Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana)

August 9, 2011
Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD
Barrie R. Cassileth, MS, PhD

Volume 25, Issue 9

Mangosteen is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asian countries, including India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Its reddish to dark purple fruit, with white juicy edible pulp, is considered one of the best tasting tropical fruits. Mangosteen has a long history of medicinal use to treat skin infections, wounds, and dysentery; in ayurveda, it is used for inflammation, diarrhea, and cholera.

ALSO KNOWN AS: Queen of fruits, mang cut, sementah, san zhu.

BACKGROUND: Mangosteen is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asian countries, including India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Its reddish to dark purple fruit, with white juicy edible pulp, is considered one of the best tasting tropical fruits. Mangosteen has a long history of medicinal use to treat skin infections, wounds, and dysentery; in ayurveda, it is used for inflammation, diarrhea, and cholera.

Mangosteen has gained worldwide popularity in recent years and is available on the Internet and in health food stores. The most popular form is a juice, typically sold in a blend that also includes pear, apple, and blueberry juices. Mangosteen is available in tablet and capsule forms as well and is an ingredient in some anti-wrinkle creams.

Despite lack of supportive evidence in humans, mangosteen products are aggressively promoted to treat cancer. Patients should consult their physician before using such products.

TAKE HOME POINTS

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit used in South Asian traditional medicine to treat skin infections, wounds, and dysentery. It is also promoted as a cancer treatment.
Evidence of mangosteen's anticancer and other benefits is limited to in vitro and animal studies.
Because of its antioxidant properties, mangosteen may interfere with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

For additional information, visit the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Integrative Medicine Service website, "About Herbs," at

http://www.mskcc.org/AboutHerbs

.

RESEARCH: Mangosteen contains compounds known as xanthones that exhibit antibacterial,[1] antifungal,[2] anti-inflammatory,[3] anticancer,[4,5] and aromatase-inhibitory[6] properties in vitro and in animal studies. They also show protective effects against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxocity[7] and neurotoxicity caused by doxorubicin,[8] inhibit HIV-1 protease,[9] and block histamine and serotonin receptors.[10] An extract from the pericarp of mangosteen demonstrated antioxidant[11] and anticancer effects.[12] Small studies in humans suggest that the extract has benefits as an adjunct to periodontal treatment[13] and for control of halitosis.[14] Clinical trials are needed to determine the health benefits and anticancer potential of mangosteen.

ADVERSE REACTIONS: Long term use of mangosteen juice has been associated with lactic acidosis.[15]

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Diabetic patients should use mangosteen juice with caution due to its sugar content.

HERB-DRUG INTERACTIONS:

Mangosteen products have antioxidant effects[13] and may interfere with the action of some chemotherapy agents and with radiotherapy.[16]

References:

REFERENCES:

1. Suksamrarn S, Suwannapoch N, Phakhodee W, et al. Antimycobacterial activity of prenylated xanthones from the fruits of Garcinia mangostana. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2003; 51:857-9.

2. Gopalakrishnan G, Banumathi B, Suresh G. Evaluation of the antifungal activity of natural xanthones from Garcinia mangostana and their synthetic derivatives. J Nat Prod. 1997;60:519-24.

3. Nakatani K, Nakahata N, Arakawa T, et al. Inhibition of cyclooxygenase and prostaglandin E2 synthesis by gamma-mangostin, a xanthone derivative in mangosteen, in C6 rat glioma cells. Biochem Pharmacol. 2002;63:73-9.

4. Krajarng A, Nakamura Y, Suksamrarn S, Watanapokasin R. α-Mangostin induces apoptosis in human chondrosarcoma cells through downregulation of ERK/JNK and Akt signaling pathway. J Agric Food Chem. 2011;59:5746-54.

5. Shibata MA, Iinuma M, Morimoto J, et al. alpha-Mangostin extracted from the pericarp of the mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana Linn) reduces tumor growth and lymph node metastasis in an immunocompetent xenograft model of metastatic mammary cancer carrying a p53 mutation. BMC Med. 2011;9:69.

6. Balunas MJ, Su B, Brueggemerier RW, Kinghorn AD. Xanthones from the botanical dietary supplement mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) with aromatase inhibitory activity. J Nat Prod. 2008.

7. Pérez-Rojas JM, Cruz C, García-López P, et al. Renoprotection by alpha-mangostin is related to the attenuation in renal oxidative/nitrosative stress induced by cisplatin nephrotoxicity. Free Radic Res. 2009;43:1122-32.

8. Tangpong J, Miriyala S, Noel T, et al. Doxorubicin-induced central nervous system toxicity and protection by xanthone derivative of Garcinia mangostana. Neuroscience. 2011;175:292-9. Epub 2010 Nov 11.

9. Chen SX, Wan M, Loh BN. Active constituents against HIV-1 protease from Garcinia mangostana. Planta Med. 1996;62:381-2.

10. Chairungsrilerd N, Furukawa T, Ohta T, et al. Histaminergic and serotonergic receptor blocking substances from the medicinal plant Garcinia mangostana. Planta Med. 1996;62:471-2.

11. Jung HA, Su BN, Keller WJ, et al. Antioxidant xanthones from the pericarp of Garcinica mangostana (Mangosteen). J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54: 2077-82.

12. Moongkarndi P, Kosem N, Kaslungka S, et al. Antiproliferation, antioxidation and induction of apoptosis by Garcinia mangostana (mangosteen) on SKBR3 human breast cancer cell line. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;90:161-6.

13. Rassameemasmaung S, Sirikulsathean A, Amornchat C, et al. Topical application of Garcinia mangostana L. pericarp gel as an adjunct to periodontal treatment. Complement Ther Med. 2008;16:262-7.

14. Rassameemasmaung S, Sirikulsathean A, Amornchat C, et al. Effects of herbal mouthwash containing the pericarp extract of Garcinia mangostana L on halitosis, plaque and papillary bleeding index. J Int Acad Periodontol. 2007;9:19-25.

15. Wong LP, Klemmer PJ. Severe lactic acidosis associated with juice of the mangosteen fruit Garcinia mangostana. Am J Kidney Dis. 2008;51:829-33.

16. D'Andrea GM. Use of antioxidants during chemotherapy and radiotherapy should be avoided. CA Cancer J Clin. 2005;55:319-21.