XanGo fruit drink contains mangosteen juice, which is packed with xanthones. Xanthones possess antioxidant properties that some users claim have helped heal ailments ranging from asthma to acne to cancer.
Can you trust natural supplements?
By Danielle Komis
While society’s attitude toward natural health supplements and alternative healing has become more accepting, many mainstream doctors remain skeptical of the non-FDA-approved supplements and remedies.
“They roll their eyes because they really don’t know about it,” said Dr. Gerald New, a retired Decatur OB/GYN who used to send some of his patients to health food stores for natural hormones to help control bleeding problems. “But then, there’s not a lot of controlled studies.”
The natural health route can sometimes be a better choice, though users must use caution, he said, and keep in mind that just because something grows naturally does not necessarily mean it’s good for you. Some things found in nature are deadly.
While New said he’s not familiar with mangosteen juice, he remembers years ago when a certain kind of peach seed was believed to be a similar cure-all. He knew a man with a brain tumor who traveled to Mexico for the remedy, which ended up having no effect on his tumor.
Gloria Oliver, owner of Gloria’s Good Health in Decatur, said she has seen similar “good for you” juices come and go in popularity over the years, from different parts of the world. Noni juice from the South Pacific, Gogi juice from the Himalayas, and pomegranate juice all have been popular for their healing effects.
“In the old days, that’s all people had was herbs,” she said. “What you needed was right there as long as you knew where it was. Now we have this advantage that we can get herbs from all over the world and that’s why we have so many things that do the same things.”
It can be difficult for ailing people to resist the hope of a remedy, especially when the success stories are so convincing, New acknowledged. However, people need to keep in mind that individuals’ stories are not based on controlled studies.
“What you get with a lot of this is anecdotal,” he said. “In other words, somebody says I took this, I got relief.”
But trying natural remedies is sometimes worth it, as long as you’re willing to buy something that may not offer any benefits, he said. If you are interested in trying a natural remedy, take it for three to four months to give it time to take effect, he advised. But what works for one person likely will not work in the same way for another, he cautioned.
“Human beings are complex organisms and you can’t just make a general statement and it hold true for everybody,” he said.
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