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Cancer Myths

Does mangosteen extract show promise in the prevention of certain cancers?

Does mangosteen extract show promise in the prevention of certain cancers?

Contrary to previous misconceptions regarding mangosteen extract, several recent research findings (2010 to 2012) published in PubMed provides evidence that mangosteen extract has an inhibiting effect on several cancers including cancer of the colon, skin, breast, prostate, glioma and brain tumours as well as malignant melanoma. CANSA believes that mangosteen extract shows promise as an important micronutrient in the prevention of certain cancers like cancer of the colon and promotes that further studies be conducted to ascertain if mangosteen extract could play a significant role in future as an anti-colon cancer agent in human patients as indicated by clinical studies.

Biol Pharm Bull. 2012;35(11):2075-80.

Inhibition of human aldose reductase-like protein (AKR1B10) by α- and γ-mangostins, major components of pericarps of mangosteen.

Soda M, Endo S, Matsunaga T, Zhao HT, El-Kabbani O, Iinuma M, Yamamura K, Hara A.


Laboratory of Biochemistry, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu 501–1196, Japan.


A human member of the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily, AKR1B10, was recently identified as both diagnostic marker and therapeutic target in the treatment of several types of cancer. In this study, we have examined AKR1B10 inhibition by five xanthone derivatives, components of pericarps of mangosteen, of which α- and γ-mangostins show potential anti-cancer properties. Among the five xanthones, γ-mangostin was found to be the most potent competitive inhibitor (inhibition constant, 5.6 nM), but its 7-methoxy derivative, α-mangostin, was the second potent inhibitor (inhibition constant, 80 nM). Molecular docking of the two mangostins in AKR1B10 and site-directed mutagenesis of the putative binding residues revealed that Phe123, Trp220, Val301 and Gln303 are important for the tight binding of γ-mangostin, and suggested that the 7-methoxy group of α-mangostin impairs the inhibitory potency by altering the orientation of the inhibitor molecule in the substrate-binding site of the enzyme.



[PubMed – in process]


BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Jul 20;12:104.

In vitro and in vivo anti-colon cancer effects of Garcinia mangostana xanthones extract.

Aisha AF, Abu-Salah KM, Ismail Z, Majid AM.


Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, 11800, Pulau Penang, Malaysia.



Xanthones are a group of oxygen-containing heterocyclic compounds with remarkable pharmacological effects such as anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities.


A xanthones extract (81% α-mangostin and 16% γ-mangostin), was prepared by crystallization of a toluene extract of G. mangostana fruit rinds and was analyzed by LC-MS. Anti-colon cancer effect was investigated on HCT 116 human colorectal carcinoma cells including cytotoxicity, apoptosis, anti-tumorigenicity, and effect on cell signalling pathways. The in vivo anti-colon cancer activity was also investigated on subcutaneous tumors established in nude mice.


The extract showed potent cytotoxicity (median inhibitory concentration 6.5 ± 1.0 μg/ml), due to induction of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Three key steps in tumor metastasis including the cell migration, cell invasion and clonogenicity, were also inhibited. The extract and α-mangostin up-regulate the MAPK/ERK, c-Myc/Max, and p53 cell signalling pathways. The xanthones extract, when fed to nude mice, caused significant growth inhibition of the subcutaneous tumor of HCT 116 colorectal carcinoma cells.


Our data suggest new mechanisms of action of α-mangostin and the G. mangostana xanthones, and suggest the xanthones extract of as a potential anti-colon cancer candidate.



[PubMed – in process]




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