Mangosteen, Super Food?

I thought Mangosteen was Frankenstein’s cousin from the islands, but apparently, a mangosteen is an antioxidant-packed tropical fruit. Slashfood fills us in:
Mangosteens, or juice drinks made from them, are very popular in Japan right now because they're supposed to be high in antioxidants and ward off cancer in mice (though that hasn't been tested in humans).

Mangosteens are originally from Thailand, but they're difficult to export from the region because they are so preishable. Also, the tree can only be grown in tropical climates. Those factors make even pureés made from Mangosteens pretty expensive anywhere outside of Southeast Asia.
That cancer claim is a bit iffy. Dr. Fuhrman wouldn’t agree. He explains:
Juices and extracts of exotic fruits and vegetables such as mangosteen, gogi berries, Chinese lycium, acia, Siberian pineapple, cili, noni, guarana, and black currant are touted as wondrous super foods with a myriad of health claims. Certainly, eating exotic fruits from all over the globe can add valuable phytochemical compounds with the potential for beneficial effects. I see no reason why these fruits and their juices should not be used as part of a varied diet with a wide assortment of phytonutrients. Broadening our variety of health-supporting nutrients from exotic foods has value in building a strong immune defense against cancer.

The confusion arises when marketers claim that the juices can cure cancer or kill cancer cells on the basis of studies that show that some component in the juice or other part of the plant has been shown to kill cancer cells. Just because a concentrated chemical derived from a food can kill cancer cells in a test tube does not make that food a cure for cancer.
I’ve never had a mangosteen, have you? Certainly looks interesting.
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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Paige - June 24, 2008 2:14 PM

YES I have. Oh my goodness, they're by far my favorite fruit. When I was in Thailand it was 50 cents for a kilo of them and I'd eat them all in one serving. I haven't had them since.

heather - June 24, 2008 4:41 PM

Yes, I have fifteen in my fridge right now. I buy them at an Asian grocery store. They are so delicious, even if they weren't super good for you I'd eat them!

Gerry Pugliese - June 24, 2008 4:49 PM

Hey Heather-

That's a great idea! I have a huge Asian grocery store by my house. I'm going!


Nancy - June 24, 2008 7:36 PM

Mangostein juice was touted for fibromyalgia and I bought it at a health food store for lots of money. Don't waste your money. But yes I would like to taste the fresh. It probably is good for you, just not a miracle cure. They did the same thing with cherry juice. The research is usually sponsored by growers and mfrs.

Sara - June 24, 2008 11:36 PM

Hey Gerry- Tell me if you find them in the Asian grocery.

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