Mangosteen: Is It Worth the Hype?

by in Food News, September 30, 2009

mangosteen
Like acai berries, mangosteen is another exotic fruit that’s making some super-food lists. You might see supplements or juice drinks that tout the fruit as a cancer cure-all. We looked beyond the sales pitches to find out the basics.

What is Mangosteen?
Originally from southeast Asia, this tropical fruit has an edible maroon or purple outer rind and white tender flesh. You can eat whole mangosteen fruit raw but more often it’s blended into juices (sometimes called “XanGo juice”) or purees. It also comes in supplement form. You probably won’t find the fruit at your grocery store, but I have tried the juice and wasn’t a fan of the flavor. It reminded me of a sour tropical fruit punch with a strong, bitter aftertaste.

Mangosteen powders and teas are also available (and more popular in Asian cultures); natural medicine advocates use them to treat diarrhea, dysentery and urinary disorders. You can also apply topical ointments for skin conditions, but many of these attributes haven’t been scientifically tested.

What’s the Hype?
You may not have even heard of this fruit yet, but some claim it’s a must for reducing cancer risks because it’s so high in antioxidants. According to the American Cancer Society, there’s just not enough evidence to support that it prevents cancer in humans. There is some early research being done to see how mangosteen can help in the treatment of acne, but that’s not exactly a cancer breakthrough.

The fruit does contain high amounts of xanthones, antioxidants that fight inflammation, but beyond these antioxidants, mangosteen fall short on other common fruit nutrients such as fiber and vitamin C.

Are There Risks?
There’s little reliable information about the good or bad effects of eating mangosteen. Some reports suggest that consuming large amounts regularly may cause pH imbalances in your blood, which can be dangerous. This tropical fruit can definitely hurt your wallet, though — a 32-ounce bottle of juice can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 each. And if you ever find yourself eating the raw fruit, be careful if you’re wearing white or a light color — it can stain.

The Bottom Line
There isn’t much strong evidence to support the super powers of mangosteen. Small amounts appear to be safe, but you’re better off getting your antioxidants from other fresh fruits grown closer to home.

Tell Us: Have you tried mangosteen?

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Comments (20)

  1. Roland says:

    I miss coffee & mangosteen ice cream from back home (Philippines). It's really good.

  2. Pat says:

    I ate a couiple fresh mangosteens about a year ago. I only ate the white parts (arils) because in the web research I did, nothing mentioned eating the red rind. It was a nice but not amazing taste – did not live up to the hype as “queen of fruits” as far as I was concerned. Until recently, it was illegal to import this fruit to the US, which makes it difficult to find.

  3. Bill Willis says:

    I went thru Cancer treatment at the same time drink 4oz mangosteen juice dailey my reaction to chemo was not as severe the Dr told me to keep doing what I was as my blood levels werent tanking which is a good thing. I am thourghly convinced the mangosteen helped!

  4. Jenny says:

    I had mangosteen when I was in Thailand several years ago. It was delicious, much like a lychee. Of course, they are best freshly picked. I think anything you might buy here is probably so old that Thai people would throw it away.

  5. Louise says:

    I am originally from Indonesia, I grew up eating mangosteen, and I love it! Last year, I went with my husband and in-laws to Indonesia, and they tried it for the first time and loved it as well!!! Too bad it is hard to find here…

  6. KRISTI says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!! I REMEMBER THESE GUYS! I TOO..BORN AND RAISED IN INDONESIA. OH HOW I MISS THE FRUIT!!

  7. Stuart says:

    yeah, I have bad psoriasis of the hands, and some people say the powdered juice can help that, but then i read about the whole acidosis thing after a year of using it. can anyone help me with this, like if its true or not? cause it was looking like the cure ive been lookin for ya know……………

  8. Stuart says:

    by the way, i meant somebody got acidosis after a year of using it, i haven't used it yet at all, just realized i kinda worded that wrong

  9. Brenda says:

    I LOVE MANGOSTEEN JUICE! I have consumed it regularly for 3+ years with great results, for me. I am off my asthma medicine and I live with 4 cats, 2 dogs, and a bird! I think it is the best thing in Nature. I have cooked with the canned version of mangosteen fruit, used it in a stir-fry pork dish.

    I look forward to trying the real deal in Thailand next year!

  10. gjaoiwiejawo says:

    This is the precise Mangosteen: Is It Worth the Hype? | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog blog for anyone who wants to assay out out nearly this message. You mark so much its most effortful to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new rotation on a issue thats been graphical virtually for eld. Precise sundry, but eager!

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