Mangosteen & Dogs

by Pamela Meadors

    Generally speaking, a healthy dog who eats a well-formulated commercial dog food won't need nutritional supplementation. That said, supplementation can boost wellness or promote desirable traits -- but you absolutely must enlist your vet before starting any regimen, especially since supplements aren't regulated like medicines and foods are. Some make claims that science has yet to support: Ttheir benefits and potential detriments are largely unknown. Mangosteen's one of these.

    The mangosteen tree is a slow-growing tree originating on the Sunda Islands, associated with Indonesia and Malaysia. The white, edible fruit is sweet and tangy. The supposed nutritional benefits of the mangosteen fruit are found in the peel, which contains high levels of xanthanoids and other phytochemicals with strong antioxidant properties.

    Antioxidants reduce cellular damage and levels of C-reactive protein in the blood, ultimately decreasing inflammation. Vitamins A, C, and E as well as lutein and beta carotene have antioxidant properties and help combat immune system damage, inflammation and other diseases. In dogs, antioxidants are believed to also promote healthy coat and overall wellness.

    Both canned and dry dog foods are formulated with antioxidants in ideal proportions for otherwise healthy pets. If a pet needs supplementary antioxidants, your vet can advise you on supplements that are appropriate. The vet will also instruct you regarding dosage and administration.

    At the time of publication, not enough scientific information existed to suggest that mangosteen is useful as a supplement for dog health, nor was a recommended safe dosage established. While products do exist with concentrated mangosteen peel, including some marketed for animals, they're not recognized as serving to treat any disease. The American College of Veterinary Nutrition has no information on mangosteen.

    About the Author

    Pamela Meadors is a scientist, writer, avid traveler and animal advocate. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science in biology, she has worked in the veterinary field at various clinics throughout the United States since 1997.

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