The key to treating bipolar disorder may be found inside an exotic fruit.
Mangosteen – nicknamed the “Queen of Fruits” – is a Southeast Asian delicacy that has traditionally been used to treat skin wounds and dysentery.
Now, researchers at Deakin University are conducting a clinical trial to see if it also helps people suffering from the extreme highs and lows in mood typical of bipolar disorder.
The disorder is characterised by reductions in antioxidant levels and inflammation in the brain, says team leader Ms Lucy Saunders.
Mangosteen is packed with antioxidants like xanthones, polyphenols, tannins and epicatechins that could potentially help to treat these imbalances, she says.
Animal studies and a clinical trial in people with schizophrenia have already hinted that mangosteen supplements can reduce depressive symptoms.
As a result, mangosteen is a “highly suitable agent to explore as additional therapy for bipolar depression,” says Ms Saunders.
In the current trial, 150 people with bipolar disorder will be given a mangosteen supplement or a placebo to take with their usual medication.
The team will assess whether the supplement has a positive impact on mood, quality of life and blood markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, says Ms Saunders.
(The information in this article should not be considered medical advice. Please see your medical professional for information tailored to your personal circumstances.)
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