The mangosteen plant (Garcinia Mangostana), a native plant to Southeast Asia, produces fruit which have plenty of health benefits when consumed medicinally. The extract from the mangosteen fruit has been used traditionally to provide relief for symptoms relating to diarrhoea and skin infections. However, research is not conclusive and before you use mangosteen as a treatment, it’s advisable to seek advice from your medical practitioner about any side effects that may be experienced when using mangosteen extract.
There is no reliable information available about the use of mangosteen during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. The general rule that goes when you’re pregnant or nursing is whenever you’re in doubt, it’s best to avoid it all together.
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10 Possible side-effects and safety concerns of consuming Mangosteen
Mangosteen may slow down blood clotting and taking mangosteen may intensify the risk of bleeding in individuals that suffers from bleeding disorders or during and after surgery. It’s advisable to stop taking mangosteen at least two weeks prior to undergoing surgical procedures. Our bodies possess the capability of preventing bleeding. Mangosteen can interfere with this ability as xanthones contained in the fruit may have an adverse effect on normal blood clotting. It may also interfere with blood thinning drugs such as warfarin and pose a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
The usage of mangosteen has been reported to be the source of causing mild allergic reactions including swelling, itching, rashes, hives and skin redness in hypersensitive individuals. It may also cause serious symptoms such as swelling of the lips, mouth or throat as well as pain and chest tightness. These are serious symptoms which shouldn’t be ignored and if you are experiencing any of these them, you should discontinue the use of mangosteen immediately.
Lactic Acidosis is a medical condition where lactic acid is accumulating abnormally in the blood stream. The symptoms include weakness and nausea. If left untreated or undetected, the acid build-up in your body may lead to life-threatening medical conditions like shock. If you are noticing any of the above signs after consumption of mangosteen, you should seek medical assistance immediately. Research conducted at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering centre for cancer patients, found consuming the juice from the mangosteen for twelve months can cause significant lactic acidosis.
Can have adverse effects during chemotherapy treatment
Several studies concluded that mangosteen can negatively interfere with chemotherapy drugs or radiation treatment. The reason being that specific radiation medicines rely upon production of free radicals to combat and eliminate malignant tumours. The formidable antioxidants comprised in mangosteen are resisting and eliminating the free radicals and can prove to be an obstacle for effective cancer treatment.
Unsuitable for diabetics
Commercial mangosteen juices have a high sugar content, especially when mixed with other ingredients and berries. Fresh mangosteen juice doesn’t have a high sugar content but may interfere with the effectiveness of diabetic drugs that regulates your blood sugar. Excess consumption of mangosteen must always be avoided and if you are undergoing diabetic treatment you should be consulting with your doctor if you’re planning to consume this fruit.
Constipation or loose stools
Researchers found that the consumption of more than an ounce of mangosteen supplement can be the result of temporary loose stools or diarrhoea. In addition, excessive use of mangosteen supplement can exacerbate constipation symptoms experienced in patients who is suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and diabetics with gastroparesis complications. In such cases the serving size needs to be reduced.
May cause Polycythaemia Rubra Vera
Polycythaemia Rubra Vera is a disorder where too many red blood cells are produced by the bone marrow which results in a higher number of red blood cells in the blood. Patients who have been diagnosed with this disorder must avoid consuming mangosteen fruit or extract, as it can further increase red blood cell formulation.
Excess sedation properties
Specific studies concluded that high doses of xanthones contained in mangosteen fruit can become toxic and may cause a depress in the central nervous system. When taken with other medications or herbs or consumed in higher doses, it can cause surplus sedation.
Unsuitable for pregnant and nursing Moms
The use of mangosteen during pregnancy and nursing is not a recommended choice and the same goes for infants. People with fruit allergies should also avoid consumption of this fruit.
The safety of taking mangosteen extract when expectant or nursing has not been evaluated and not enough research has been conducted about possible contraindications or side-effects, therefore it’s best to avoid supplementing with this fruit for treatment purposes.
Other side effects
Other reported side-effects of mangosteen include:
- Muscle aches
- Stomach upsets
- Joint pain
- Mild headaches
- Interrupted sleep patterns
- Re-occurring nausea symptoms
- Light-headedness and dizziness
If you are taking any medications, it is vital that you consult with your doctor before adding mangosteen extract to your day-to-day regimen. Mangosteen contains antioxidants which means it acts as protection against oxidative damage. This may lead to interference with certain chemotherapy medications such as alkylating agents, anthracyclines or radiation therapy.
If any of the above-mentioned symptoms or signs are experienced, supplementing with mangosteen should be stopped immediately and medical assistance be acquired.
Most side-effects of taking mangosteen are temporary and can easily be overcome when the dosage is reduced. However, if any serious side-effects occur then you should stop taking it all together. This fruit contains many health benefits but for some people who suffer from certain conditions and women who are expectant or nursing it can have dire after-effects. Apart from having lactic acidosis, people who are undergoing cancer treatment or diabetic medicines must not consume mangosteen extract. According to the American Cancer society, it should be noted that magonsteen is a plant, therefore the risk of allergic reaction is eminent and if any unusual health issues arise following treatment with mangosteen supplements, your doctor must be consulted for further assessment and health care options.