Sunday, July 1, 2007

Mangosteen Juice

Mangosteen juice is a tropical fruit beverage made by liquefying the seeds, rind, and flesh of the Southeast Asian mangosteen. Mangosteens, Garcina mangostana, are native to countries such as Malaysia, the Phillippines, and Thailand. Now they are also cultivated in Brazil and India for American importers. They bottle mangosteen juice as a supposed miracle cure containing unprecedented amounts of antioxidants and xanthones.

The mangosteen is the size of an apple, with a thick rind and interior white segments like an orange, and large seeds. As with many fruits, the mangosteen is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, B1, B2, B6, potassium, iron, and calcium. The mangosteen is not widely available in America, so the juice must be imported. While nutritionists have not tested the countless claims of mangosteen juice bottlers, many companies profess that this "Queen of Fruit" can cure everything from cancer to dysentery to bacterial infections. They base this on a few sporadic studies in the laboratory, or on animals, that have shown positive benefits of doses of xanthones and antioxidants, compounds found in various fruits.

No major studies on humans have proven that drinking mangosteen juice on a daily basis would offer significant improvement in illness. However, increasing one's daily dosage of antioxidants, even from supplements, has been proven to boost our absorption of vitamins and therefore strengthen immunity. Yet, the difference between doubling our intake of antioxidants and increasing it tenfold has the same results. Therefore, mangosteen juice has no significant advantage over a healthy diet of fruits and vegetbales rich in antioxidants, as yet.

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