Mangosteen and Immunity
Despite its name, mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is not related to the mango. Mangosteen is a type of unique tropical fruit that originates from southeast Asia. As one of the most concentrated sources of phytonutrients found in the world, mangosteen has recently received media attention, but it has actually been prized for centuries, both in its native countries and in the West, despite the difficulty of transporting it before the advent of modern technology. One of its biggest advantages is the presence of antioxidants, but it also contains other valuable nutrients such as: fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, iron, vitamin C and vitamin B6, and include polysaccharides, sterols, proanthocyanidins and catechins.
We've all heard about how important it is to get the right amount of antioxidants to keep our bodies healthy. Free radicals in the body cause oxidative stress, which has been associated with many diseases, and antioxidants effectively neutralize these free radicals and mitigate the risk of disease caused by oxidative stress.
Now a new classification of antioxidants called xanthones, first discovered in the mangosteen fruit, are poised to be one of the biggest discoveries of modern science in terms of health benefits. A xanthone is a chemical substance which also helps the immune system as well as the general well being of the body and mind.
These compounds occur only rarely in nature, with the majority being found in only two families of plants. Only two hundred naturally-occurring xanthones have been identified so far, and around forty of them have been discovered in the mangosteen fruit. The use of antioxidants has been intensively studied in recent years, particularly in treatments of neurodegenerative disease and strokes. Xanthones and their derivatives have been shown to have several benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, anti-allergic, and anti-convulsant abilities.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in August 2009 and conducted at Capital Medical University in Beijing tested mangosteen on immune system function in 59 healthy adults. The researchers found that consumption of mangosteen improved levels of factors associated with optimal immune system health, including peripheral T-helper cell frequency, and serum complement C3, C4, and interleukin-1-alpha concentrations, and also reduced levels of C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a factor used to predict cardiovascular disease and a precursor of metabolic syndrome. Compared with controls, participants who took mangosteen also reported greatly improved overall health status.
Xanthones and derivatives have been shown to have beneficial effects on some cardiovascular diseases, including ischemic heart disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension and thrombosis. Xanthones may also have anti-tumor activity, thus potentially having an influence in the prevention or treatment of certain cancers.
Check with your Physician
Use only the highest quality, safest ingredients that are carefully researched and chosen for their remarkable health benefits. Still, all body requirements are unique, so always check with a physician before adding a new supplement to your diet.