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It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet



Since you've already addressed the overinflated claims (and prices) of noni and acai, I'm wondering about your opinion of mangosteen products (e.g. Xango).

Frankly: noni has a horrible flavour, but mangosteens are delicious, and I get them fresh where I live (Honduras). The same people who touted noni juice are now on the mangosteen bandwagon, though, but it all just seems like more "snake oil" and "patent medicine" to me.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

I will admit to not having eaten mangosteen, but I have heard that it is pretty tasty. You are right about the "snake oil" claims for these juices. They may be high in antioxidants, but so are most fruits. We do know that juices are not the best way for getting your antioxidants: better to eat the fruit itself. If you have a choice, you will always be better off having the real thing rather than juice.

Have blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, figs, pears... any fruit is going to be great for you. (But you're right, it should taste good.)

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet