Mangosteen and Health: Alzheimer's Disease

Mangosteen provides a wide variety of health benefits, but can it help people who suffer from Alzheimer's Disease?

Scientific studies appear to indicate that a powerful compound in Mangosteens has potent anti-inflammatory effects on the brain's structural cells.

These scientific studies and health professionals' clinical experience with Mangosteen extracts show that it may help with inflammatory conditions of the brain such as Alzheimers Disease.

Mangosteen and Alzheimer's: Clinical Experience

Here's what an allopathic (conventional) doctor --- board certified in both the U.S. and Canada, and with 20+ years of clinical experience --- has to say about Mangosteen and Alzheimer's Disease:

"... Clinical experience indicates an improvement in function from using Mangosteen in those patients already being treated with drugs. An increase in goal-directed behavior (activities of daily living) and social interaction were noted.

"This is remarkable because none of the drugs on the market are capable of causing an increase in function. The best they can do is slow the inexorable progression of the disease..."(1)

What Causes Alzheimer's Disease?

As many as 4.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimers Disease, a brain disorder that involves parts of the brain that control memory, language and thought.

It usually begins after age 60, with about five percent of those between 65 and 74 years of age, and about 50 percent of those 85 and older, suffering from it.

An increasing amount of scientific evidence points to chronic inflammation as a key underlying cause in chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's.

This new body of knowledge inspired a Time cover story in February 2004 on Inflammation, which took a "user-friendly" look at the link between inflammation and chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's.

The article states research has shown that for some reason, glial cells --- which nourish and communicate with neurons --- gone out of whack produce chronic glial cell activation, resulting in a chronic inflammation state in the brain.

Alzheimer's and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

A long-term, 15-year study on Alzheimer's and anti-inflammatory drugs --- done by scientists from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and National Institute of Aging --- showed that the overall risk of AD in 1,686 participants who were taking anti-inflammatory drugs was half the risk of those not taking them.

A principal scientist in this study said that "many scientists now believe that inflammation may be an important component of the Alzheimer's disease process. The amyloid and protein plaques found in Alzheimer's patient's brains, which are hallmarks of the disease, may be indicative of an inflammatory response."

While caution on the long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs was indicated due to serious side effects (such as peptic ulcers and impaired kidney function), this comprehensive study showed the role inflammation played in Alzheimer's Disease.

Science Behind Mangosteen's Ability To Help With Alzheimer's Disease

Japanese scientists with the Department of Pharmaceutical Molecular Biology at Tohoku University performed two separate studies using an extract of the Xanthone gamma-mangostin from Garcinia Mangostana (the scientific name of Mangosteen) and its effect on Prostaglandin E(2) and COX-2 enzymes which play a crucial role in inflammatory conditions.

In the first study, scientists found that gamma-mangostin has potent anti-inflammatory effects on the brain's structural cells and suggested that it has the potential in helping with inflammatory conditions of the brain (Alzheimer's Disease, for example).

The scientists proved that gamma-mangostin inhibited the activities of COX-2, an enzyme that plays a major role in the development of inflammatory conditions.

In a follow-up study, the scientists suggested that gamma-mangostin would be a new useful lead compound for the development of anti-inflammatory drugs.

These two studies proved that the gamma-mangostin in Mangosteen "directly inhibited" the process that leads to inflammation.

See also:

Mangosteen and Health: Arthritis
Arthritis is a very painful, debilitating condition. How can Mangosteen help arthritis sufferrers?

Mangosteen and Health: Inflammation and Pain
Mangosteen has been known by pharmacological researchers and scientists for its beneficial effects on inflammation and pain. What has inflammation got to do with chronic diseases. Here's the link.

(1) "A Doctor's Challenge: A Mangosteen Solution", J. Frederic Templeman, M.D., Sounds Concepts, 2003;