Chiangrai Times – Thai scientists, led by Professor Dr Pichaet Wiriyachitra, have unveiled their significant breakthrough on Monday, proving that concentrated extracts from mangosteens contain anti-cancer properties.
Mangosteens have been cultivated and used as an effective traditional medicine in Thailand for centuries. In 1978, Thai scientific studies showed that mangosteens’ rinds helped boost the body’s immune system, as well as helping the body fight off viral and bacterial infections.
After 35 years of research, Dr Pichaet, chairman and chief executive of Asian Phytoceuticals, disclosed during a press conference on Monday that the beneficial effects of the fruit are due to the substance known as GM-1. Doses of GM-1 have been proven to be capable of balancing the body immune system, and in turn making it stronger against pain, fever, inflammation, diarrhea, infection, ulcer, and cancer.
In 2008, Dr Pichaet led a scientific team at the Mangosteen Research and Development Center (Thailand) to conduct Operation a BIM. As a result, the new BIM formula has been prepared using extracts of five kinds of Thai fruit and grains claimed to have helped boost the activation of T helper cells, which play an important role in establishing and maximizing the capabilities of the immune system. The company has since been marketing the extracts as part of dietary supplements for cancer patients, as registered with the Food and Drug Administration.
Experiments conducted with volunteers have conclusively proven that the patented BIM product significantly increases cancer patients’ life expectancy and improves their quality of life. Tests carried out in laboratory and on test subjects in Thailand as well as in partnering countries such as the US and Italy have yielded similarly satisfactory results.
According to Dr Pichaet, the Mangosteen Research and Development Centre also aims at increasing added value of Thai mangosteens in order to solve the problem of oversupply of the locally sourced fruit. The research has helped boost the declining farm incomes caused by a continual drop in mangosteen prices.
The peak season for Mangosteen in Thailand is between May and June. This is a good time as the price is relatively cheap at only 20-25 baht a kilos. Which is less than US$1. The mangosteen starts of being green and then turns deep purple as it ripens. It is about the size of a small apple. However, you cannot eat it in the same way nor do you peel it like an orange. The easiest way is to careful cut around the diameter with a sharp knife, being careful not to pierce the fruit inside. Then you just twist the two sides apart. Inside you can see the white succulent fruit. It looks a bit like cloves of garlic but of course much softer. The number of segments vary. You can always find out how many there are inside before cutting it open. Just count the number of petals on the bottom of the mangosteen. Having six small segments is better than four fat segments. This is because the bigger ones are more likely to contain a seed which you shouldn’t eat. The taste of the mangosteen is sweet though it can be a little sour if you bite into the seed by mistake.
Some people believe that the thick skin has medicinal uses. In Thailand, there is a popular soap made from mangosteen skin that is good for skin infections. There is also a tea that is supposed to help diarrhea and bladder infections. Other laboratory tests have shown that the skin may have anti-cancer benefits as well as being anti-inflammatory and antifungal. However, be very careful when you cut open the mangosteen. The skin contains a dye that is difficult to wash out of your clothes. Like an apple, once cut open, you should eat within five minutes as it will start to discolour. The next time you have an opportunity, try some mangosteen. You won’t be disappointed.