Can the queen of Thai fruits cure your inflammation? Research says its peels might

DON’T throw out that mangosteen peel – it might just help kill germs and stop infections in your intestines! 

A research team from Thailand has researched and replicated the vital extracts rich in antioxidants found in mangosteen peels that kill germs and halt infections in the intestinal mucosa (hydroxy-xanthones or HDX) and hopes to expand its work to include health products. 

In the days of old, local wisdom deemed mangosteen peel as a cure for upset stomachs, inflammation of the skin and even animal wounds. 

Fast forward to today where there are various efforts to apply mangosteen peel extracts to medicines and products such as plasters, gels and surgical masks. 

Dr Suthasinee Poonyachoti

The benefits of mangosteen peel, however, are far greater than initially thought.  

Chulalongkorn University Associate Prof Dr Suthasinee Poonyachoti and her team recently struck gold after they developed HDX. Aside from its health benefits, the extract reduces the need for medication for both humans and animals.  

Research on mangosteen peel enabled Suthasinee to discover xanthones, a substance in the flavanol group that is effective in combating or halting various types of inflammation.  

The wonders of xanthones  

According to her, xanthones are anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-malarial and anti-oxidant. 

With the xanthones’ ability to reduce inflammation and destroy bacteria, a research project in collaboration with the medical faculty of Srinakharinwirot University was launched to develop and extract xanthones in the form of HDX with the highest efficacy for the health of humans and animals.  

“Extraction of mangosteen peels bring about a variety of substances, both beneficial and harmful,” Suthasinee said in a statement announcing the research findings. 

“Moreover, they must go through a rather complicated process and we cannot control the quality of the extracts since it is dependent upon factors such as planting methods, use of fertilizer, climate, care and so on.” 

To go about this, she and her team from Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary science faculty sought to mimic the chemical structure of xanthones from mangosteen peels. 

This gave the research team the desired essential extracts, which are easier to apply directly as part of adjuvants in medicines, foods and other products, and to control their efficacy in the best manner possible.  

Suthasinee hopes her research team will be able to do more research with a variety of products like medicines and food items to see whether this miracle ingredient can improve the quality of life of both humans and animals. 

This research is still at the experimental stage to determine the quality of HDX’s performance. It was used in pig farms first before being experimented on human beings and larger and more diverse types of animals.  

Dangerous leaky gut syndrome 

Time is certainly of the essence as leaky gut syndrome can lead to many diseases, especially septicemia, which happens when there is an abnormality in the functions of the intestines and the microvilli. 

“If you can imagine how the cells in the microvilli work, they line up next to each other and are responsible for screening and controlling toxic substances and bacteria that enter the bloodstream,” Suthasinee explained. 

“When inflammation occurs, the cells cannot line up next to each other and function like a fortress, which makes it possible for toxic or foreign substances to enter the bloodstream. The condition is dangerous and must be treated before it is too late.” 

She added that a leaky gut does not always show any symptoms – and even if it does, it could affect other physical ailments such as overtiredness, fatigue, headaches or other body aches without any clear indication of the causes. 

“If the symptom occurs in human beings, they can consult physicians right away,” she noted. “However, if this occurs in animals, it is harder to tell if they are sick.” – Sept 4, 2022   

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