You may have a friend or relative who’s selling an expensive drink made from mangosteen. This is a tropical fruit that’s high in antioxidants and marketed primarily through multi-level marketing (MLMs) companies. Unfortunately, there are more claims than science that surround mangosteen. So most of the marketing relies on testimonials. And, until recently, we didn’t know if the science would support the testimonials.
Now we know.
A recent study indicates this fruit can be beneficial for a certain sub-set of the population. It reduces inflammation in obese people. This is great news, because inflammation is at the core of most chronic illnesses from heart disease to cancer and diabetes. But the price you may pay for drinking this juice could be more than its cost in dollars.
In this double-blinded study, published in Nutrition Journal, the researchers gave half a liter of mangosteen juice a day to obese people. The researchers found that the participants’ CRP (C-reactive protein) levels dropped 1.33 mg/L. But those in the placebo group saw their CRP levels increase by 0.9 mg/L. CRP is a measure of inflammation somewhere in the body. The change in CRP in people who drank this juice was small, but doctors consider it to be significant.
So does this mean you should buy your friend’s product if he or she is singing the praises of mangosteen? I say, “No.” Here’s why: First, it’s extremely expensive. A one-liter bottle (two day’s supply) costs $22 or more. That’s more than $300 a month! There are cheaper natural anti-inflammatory products, such as Reduloxin that lower CRP.
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Second, anyone who is obese should avoid drinking fruit juices and limit themselves to one piece of fruit per day at most. Juices are too high in sugars and can contribute to ... obesity.
I expect we’ll hear more about mangosteen, and other tropical fruits, as studies trickle in. There are MLMs that sell good products. But too many of them have little or no science behind them. When the science is there, look carefully at what they say. Don’t be seduced by money-making schemes or enthusiastic marketers. Even if they’re friends or family. Ask the person selling these products to show you the science. And be sure you can afford the products in the necessary amounts before you buy them.
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Dr. Janet Zand
Jay K Udani, Betsy B Singh, Marilyn L Barrett and Vijay J Singh. Evaluation of Mangosteen juice blend on biomarkers of inflammation in obese subjects: a pilot, dose finding study. Nutrition Journal, 2009.