By Gail Burton
Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Proponents of mangosteen juice claim it offers natural relief to arthritis and other woes.

But now the Mayo Clinic is checking out whether it has real benefits.

Dr. Brent Bauer, director of Mayo’s Complimentary and Integrative Medicine Program, has begun a trial involving patients with atrial fibrillation, in which the top and bottom of the heart don’t meet in rhythm.

“During the treatment of this problem, the challenge is, a person can have lots of inflammation in their system,” Bauer said.

Mangosteen, a tropical fruit, is said by some to be anti-inflammatory, so the hope is that once the heart is back into normal rhythm, the mangosteen juice would help prevent the return of atrial fibrillation.

“It would be pretty exciting if we could have a good safe product that would help fight inflammation,” Bauer said.

He said the study has recently begun and there will be 220 prequalified people that are within the Mayo system. Apparently half the patients will be drinking the juice and half a placebo as part of the test.

“Completion of the study depends upon how quickly we get the patients enrolled. It could take 6 months or longer. So based on the usual numbers, I am thinking by the end of the year the study will be complete,” he said.

The Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine says that mangosteen offers possible promise as an immune system booster, helping your body to fight off germs and infections.

“But it lacks good quality evidence demonstrating that either the fruit or its juice are an effective treatment,” the book said. “At this time, don’t expect much beyond the nutritional benefit of its fruit.”

Mary Munnis of Rochester, has had arthritis for years, is a proponent of a mangosteen product called Xango.

“I was getting to the point where I could barely get up and down the stairs, pulling myself one slow step at a time,” she says. “Laying in bed I could feel my sciatic nerve pinching in constant pain. Medical intervention only helped temporarily. I was told my next steps would be a cane and a walker.”

Munnis, who started on Xango a year ago said, “after drinking the juice, after a few months I was able to walk down the stairs normally for the first time in ages. The mobility just gets better all the time and I just feel fantastic. I will always have arthritis, but I feel the juice does away with the inflammation that causes the pain in my body.”

About Mayo Clinic : Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.” More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers and 46,000 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Collectively, the three locations treat more than half a million people each year.

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