Mangosteen: Fruit of the future. Claims for the health benefits of this fruit range from preventing your arteries from hardening to being an anti-depressant and anti-tumor agent. In fact the claims are a laundry list of everything you would want your food to do to keep you healthy including fighting dementia -ah the irony. Once again the claims are based on basic research, not clinical trials, that may or may not be applicable to real world in vivo consumption of the processed fruit. The rest of the evidence is anecdotal testimonials which we know are next to useless when looking at these kinds of heath benefits.

One of the leading promoter/sellers of Mangosteen juice was issued a warning letter by the US FDA to reign in it’s extravagant claims for the curative powers of their product as it was essentially being marketed as a drug. As such it would need to be tested and found to be safe and effective regarding these claims, neither is the case. The multi-level marketing company however has thousands of distributors who are more than willing to gush over the effectiveness of their product in treating all sorts of maladies, as well as more general health giving properties.

In the end Mangosteen is just one more in a long line of faddish foods and supplements for which the claims are plentiful but the evidence is scant. Thousands of test tube studies do not prove anything in the way of safety or efficacy. Many plants and fruits contain bio-active compounds that may provide the basis for future treatments but this does not mean that any particular preparation of these is clinically useful. Broccoli contains anti-cancer agents but I would hope that no-one in their right mind thinks the best way to fight tumors is with a plate full of greens. Similarly with Mangosteen I hope you think before you drink.

Resources

http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/archive/g6031d.htm FDA warning letter to XanGo

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1541294-1,00.html

http://www.mangosteen.com/Sciencenonscienceandnonsense.htm

http://www.xing.com/app/forum?op=showarticles;id=3611977;articleid=3613327