What is Mangosteen?

The mangosteen is a small purple tree fruit grown in Southeast Asia from the tree species Garcinia mangostana. In the 19th century, the mangosteen was given the nickname “the queen of fruits,” due to a rumor that they had been particularly sought by Queen Victoria [R]. 

Fresh mangosteen fruit has been commonly enjoyed for its flavor in Asia for centuries, and the fruit is beginning to gain popularity in the West as well [R].

There are unique nutritional benefits being studied from chemicals extracted from the mangosteen fruit’s rind.

The product Meratrim, of which mangosteen extract is one component, was used in some studies of weight loss and is a patented extract.

Mangosteen Snapshot

Pros

  • Increases AMPK (R) and SIRT1 (R)
  • Decreases Inflammation
  • Strong Antioxidant Profile
  • May Aid Weight Loss

Cons

  • Not all products are standardized for active compounds
  • More long-term studies for weight loss are needed
  • Not enough human studies are done

Health Benefits of Mangosteen Extract

1) Potent Antioxidant

Raw mangosteen outperforms some of the best natural antioxidants.

Antioxidants are commonly ranked based on a standardized test of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC).

The evaluation of ORAC values for common supplements is determined and reviewed periodically by the USDA, and a recent publication shows that mangosteen has a particularly high ORAC value of 99586.

This exceeds the ORAC ratings for blueberry (97085) and pomegranate (9286), which are praised as some of the strongest antioxidant substances

2) Fights Bacteria

Extracts standardized for Alpha-mangostin have been proven to have antibacterial properties and to perform effectively as an antibiotic treatment in animals.

Extract standardized for Alpha-mangostin was found to be antibacterial in Staphylococcus strains which are resistant to common antibiotics in multiple studies [RR].

Extracts standardized for Alpha-mangostin have also effectively treated resistant Staphylococcus infections in animals, and researchers concluded that these results show promise for further studies in antibiotic development [R].

Alpha-mangostin was also found to discourage gut microbe growth and quorum sensing [R].

This shows further promise for preventing and limiting bacterial infections using mangosteen extract.

3) Reduces Inflammation

Mangosteen extract activates multiple anti-inflammatory pathways in the body.

A mangosteen extract standardized for alpha-mangostin was found to activate the SIRT1 pathway, which is known to limit detrimental inflammation by reducing the production of the chemical NF-kB, a key regulator of innate immunity and inflammation [RR].

Mangosteen extract is also an AMPK activator [R].

Among other benefits, AMPK activation is known to reduce inflammation, providing another method by which mangosteen extract could reduce inflammation [R].

4) May Improves Symptoms of Diabetes

Mangosteen extract both stimulated insulin usage and lowered blood sugar in studies, which shows promise for relieving the poor insulin usage and high blood sugar seen in diabetes [R]. 

AMPK activation is known to improve insulin usage, and low levels of AMPK activation are also associated with poor insulin usage and diabetes [RR]. 

The AMPK activation caused by mangosteen extract is a possible mechanism for explaining the effect it has on insulin usage and blood sugar [R].

Activation of the serotonin receptor 5HT2A is also known to decrease insulin usage and secretion [R].

Blocking activation of this receptor may be another reason that mangosteen extract improves diabetic symptoms [R].

5) Weight Loss

The AMPK activation caused by mangosteen extract may assist in weight loss [R].

Mangosteen peel extract is one of the primary ingredients in the weight loss aid Meratrim [R].

During an eight-week clinical trial, the Meratrim group had lost 11 pounds (5.2 kg) of weight and 4.7 inches (11.9 cm) off their waistlines [R].

However, there have been no independent trials done on weight loss, so there is potential bias with the study.

On the other hand…

Activation of the 5HT2A receptor in the hypothalamus is also associated with reduced appetite, whereas blocking it may contribute to obesity [R].

The chemical component mangostin can block the activation of this receptor and may theoretically cause an increased appetite [R]. 

6) Supports Brain Health

Mangosteen extract helped prevent cell death in a Parkinson’s model of the brain [R].

Mangosteen extract also normalized currents in the brain to prevent cell death in another study [R]. 

Neither study assessing these neuroprotective effects was performed in live subjects, and it is not yet known how or if supplementing with mangosteen extract is able to produce the same magnitude of effects.

By blocking serotonin receptors (2A/2C) mangostin may reduce inflammation, pain and neuropsychiatric symptoms [R].

Other benefits seen in animals

  • Neuroprotective agent (R, R)
  • Supports neuroregeneration (R)
  • Increases nitric oxide in metabolic syndrome (R)

Limitations

There are some limitations that should be kept in mind when reading this research. Almost all of the studies conducted are with animals, small trials or are low quality. It’s not clear if all or any of these benefits would occur in humans. Mangosteen should be seen as a natural product that probably has a similar health profile to consuming blueberries or some other fruit.

Buy Mangosteen Extract

A product standardized for the active compounds associated with benefits should be purchased to best approximate the benefits proven in studies.

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