Operation Balancing Immunity

It began in 1977 when a group of scientists from The Prince of Songkla University received advice from a janitor of the University (Mr. Khio Phatcharin) about mixing mangosteen peel with a lime solution to cure a wound, which resulted in the wound healing quickly.  Thus a study was initiated to investigate the possibility of isolating the biologically-active substances from the mangosteen peel.  This was the first mangosteen research based on international scientific standard, which involved cooperation from an interdisciplinary group of researchers. This initial research project lasted 8 years.  It was finally concluded that the most effective substance from mangosteen was GM-1. The research showed GM-1 had a high efficiency in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and killing bacteria that are antibiotic resistant.  It also has 3 times the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin.  It is anti-allergic and pain-relieving (based on experimentation with mice) and has anti-cancer cells properties (based on laboratory testing).  It was also found that GM-1 is 5 times safer for human consumption than citric acid, which gives the sour taste in lemons and oranges.

However, at the time capital limitations and several strict rules and regulations reduced the possibility of developing GM-1 into an ingredient for modern medical drugs.  Therefore, the research group could only use GM-1  as the main component of a natural mixture for cosmetic ingredients to address problems of those with chronic skin problems and allergies.  Further research, development and testing with Henkel KGa of Germany resulted in production of such products as soap, cleansing gel, sunscreen, skin nourishing cream, bathing cream, acne cream, all highly effective with GM-1 as a main ingredient.  The products are tannin-free, so it does not darken the users’ skin.

The research results of the Thai researcher group was publicized through the media and academic journals both in Thailand and overseas.  This resulted in an influx of many more researchers to the field, mainly Thai research groups.  In 2003, an American company made use of the research results in selling mangosteen juice in America and other parts of the world, creating an income of approximately Bt. 40,000 million in two years (by multi-level direct sales).  This triggered great competition in the production and distribution of mangosteen based products.  However, those mangosteen juice products appeared to be dark brown in color as they contained unprocessed mangosteen peel.  From a scientific perspective, these products were easily made but rather crude because unprocessed mangosteen peel is not supposed to be edible, but should be discarded as waste.  Boiling the peel to make herbal tea to drink to cure diarrhea can be consumed occasionally.  The older generation Thais learned from their experience that a long period of mangosteen peel consumption can produce negative side-effects.  This concurs with scientific fact as mangosteen peel contains a high amount of tannins which can cause constipation, increase toxicity in the liver and cause cancer in the cheek and intestine.  Moreover, mangosteen peel is likely to be contaminated with pesticides used during the farming process.

Thus, the Thai research team has been observing the mangosteen juice distribution with great concern fearing that over-consumption of the juice with the mangosteen peel could cause some unpleasant side-effects.  There have also been reports of some people suffering itching, constipation and diarrhea and kidney fallure from using these products.  As the scientists who advocated benefits of GM-1, which has resulted in the production of many products containing mangosteen, the research team feels it is their responsibility to inform the public of the possible side-effects, along with advising the public how the safe and effective product  should be.

The sciencetist were also disturbed by the misleading information that commercial companies had been giving to the public that the fruit’s anti-oxidation activity was the foundation of all the health benefits from drinking the juice. After some discussion and experimentation, they established that the health benefits of the fruit is mainly from its ability to balance immunity in the body. In order to make full use of this ability, an Operation BIM (Balancing immunity) research and development team was inaugurated in the year 2008. They have now established that the Operation BIM products from the research and development benefit the body by balancing Th1, Th2, Th17 and Treg white blood cells.