After the “million fruit” mangosteen, I am very familiar with it. As we all know, it has the effect of reducing dryness and heat. It can dry the heat from durians which is why people choose to eat mangosteen after durian.

It can be used as an antibiotic base as well. Recently, a new breakthrough in medical research discovered that a molecule extracted from mangosteen has a powerful antibacterial effect and can serve as a basis for antibiotics.

This important discovery was made by an interdisciplinary team led by the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) while studying for new eye infection treatments.

The team succeeded in separating an “alpha-mangosteen” from mangosteen and improved its structure to create a molecule with strong antibacterial activity. This molecule was reconstituted as an antibiotic and could be used against “Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus” (MRSA). The team found that this antibiotic worked better than any current antibiotic.

Drug-resistant staphylococcus aureus is a bacterial infection that is resistant to antibiotics and can cause death.

Members of this research team includes internationally renowned expert leaders, scientists, biologists, chemists, ophthalmologists from the institute of ophthalmology, the Singapore National Eye Centre, the NUS Chemistry Department, the Nanda Biosciences Department, the New Research Bioinformatics Institute and the South China University of Science and Technology.

The team is led by Roger Beuerman, Senior Research Director of the Ophthalmology Academy. Professor Roger is a professor in Duke-NUS Medical School. Professor Roger Beuerman is from the United States and currently resides in Singapore. He is an internationally renowned expert in the field of antibiotic resistance and has published three books on ophthalmology.

Prof. Roger said during a visit to “New Pulse” that the experiment confirmed that mangosteen is more powerful than any existing antibiotic in dealing with drug-resistant staphylococcus aureus.

“It is faster than other antibiotics in killing drug-resistant staphylococcus aureus and is easily absorbed by the body. Existing anti take up to 8 – 20 hours to completely kill the microorganisms but with the group's formulated molecules, it can be done in 1 hour."

Prof. Roger further explained that the mangosteen molecule kills bacteria by breaking the outer membrane of the drug-resistant staphylococcus aureus and traditional antibiotics have to “slip” into the bacterial membrane to function. The success rate is low.

He said that this discovery is ground breaking because there are very few types of antibiotics introduced into the pharmaceutical market because of the high cost of research and development in this area, so pharmacists are not very keen on this research.