Q: Can mangosteen juice cure cancer, migraines, and other conditions, as claimed?
A: No. Mangosteen marketers make far-fetched and unsubstantiated claims for their products, which are sold as âdietary supplementsâ? via multi-level (network) marketing. The most promoted brand is XanGo, which comes both as a juice puree and in capsules. The juice can cost $25 or more for a 25-ounce bottle.
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tangerine-sized tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia. Not to be confused with mango, it has a hard purple rind and white pulp inside. Laboratory studies have specifically looked at compounds in the rind, called xanthones, which seem to have some anti-cancer effects in the test tube. Mangosteen is also said to have antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activity.
Marketers cite long lists of lab studies as âproofâ? of mangosteenâs health benefits. But there are no clinical trials, and what happens in a test tube or animal may not occur in a human. Any reported benefits in humans have been anecdotal. No one even knows if the processed fruit juice and capsules retain the potentially beneficial compounds. Whatâs more, the juice is typically a mix of fruit juicesâwith an undisclosed amount of mangosteen in it.
Bottom line: Exotic fruits and their juices are usually nutritious. But donât expect mangosteen to be a miracle cure for any disease.
UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, February 2006