Doctor's Note

For more on mangosteen juice:
Safety of Noni and Mangosteen Juice

For further context, see my associated blog posts: Is Noni or Mangosteen Juice Safe? and Soy milk: shake it up!

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  • JJ

    I drink various flavored green and white teas (also herbals). I don’t like green tea straight as I’m very sensitive to bitter tastes (eating leafy greens is a huge challenge), but I have developed a taste for the flavored teas.

    One of my favorites is a Stash tea: Mangosteen Green Tea. I actually groaned out loud when I saw this video. Will I have to give up one of my favorite teas?

    But maybe not all is lost? Here are the ingredients as listed on the package:
    . green tea, orange peel, rosehips, safflower, hibiscus, lemongrass, mangosteen flavor, pear flavor, Japanese matcha, and citric acid.

    Hmmm. “Mangosteen flavor” I don’t know what that means. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the tea has any actual real mangosteen in it. On the other hand, “mangosteen flavor”, may in actuality be super concentrated mangosteen – maybe even concentrating the part that is not healthy. Or maybe even if that is true, it would be such a small amount as to not worry?

    Yes, there is a question in there: When teas talk about being “such and such flavor”, do you know what that really means? And is it something to be concerned about when it comes to mangosteen green tea?

    Thanks!

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      JJ, that is an excellent question. I don’t know how that’s defined. Would you do me a favor and contact the company and post what they said here so everyone can benefit. Otherwise sounds like a great tea! (the citric acid is fine).

  • JJ

    I e-mailed the company with my question. The next two paragraphs was the initial reply (I wish I knew how to indent or something):

    “Unfortunately it’s proprietary information with our suppliers; however we do require natural statements from our suppliers. We use the Code of Federal Regulations as far as our definition of natural

    According to the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR), the term natural flavor means “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juices, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible years, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in t food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

    I follow up with the following e-mail:
    “I appreciate you taking the time to reply and let me know the situation. Just to clarify are you saying that you can’t tell me how much of the mangosteen is actually in a tea bag? Or even give me an upper range so that I can check with my doctor to see if is safe?”

    The reply was:
    “No I am sorry, we do not measure for that.”

    I can’t say that I fully understand the mumbo-jumbo in the first reply, but I think the gist is that it is truly real mangosteen, but they won’t tell me what parts of the mangosteen are included or how much.

    The purpose of drinking the tea is to get a health benefit. Do you think I should give up this tea? Or is the amount likely to be small enough not to matter? Also, I’ve hooked others on this tea over the last couple of years. Should I warn them not to drink it?

    I know you can’t know the answer to the questions above. I’m just wondering if you have a gut instinct.

    Thanks!

    • When a supplier cannot give you such innocent details and protects themselves behind “secrecy” and such things, then the product itself is likely not trustworthy. Anyone producing “Mangosteen-xyz” – would be proud to tell which parts are included and which are not.

  • veegun

    I used to eat mangosteen in India when I was a kid and I never knew that’s what it was called because we always used the word for it in our native language. My mom recently made the connection when she saw pictures of mangosteen. It is grown in parts of India and my mom cooked the rind in water along with one or two other ingredients for a simple tangy, sourish dish that was a deep purplish/pink color. This was served over rice along with any other side dish(es). I also just read that the tartness comes from tannis – same stuff found in tea and unripened fruit. I never recall falling sick from eating it. I do recall drinking the stuff because I liked it so much. Could cooking the rind negate any negative effects? Also, does the juice sold as a health drink come from the rind or the inner core or both?

    • Sara

      The fruit itself is good for you (so long as you don’t eat the rind!).

      Eating the rind causes health issues, and it is the main ingredient in mangosteen juice, otherwise the juice would be white/clear like the flesh of a mangosteen.

      • Bret Iron

        Is Mangosteen the same thing as Garcinia Cambogia?

  • mpbailey

    I have become aware of another drink which is similar to mangosteen.  It is called Limu.  The health claims are similar to mangosteen and it is marketed the same as mangosteen.  I was wondering if you have come accross any research pertaining to this drink.

    • Toxins

      I would keep away from all of these “superfoods” and miracle drinks as most of them are either toxic or no better than your average fruit.

      • Now how do we evaluate your facts, Nutritionfacts.org? Other pages with similar expression as yours, praises Mangosteen and other things, and other pages again agree with your opinions. WHERE can we find NON-opinionated facts?

        I would like to refer to other ways of curing things, such as Homeopathy. My father was a typical, traditional white-coat doctor, and he was educated in homeopathy in Switzerland, where he stayed for some years to complete.

        That was when I was around 3 years old. Then much later, I was a kid of 12 years old, and I had got warts on my hands. My father gave me something called Thuya-D6, which means – the liquids from Thuya (darn poisonous!), in a thinning where 1 drop of Thuya is thinned in 10 drops of water, 6 times, thereby creating a 10^6 (1,000,000 times) dilution. The very Thuya D6 should then be dripped in a tea-spoon with water, one drop per 10 kilogram of body weight, amounting to 5 drops for me.

        My warts – there were 52 of them on my hands – an ugly ugly sight – disappeared in 3 weeks.

        So, when you now write ” … most of them are either toxic …” – then I begin to doubt how to evaluate credibility of sources of information – including your own.

        HOW can we know if we shall trust you, someone else, with opposite opinion, or yet someone else who may express a less opinionated, and maybe more nuanced (yet more deceitful) opinion?

        Who are you, to begin with? Which credentials do you (Nutritionfacts.org) have to stand on firm ground?

        Sincerely
        Toni O. Kingo, correspondent, Denmark, Copenhagen

  • Bret Iron

    Is Mangosteen the same as Garcinia Cambogia? Thanks for your time!

  • NormanAllen

    If Dr. Oz and the Fox News promotes Garcinia Cambogia as weight control mechanism, it MUST BE GOOD…LOL. The Wizard of Fox Oz said it blocks fat from absorbing into the body and converts fat in one’s body into muscles. Any studies to support the Wizard of Fox Oz?

    • NormanAllen

      This is what Wikipedia say about Garcinia Cambogia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garcinia

      • Mark

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garcinia_cambogia

        The punch line: A 1998 randomized controlled trial looked at the effects of hydroxycitric acid, the purported active component in Garcinia gummi-gutta, as a potential antiobesity agent in 135 people. The conclusion from this trial was that “Garcinia cambogiafailed to produce significant weight loss and fat mass loss beyond that observed with placebo”. citing – Heymsfield, S. B.; Allison, D. B.; Vasselli, J. R.; Pietrobelli, A.; Greenfield, D.; Nunez, C. (1998). “Garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Potential Antiobesity Agent: A Randomized Controlled Trial”. JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association 280 (18): 1596–1600.

  • Indeed a point. However, the way we have seen the “Science” in the most recent decade, revealed by Wikileaks and other leaks – nobody can be trusted – we thought that so called American science was trustworthy beyond many other sciences. But as we have seen, everyone from small to big, have paid for “research”, which was paid to prove this and prove that.

    We may not know it, but the names mentioned above may all of them have been cooked up. It may also indeed be trustworthy, nobel, science, revealing years of fraud by “Garcinia Cambogia”-selling manufacturers…

    WHAT is the truth? HOW can we verify this? WHERE has integrity in science gone to?

  • Indeed a point. However, the way we have seen the “Science” in the most recent decade, revealed by Wikileaks and other leaks – nobody can be trusted – we thought that so called American science was trustworthy beyond many other sciences. But as we have seen, everyone from small to big, have paid for “research”, which was paid to prove this and prove that.

    We may not know it, but the names mentioned above may all of them have been cooked up. It may also indeed be trustworthy, nobel, science, revealing years of fraud by “Garcinia Cambogia”-selling manufacturers…

    WHAT is the truth? HOW can we verify this? WHERE has integrity in science gone to?