This information describes the common uses of Mangosteen, how it works, and its possible side effects.

How It Works

Mangosteen has not been shown to treat cancer in humans.

The fruits of mangosteen are used in traditional medicine in Southeast Asia to treat skin infections, wounds, and diarrhea. Laboratory studies have shown that compounds present in mangosteen fruit are effective against bacterial and fungal infections and can reduce inflammation. Other studies have shown that mangosteen can inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cells. There is also evidence that some compounds in mangosteen act as free-radical scavengers to prevent damage by low density lipoprotein (LDL), more commonly known as bad cholesterol. However, it is not known at the present time if the same effects occur in the human body.

Purported Uses

  • Wound healing
    Clinical data are lacking.
  • Inflammation
    Laboratory studies suggest that mangosteen inhibits enzymes involved in inflammation.
  • Diarrhea
    This use is not supported by clinical trials, and in an animal study appeared to worsen ulcerative colitis.
  • Ulcers
    There are no clinical data to support this use.
  • Antibacterial
    Laboratory studies have shown that mangosteen has antibacterial properties.
  • Antifungal
    Several studies have indicated that the compounds present in mangosteen are effective against some fungi.

Do Not Take If

  • You are taking cytochrome P450 substrate drugs: Mangosteen may increase the risk of side effects of these drugs.
  • You are taking calcineurin inhibitors (cyclosporine, tacrolimus): Compounds isolated from mangosteen may have additive immunosuppressant effects if used with related drugs.
  • You are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy: Mangosteen products have antioxidant effects and may therefore interfere with the intended effects of cancer treatments.
  • You have diabetes: Mangosteen is high in sugar content.
  • You have ulcerative colitis: Animal studies show that it can exacerbate symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Side Effects

Case Report: Severe lactic acidosis following consumption of mangosteen juice daily for 12 months.