cancer credentials!

Alpha-mangostin, mangostanol, and garcinone D extracts from the stem and root bark of G. mangostana were cytotoxic against the CEM-SS cell line.

The efficacy and potency of garcinone E, a xanthone from mangosteen, was compared with 6 chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat 4 hepatoma cell lines. Garcinone E is equal to or more potent than mitoxantrone in cytotoxicity against the hepatoma cell lines and may be more effective than methotrexate, vincristine, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and cisplatin.

Six xanthones were extracted from the pericarps of mangosteen and examined for cell growth inhibition of the human leukaemia cell line HL60. All xanthones had documented growth inhibitory effects, but alpha-mangostin showed the most potent inhibitory activity. The mechanism of action is associated with alpha-mangostin activating caspase-9 and -3 but not -8 and mediating the mitochondrial pathway in the apoptosis.

Alpha-mangostin induced growth inhibition in DLD-1 human colon cancer cells with potency similar to 5-FU. The mechanism of action of xanthones from mangosteen is associated with cell-cycle arrest by affecting the expression of cyclins, cdc2, and p27; G1 cell cycle arrest by alpha-mangostin and beta-mangostin, and S cycle arrest by gamma-mangostin. Alpha-mangostin also induces apoptosis that is mediated by the intrinsic pathway through mitochondria and modulates growth-related signal transduction pathways. Another study noted a synergistic growth reduction in human colon cancer DLD-1 cells with combined treatment of alpha-mangostin and 5-FU.[1][2]


Several xanthones isolated from the fruit hulls of mangosteen have antifungal activity against three phytopathogenic fungi, Fusarium oxysporum vasinfectum, Alternaria tenuis, and Dreschlera oryzae. Mangosteen also has activity against the dermatophytes Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum gypseum, and Epidermophyton floccosum.

Mangosteen has strong antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. Alpha-mangostin, from the stem bark of mangosteen, was active against vancomycin-resistant Enterococci and methicillin-resistant S. aureus, with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 6.25 to 12.5 mcg/mL. Activity against acne-inducing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis is also documented.

The xanthones, alpha- and beta-mangostins and garcinone B, isolated from the fruit hulls and the edible arils and seeds of mangosteen exhibited strong inhibitory activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis with a MIC value of 6.25 mcg/mL.

One study of 60 participants found that an herbal mouthwash containing the pericarp extract of mangosteen may be used, in addition to other treatment, for improving oral malodor.[1][2]

Other pharmacologic activity

GI disorders
The xanthones from mangosteen may be useful in treating Helicobacter pylori digestive tracts disorders such as peptic ulcer, gastritis, and gastric cancer.

Heart disease A studies documents the efficacy of alpha-mangostin against cardiotoxicity and beta-adrenergic catecholamine-induced myocardial toxicity and oxidative stress. Mangosteen also inhibits oxidative changes in human LDL by acting as a free radical scavenger to protect LDL.

Non-competitive inhibition is documented for mangostin and gamma-mangostin against HIV-1 protease.[1][2]

Xanthones contained in mangosteen:

  • alpha-Mangostin
  • beta-Mangostin
  • 3-Isomangostin
  • Mangostanol
  • Gertanin
  • Garcinone A
  • Garcinone B
  • Garcinone C
  • Garcinone D
  • Garcinone E
  • Maclurin


The rind, leaves, fruit, and bark of mangosteen have been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. The rind has been used medicinally to treat thick mucus, cystitis, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, as well as intestinal and skin ailments, such as eczema and pruritus.
Concentrates of mangosteen bark have been used medicinally to treat genitourinary disorders, including gonorrhea and stomatosis.
Mangosteen provides critical nutrients to the non-cancerous cells and will likely kill many cancer cells.[1][2]

[1] http://www.drugs.com
[2] http://www.cancertutor.com

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