Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2023

Thesis Advisor(s)

Marcy J. Balunas

Honors Major

Pharmacy Studies


The human gut microbiome is a burgeoning field of research due to recent recognition of its profound impact on the human hosts’ homeostasis, physiology and metabolism, and disease. Botanical natural products have been utilized for disease prevention and medical treatment since ancient times. Increased consumption of botanical natural products for their health benefits have led researchers to investigate interactions between the gut microbiome and botanical natural products. Garcinia mangostana, also known as mangosteen, is a fruit from Southeast Asia that is known for its health benefits such as anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, and anticancer properties. Its benefits have been linked to bioactive xanthones found in the pericarp of the fruit, with α-mangostin being one of the abundant xanthones. Despite health benefits from α-mangostin, low bioavailability has been reported, likely resulting from first pass metabolism. Due to the low bioavailability of α-mangostin, further research is needed to determine how α-mangostin exerts its effects. The human gut microbiota plays a significant role in the interaction with orally ingested compounds, including those from mangosteen. There is a lack of understanding regarding how mangosteen compounds are metabolized by the human gut microbiome. This project aims to investigate the metabolism and biotransformation of mangosteen metabolites by Clostridium sporogenes, a member of a prominent phyla of gut bacteria. Metabolism of α-mangostin, mangosteen extract, and risperidone by C. sporogenes were confirmed through incubation in an anerobic environment. Results from this experiment can be used to guide future exploration into specific mechanisms of metabolism of gut bacteria.