The Multifunctional Activities of Mangosteen Xanthones and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a growing health problem. The projection for the number of people affected in the next ten years is astounding, and already 5 million people in just America suffer from a form of Alzheimer’s. In the world, the number is edging closer to a billion in the next few years. It is a chronic symptom without a cure, one that cannot be stopped, and a symptom that most doctors will not look for until a person is in their mid-70s. Yet, there are early onset forms of dementia that can affect people in their 30s and 40s. Multiple researchers in Asia have assessed the natural xanthones from Garcinia mangostana to see if the southeast Asian fruit can be used in treatments for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Mangosteen is an evergreen tree fruit. It is shaped much like a pear, with a sweet, tangy, juicy interior that has a reddish-purple rind. For ages the fruit has been considered a medicinal fruit in Southeast Asia. Researchers are finally taking the words of history seriously and proving that Mangosteen has several medicinal properties. The effects Mangosteen has on diseases is found from the xanthones in the rind.

Researchers have extracted various xanthones from the rind, which they label: a-Mangostin, Gartanin, 8-Deoxgartanin, Garciniafuran, Garcinone C, y-Mangostin, and Garcinone D. These were tested for their biological impact in in vitro studies with E. Coli cells. The studies then went on to look at enzymes capable of acting as antioxidants and biometal chelators. Chelation is a bonding process that results from a reaction of a metal ion with a metal salt.

During the study, it was found that Gartanin, a-Mangostin, Garcinone C, and y-Mangostin have the better antioxidant properties. Moving on from E. Coli studies the team assessed Diphenyl-1 hydrazyl free radicals (DPPH), which is known to cause HT22 cell death. The HT22 cell is a mouse hippocampal neuronal cell line researchers have extracted for medical research studies regarding brain aging. DPPH is also a known antioxidant.

The link between DPPH and Mangosteen xanthones in the study is that they both work to protect against glutamate HT22 cell death. This means they have a neuroprotective effect against a certain type of cell death by helping to regulate the HO-1 (heme oxygenase-1) protein level and both stop reactive oxygen species from causing cell death. Gartanin, y-Mangostin, and Garcinone C are three compounds that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, meaning they can enter the brain through the blood, and work to block scavenger cells and glutamate from killing brain cells, thus the xanthones may protect against Alzheimer’s disease in the future.

The study into Mangosteen as a solution for Alzheimer’s or at least as a therapy to slow the progression of the disease is still in its early stages. However, the results of the studies are showing promise. Basically, researchers are attempting to formulate a way for the xanthones to successfully reach the brain and target the cells that cause brain degeneration. Alzheimer’s disease was once called hardening of the arteries because medical studies showed brain arteries becoming useless or hardening where blood could no longer flow. The brain also shrinks for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s, which causes personality changes. Preventative steps that can target cells in the body that are causing blood flow blockage to the brain and shrinkage in the brain could potentially slow or stop the disease.

It is beneficial for you to drink Mangosteen juice. The xanthones contained in the juice, which are extracted when the rind is added to the juice are the same ones that researchers are studying for their effects on preventing and therapeutically assisting Alzheimer’s. You may be able to prevent this disease through health prevention therapies.

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