Mangosteen: 7 Unexpected Side Effects Of The Tropical Fruit

Eating too much of this delicious fruity treat can sometimes do more harm than good.

Medically reviewed by Jess WhartonJess Wharton, RN
By Ravi Teja TadimallaRavi Teja Tadimalla, Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health  • 

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is native to the Southeast Asian regions. It is used to treat many health ailments. However, there also are certain side effects of mangosteen recognized by the scientific communities.

Traditionally, mangosteen is used to treat many health ailments. However, recent studies show that it may negatively affect some individuals. It may cause complications in people with gastrointestinal and central nervous system issues. Hence, caution is advised while consuming the fruit. Learn more about the other side effects of mangosteen in this article. Continue reading.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Mangosteen

Short-Term Effects
May increase the risk of bleeding and cause gastrointestinal issues like bloating, and constipation, and allergies.

Long-Term Effects
May cause lactic acidosis leading to shock and death if left untreated, depression, sedation, and complications during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions
It may interact with chemotherapy and blood-thinning medications.

When To See A Doctor
If you experience excessive bleeding, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and allergic reactions.

protip_icon Fun Fact
Legend has it that Queen Victoria would grant 100 silver sterlings to anyone who brought back mangosteen from their sea voyages.

What Are The Side Effects Of Mangosteen?

1. May Slow Down Blood Clotting

Bleeding knee wound and slow blood clotting

Image: IStock

Mangosteen has been found to slow down blood clotting. It can increase the risk of bleeding in susceptible individuals (1). This is especially true when the fruit is taken along with certain drugs that increase the risk.

Consuming mangosteen may also increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery. Avoid taking it at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

2. May Cause Lactic Acidosis

Lactic acidosis is a medical condition characterized by the build-up of lactate within the body. This happens due to the formation of excessively low pH in the bloodstream. This indicates the accumulation of excess acid within the body’s system.

A study highlights severe lactic acidosis that occurs due to the use of mangosteen juice as a dietary supplement (2). As per anecdotal reports, the symptoms associated with this condition may include weakness, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, and nausea. If left untreated, this condition can lead to an acid build-up in the body to dangerous levels – leading to shock and death (3).

3. May Interfere With Chemotherapy

Animal studies have shown the anticancer effects of mangosteen (4). But studies on humans are yet to be conducted. Mangosteen products are often marketed to cancer patients as dietary supplements.

Some research shows that these supplements may interfere with cancer treatment and adversely affect blood sugar levels (5). In another report, certain antioxidant supplements were found to reduce the effectiveness of conventional radiation therapies (6).

As mangosteen supplements are often marketed for their antioxidant potential, it is important to exercise caution.

4. May Cause Gastrointestinal Issues

Woman feeling stomach ache

Image: IStock

Some research has shown subjects experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming mangosteen for over 26 weeks. Some of these symptoms included bloating, diarrhea, gastric reflux, and constipation (7).

5. May Cause Sedation

Sleepy woman at her desk

Image: IStock

The derivatives of mangosteen caused depression and sedation in rats. The effects had also resulted in decreased motor activity (8). However, more studies in humans are required to establish these effects.

6. May Cause Allergies

There is limited evidence if mangosteen can cause allergies. But anecdotal evidence suggests that it may cause reactions in people sensitive to the fruit. If you experience any reaction after consuming mangosteen, stop intake and visit your doctor. Mild symptoms are a skin rash and stomach upset.

7. May Cause Complications During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman feeling discomfort

Image: IStock

The safety of mangosteen during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not yet established. Hence, stay safe and avoid use. You may consult your doctor regarding the same.

Most of the adverse effects of mangosteen are yet to be established by concrete research. If you are usually susceptible to allergies or reactions, you may want to talk to your doctor before taking the fruit.

Why Is Mangosteen Banned?

Mangosteen was banned in the US by the FDA because it could be a host to import Asian fruit flies into the country. The ban was lifted owing to precautionary irradiation of the fruit, which was a treatment done to disinfect it. The method of irradiation is still under controversy despite its claims that it does not compromise with the taste and nutrition of the fruit (9).

However, food supplements containing mangosteen continue to be banned by the US FDA. Such supplements are mostly unregistered, and not much is known if they may cause any adverse effects (10).

Can the adverse effects of mangosteen be prevented if the fruit is taken in the right dosage? We have explored it in the following section.

Dosing Considerations For Mangosteen

Mangosteen should be consumed in moderate quantities

Image: IStock

The dosage of mangosteen is dependent on several factors, such as age, health, and medical conditions of the consumer. The composition of dietary supplements, such as mangosteen-based proprietary health drinks, is unavailable. There is no authentic literature available on the appropriate dosage of mangosteen that is to be consumed for preventing the adverse effects. More research is warranted in this regard. Hence, please talk to your doctor regarding the dosage.

protip_icon Fun Fact
MasterChef Australia celebrity judge George Calombaris fell in love with mangosteen on his trip to Sri Lanka. He made a dessert by cutting the mangosteen in half and filling it with mangosteen sorbet and lemon meringue.

Infographic: 5 Major Side Effects Of Excessive Mangosteen Consumption

It is possible to suffer serious health consequences if you overindulge in mangosteen. Although we have compiled all the potential side effects associated with excessive consumption of mangosteen above, we have narrowed them down to some of the most serious ones that need to be addressed.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about the adverse effects of having too many mangosteens.

5 major side effects of excessive mangosteen consumption (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit with deep purple color and a slightly sweet or sour flavor. Its high antioxidant content is responsible for its benefits. However, the nutraceutical industry is marketing mangosteen juice as a dietary supplement with misleading claims. Excess consumption of mangosteen causes several side effects and adverse drug interactions. It may slow down blood clotting, cause lactic acidosis (build-up of lactate within the body), interfere with chemotherapy, and cause bloating, headache, diarrhea, acid reflux, and constipation. Excessive may result in liver toxicity and liver damage, so it is better to be cautious when taking herbal medication. Since there is limited evidence available, it should be consumed in moderation and only after consulting your doctor along with proper food contraindications.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is mangosteen not healthy?

Mangosteen may not be healthy when taken in excess. In a few, it may trigger allergies, constipation, bloating, and acid reflux.

Does mangosteen raise blood pressure?

No, mangosteen doesn’t raise blood pressure. In fact, it has hypotensive properties that can effectively manage high blood pressure.

Key Takeaways

  • Bleeding, lactic acidosis, and interference with chemotherapy are a few side effects of consuming mangosteen.
  • It may also cause gastrointestinal issues, sedation, and allergic reactions.
  • Mangosteen should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • It is banned in the US due to fear of Asian fruit fly infestation.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.
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