Mangosteen: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses

Parul Dube

October 12, 2022

Mangosteen is a fruit with a sweet and sour taste. In case you don’t know, it’s a tropical fruit with its origin in Southeast Asia. It is deep purple on the outside and white from the inside. Mangosteen fruit can be had fresh, canned, or dried. In addition, it has a rich, delicate texture and slightly sour flavour. It also has medicinal value. 

The most familiar portion of the plant is the fruit rind, but other parts, such as the seeds, leaves, and bark, are also helpful. Obesity and a severe gum infection, also called periodontitis, are treated with mangosteen. In addition, we find its usage to treat muscle weakness, diarrhoea, and skin disorders. However, concrete scientific proof is yet wanting to back up these claims.

Nutritional Value

100 gram of mangosteen (196 grams) contains:

  • Calories: 60 g
  • Carbs: 14.3 grams
  • Fibre: 0.8 gram
  • Fat: 0.1 gram
  • Protein: 0.5 gram

Mangosteen’s vitamins and minerals are essential for various body activities, including DNA synthesis, muscular contraction, wound healing, immunity, and nerve stimulation.

Health Benefits of Mangosteen

1. It may prevent cancer

Mangosteen plants contain few organic compounds. One of those compounds is xanthones. As per studies, xanthones have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may aid in preventing and treating cancer-causing cells. In addition, depending on their structures, xanthones exhibit a wide range of biological features. They include antihypertensive, antioxidative, antithrombotic, and anti-cancer properties.

These compounds prevent the oxidative stress of cells because of antioxidants in them. Oxidative stress refers to the imbalance between oxygen and free radicals in the body. Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable molecules. Their instability triggers the process of oxidative stress. It ultimately damages the cells and their vital parts like the cell membrane, DNA, proteins etc. Oxidative stress leads to severe conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

In addition to xanthones, mangosteen also contains Vitamin C and folate. As per research, these compounds are also antioxidants and are therefore helpful in dealing with cancerous cells. 

2. Controls Blood Sugar

Insulin is the hormone responsible for controlling the sugar level in the body. Insulin resistance occurs when cells in different parts of the body like the liver, fat and muscles fail to absorb glucose from the blood. This condition creates an imbalance in blood glucose levels, resulting in diabetes. 

3. Improves Immune System

A healthy immune system is of great importance for the proper functioning of the body. Consequently, it protects the body from harmful bacterias, viruses, germs, and toxins released by them. Therefore, it is essential to have a robust immune system to ward off any illness.

Mangosteen is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is commonly known as ascorbic acid and is water-soluble. As per studies, it aids in maintaining a healthy immune system. However, since our body cannot produce vitamin C, we must get it from our daily foods.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient. It supports several cellular functions of our body’s adaptive immune systems, strengthening the immune system. As an antioxidant, it can help the body combat free radicals, reducing inflammation and increasing immunity. In addition, Vitamin C aids in the healing of wounds and the repair and maintenance of healthy skin, gums, teeth and bones and cartilage (a tough tissue covering the bones). 

Folate is a type of Vitamin B. It is a vital component for producing and promoting healthy cells in our bodies. In addition, folate improves the immune system. As per studies, folate intake increases the production of T cells that boost the body’s immune response. 

4. Maintains Healthy Skin

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nature of mangosteen promotes healthy skin. The skin’s renewal process slows down by inflammation. Antioxidants help the skin rejuvenate itself and repair damage by lowering inflammation. Vitamin C, a constituent of mangosteen, helps boost collagen formation, essential for youthful skin.

Fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin, acne breakouts, etc., are all signs of oxidative stress. As a result, they break down collagen, hampers the skin’s natural repair process, and causes inflammation. Antioxidants can help prevent and repair these signs by neutralising free radicals, giving skin a more youthful look.

Free radicals and regular sun exposure can trigger changes in the production of skin’s melanin. As a result, the skin develops dark spots and uneven skin tone. Antioxidants can help prevent irregular skin pigmentation by minimising photodamage. Some antioxidants (like vitamin C) also block tyrosinase, an enzyme that promotes the generation of melanin.

5. Contains Antibacterial Properties

Mangosteen’s antimicrobial properties inhibit the growth of a broad range of bacteria and fungi. For example, mangosteen contains xanthones that prevent bacterias like E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (which causes pneumonia, UTIs, and other infections in humans). 

Xanthones have a unique chemical structure known as the tricyclic aromatic system, linked to antibacterial activity. It is also helpful against both normal and antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which leads to various illnesses in humans. Like boils and abscesses on the skin, pneumonia, and joint infections. Mangosteen fruit extracts also prevent the growth of Mycobacterium TB (the tuberculosis-causing bacteria).

6. Prevents Heart Disease

Inflammation increases the development of plaque and blood clots in arteries triggering stroke and heart attacks. Our body takes these plaques as a foreign substance. They should not be in the blood vessel. The body attempts to separate the plaque from the flowing blood. However, it sometimes so happens that the plaque ruptures, allowing its walled-off components to get in touch with blood, resulting in the formation of a blood clot. 

The blockage of arteries in the heart by blood clots causes a heart attack. As per studies, mangosteen has anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it restricts C reactive protein level that causes inflammation.

Healthy Mangosteen Recipe

1. Thai Style Fruit Salad

Mangosteen: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses- HealthifyMe
  • Serving: 1
  • Cooking Time: 15 mins


  • Hot chilli: 6
  • Garlic: 1 Clove
  • Lime Juice: ½ tbsp
  • Fish sauce: ½ tbsp
  • Palm sugar: ½ tbsp
  • Mixed fruits including mangosteen: ⅔ cups
  • Nuts: ½ cups
  • Blanched Prawns: 5


  • Slice or shred all the fruits you have, such as mangosteen, carrots, tomatoes, beans, corn and grapes. 
  • Grind the chilli and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add as many chillies as you want, depending on how spicy you want. 
  • Add lime juice, palm sugar and fish sauce to the crushed chilli and garlic. Then mix it. 
  • Add this mixture to the chopped fruits along with the blanched prawn. Serve with nuts as toppings.

2. Mangosteen Chia Smoothie Bowl

Mangosteen: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses- HealthifyMe
  • Servings: 1
  • Cooking time: 5 mins. 


  • Chia seeds (soaked in water for an hour); 1 tbsp
  • Mangosteens: 2
  • Half mango
  • Mixed seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Ice cubes


  • Blend soaked chia seeds, mangosteen, mango, mixed seeds, milk and a few ice cubes in a blender until it becomes smooth and thick. 
  • Add some jaggery to the puree if you want to.
  • Put the smoothie in a bowl and garnish it with fruits and nuts. 

Possible Side Effects

Mangosteen is a beneficial fruit when it comes to its medicinal properties. But it is not suitable for everyone. For example, people with central nervous system and gastrointestinal problems should avoid consuming fruit. As a result, it is essential to be careful when taking mangosteen.

1. May Slow Down Blood Clotting

Mangosteen contains xanthones that inhibit the process of blood clotting. It’s not safe for people who are prone to excessive bleeding. It can prevent the body from stopping the blood outflow because it fails to clot the blood. Therefore, this is especially the case when you have the fruit alongside medications. Mangosteen consumption may raise the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. It would be best to not take it at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

2. May Cause Lactic Acidosis

Lactic acidosis is a medical disorder that occurs when the body’s lactate levels get too high. Therefore, this happens due to an abnormally low pH in the bloodstream. As a result, this indicates that the body’s system has become clogged with excess acid.

A study found that using mangosteen juice as a dietary supplement causes extreme lactic acidosis. Consumption of mangosteen releases cytochrome-c from the mitochondria, further harming the mitochondrial electron transport. As a result, it ultimately leads to lactic acidosis. The symptoms of this disease, according to anecdotal reports, may include fatigue and nausea. If left unchecked, this illness can cause a severe build-up of acid in the body, resulting in shock and death.

3. May Interrupt Chemotherapy

Mangosteen has anti-cancer properties. Various experiments on animals state that. However, human experiments cannot vouchsafe the same. Mangosteen products are used by cancer patients as supplements, however these supplements may disrupt cancer treatment. According to certain studies, these supplements may disrupt cancer treatment. Ultimately, it may hurt blood sugar levels. 

Antioxidant supplements impair the effectiveness of radiation therapy in another study. Its the nature of the antioxidants to disrupt the working of free radicals. The mechanism of free radicals as used in chemotherapy and radiotherapy gets interrupted by antioxidants. Therefore, its avoided during these therapies. It’s crucial to be cautious when using mangosteen supplements because they’re trendy for their antioxidant properties.


The plant has its medicinal properties. However, its benefits are still subject to research. Since there is inadequate information on its effect on humans, it is always advisable to be careful with its consumption. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What does mangosteen do for the body?

A: The primary active components in mangosteen are xanthone and vitamins. In addition, it has many medicinal properties. It possesses anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-microbial and anti-malarial properties. The antioxidant in mangosteen fights the free radicals present in our bodies. Furthermore, it strengthens the immune system and is beneficial for the skin.

Q: What are the illnesses that mangosteen can cure?

A: Mangosteen can cure diarrhoea, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and gonorrhoea. Furthermore, it cures thrush, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, cancer, osteoarthritis, and an intestinal infection called dysentery. It also stimulates the immune system and improves mental health.

Q: What is the side effect of mangosteen?

A: Mangosteen leads to bleeding disorder because of slowed blood clotting. In addition, it may cause lactic acidosis and can interrupt chemotherapy. Since there is no information on its impact on pregnant and lactating women, it’s safe not to consume it. However, there is still insufficient study to determine its benefits and side effects. 

Q: How many mangosteens can I eat a day?

A: Mangosteens have anti-inflammatory properties, beneficial for people with sciatica pains. You can consume them two to three times a day to help relieve pain.

Q: Is mangosteen good for the kidney?

A: Mangosteen’s alkaline nature prevents the formation of kidney stones by neutralising urine acidity. It is also helpful in treating Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).

Q: Does mangosteen lower uric acid?

A: The mangosteen fruit has skin that includes xanthones and flavonoids. These compounds help in reducing uric acid levels.

Q: Is mangosteen good for high blood pressure?

A: Mangosteen has a lot of potassium, copper, magnesium, and manganese, which keeps the blood pressure in check. Potassium, in particular, counteracts the harmful effects of excessive salt consumption (sodium). Mangosteen also lowers cholesterol levels in the body, which controls blood pressure. 

Q: What happens when you overeat mangosteen?

A: Since mangosteen is rich in antioxidants, too much mangosteen can increase our body’s amount of antioxidants. Extra antioxidants start interfering with free radicals’ efforts to perform an anti-tumorigenic function vital for the body. 

Q: Is mangosteen good for the heart?

A: Yes, its anti-inflammatory nature prevents the risk of stroke and heart attack. Therefore, it effectively reduces heart disease risk factors like LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides. But, at the same time, it increases HDL or good cholesterol.

Q: Does mangosteen help you lose weight?

A: Yes, its anti-inflammatory properties promote fat metabolism and prevent weight gain—inflammation results in insulin resistance, which leads to fat accumulation in the body. Inflammation also harms leptin functioning of the body. Leptin is the hormone that signals the brain about when to eat and the quantity to be consumed. 

Q: Is mangosteen good for the liver?

A: Yes, mangosteen is extremely good for the liver. It reduces liver steatosis, a condition where the fat level in the liver increases. 

Q: Is mangosteen good for acidic people?

A: Yes, due to its alkaline properties, it is suitable for acidic people. However, check with a health professional if the acidity problem is severe. 

Q: Is mangosteen good for hair?

A: Yes, mangosteen helps reduce the scalp’s dandruff, itchiness, and dryness. Its antibacterial properties keep the scalp and hair follicles clean.

Q: Does mangosteen have potassium?

A: Yes, 100 grams of mangosteen has 48 grams of potassium. It constitutes 1% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).

Q: Are kokum and mangosteen the same?

A: Kokum and mangosteen belong to the same family but are not the same. The scientific name of kokum is Garcinia Indica, and that of mangosteen is Garcinia mangostana.

Q: Is mangosteen good for asthma?

A: The main issue with asthma is inflammation in the body’s airway. Mangosteen contains xanthones which have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that help patients with asthma.

About the Author

Parul holds a Masters of Medical Science in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and has worked across the globe from the U.K to New Zealand (NZ) gaining her License with the Health Professionals Council (HPC, UK) and the NZ Nutrition Council. From being a Gold medalist in Clinical Nutrition to being awarded an internship with World Health Organisation (WHO, Cairo, Egypt) and Contracts with CDC Parul has had a wide spectrum of work experiences. She is very passionate about Nutrition and Fitness and holds strong to her guiding mantras ‘ Move more’ and ‘Eat Food that your grandmother can recognize’!

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