Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The health nut reviews a current health craze. Mangosteen juice.

What is a mangosteen? It's a tangerine size fruit that grows primarily in Thailand. It promotes all round good health. It's reaching a frenzied level of popularity.

Sadly though, we American's don't take the time to read labels. Not all products are created equal. You've GOT to read the fine print. What's in it? How much of each nutrient?

I was at Molly Stone's last night picking up some groceries. There were two bottles of Mango-Xan brand mangosteen juice on the shelf in the vitamin section. I bought one.


$30.95 for 24 ounces.

I read the label on the bus ride home. It's reconstituted mangosteen. Which means it's got only 5 to 10 percent of the nutrients of the whole fruit. Happily though, it did contain a blend of the rind. A number of these mangosteen juices are only fruit and not rind. The rind has a great many nutrients in it. It touts itself as giving you 100% of your vitamin C intake but the C is added in the form of asorbic acid. No biggie. That's how you're getting the C in your orange juice these days as well...

It contains a variety of reconstituted juices including pear, cherry, cranberry, pineapple, star fruit and blue berry - along with the mangosteen.

"Vemma" brand contains fructose - sugar. So the Vemma brand is essentially the junk food of mangosteen juices. Avoid any juice with sucrose, fructose, dextrose, glucose or any other kind of sugar added. Juice is sweet enough without added sugar. You've already lost the good fiber found in eating a whole fruit. So avoid additional JUNK. Vemma brand also contains green tea extract and aloe vera juice. Tons of folks swear by aloe juice but it can cause horrible bloating and dribbly doo doo...

Vemma is a 32 oz bottle for $30, but requires you to also buy the back up juice at $30. So you're spending $60 a month. I'm not paying $30 for a bottle of Kiwi/Strawberry juice when I can buy it at the market for half the cost and know that it's been flash pasteurized so it retains more goodies!


Xan-Go is made of a puree of the whole fruit rather than a reconstitution. Meaning it would have more nutrients. However, I find no list of ingredients on the site so I can't determine what's been added. Major bad in my book.

$32 for a 25 ounce bottle.


Thai Go brand touts itself as being higher in all the nutrient qualities of the mangosteen, and lists all the other fruit included in the beverage but doesn't give a list of ingredients or say how it is processed - it doesn't state that it's made from the whole fruit. The comparison page shows FRUIT but states Xango brand uses reconstituted fruit - whereas Xango's website states whole fruit.

So far though, the Thai Go gets my vote because it's whole fruit rather than reconstituted and contains several different kinds of grapes and grape skins. All sorts of good stuff in grapes. Buckthorn and blue berries too.

$35 for a 25 ounce bottle. Currently on sale at 2 for 50.


There are a few other brands. But those listed here are the most popular. I think all of these are part of pyramid marketing schemes.

In short - the juice I had last night was not very sweet. Not very flavorful. You have one ounce a day. Mango-Xan recommends one to three ounces. I sipped my ounce while I ate my suishi dinner last night. An hour later I needed another shot. I mean, I was fiending for the stuff. Clearly there was something in it that my body really liked and wanted.

I slept like a log and didn't have allergy issues this morning. Regardless of the biting cold this morning I didn't have the join pains I did yesterday when I walked into the office. Is it the mangosteen? I don't know. We'll see. If I have some over all good results I think I'll order a bottle of Thai Go in January.

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