Mangos On Trend For Nutrition & Well-Being
Mangos are known for their superfruit status and strong nutritional profile—bursting with antioxidants and over 20 different vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, fiber, vitamin B6, and copper. But recent studies indicate that there’s more to mangos than just vitamins and minerals.
Mango Consumption Associated with Healthier Diets
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences suggests that mango consumption is associated with a healthier diet. Researchers compared the diets of more than 29,000 children and adults participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2001 and 2008. They noticed adults who consume mangos tend to have a higher intake of certain nutrients like potassium and dietary fiber, which help contribute to a balanced diet.
Lower levels of C-reactive protein were found in adult mango-consumers. C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation and it has been suggested that high levels of it in the blood may be linked to increased risk for heart disease.
Compared to non-mango consumers, mango eaters, on average, had higher intakes of whole fruit, vitamins C, potassium, and dietary fiber (in adults only) while having lower intakes of added-sugars, saturated fats (in adults only), and sodium (in adults only). Both adults and children who consumed mangos scored higher on the Healthy Eating Index compared to those who did not eat mangos.
Mango Consumption Associated with Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Although more research is needed on the effects of mango consumption on human health, emerging research suggests that mango consumption may help lower blood sugar levels in obese adults. The pilot study recently conducted by researchers at Oklahoma State University (OSU) examined the effects of daily mango consumption in obese individuals (20 adults, 11 males and 9 females) over a 12-week timeframe and found both male and female participants had significantly lower blood sugar levels compared to their baselines; however there were no significant changes to body composition for either gender.
These findings support the results from a previously published study conducted by the OSU researchers which found that adding 1% mango to high-fat diets in mice was effective in reducing body fat accumulation and lowering blood glucose levels.
Although the mechanism by which mango exerts its effects warrants further investigation, we do know that mangos contain a complex mixture of polyphenolic compounds. Research has shown that several other plants and their polyphenolic compounds, such as isoflavone from soy, epigallocatechin gallate from green tea, and proanthocyanidin from grape seed, have a positive effect on adipose tissue.
Some Polyphenolics in Mangos May Possess Cancer-Fighting Properties (In Vitro Study)
Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry studied the antioxidant polyphenols in mangos to help determine how these potential anticancer bioactive compounds are broken down and absorbed. Such compounds, which are ingested as part of the diet, help to protect normal body cells from being damaged.
This preliminary research found that mango polyphenolics, particularly those from Ataulfo and Haden cultivars, inhibited the growth of SW-480 colon cancer cells by affecting pro-apoptotic genes and cell cycle control genes.
Preliminary Research on the Possible Effects and Correlation Between Mango and Bone Density In Mice
A study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Nutrition Sciences examined the effects of mango on bone mass and bone strength in high-fat diets in mice. The researchers noted that both animal and human models have found that diets high in saturated fat can impair bone mineralization and that some treatments for chronic conditions such as diabetes can negatively impact bones. One example is rosiglitazone, a drug used to lower blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes and associated with increased fracture risk and rapid bone loss in both human and animal studies.
This research study found that mango supplementation helped counteract the negative effects on bone parameters caused by a high-fat diet in mice. In addition, mango supplementation may have improved glucose levels without the side effects of bone loss that are associated with taking a blood glucose lowering drug (rosiglitazone). The study also found that mice receiving high fat diets supplemented with mango had better bone quality compared to than those receiving rosiglitazone (those receiving the drug had the lowest bone mineral density).
Limitations and challenges to the study include determining the exact dose (amount of mango) and identifying the bioactive compound and the possible mechanism of action. The observed effects of mango may be attributed to synergistic actions of different bioactive compounds and not just due to one individual component. In addition, it is unclear whether the researchers would see the same effects in humans and if this dose is reasonable for human consumption. In humans, the 1% dose used in this animal study is equivalent to eating approximately 10 grams per day of freeze dried mango (about 50 - 100 grams of fresh fruit, or half a mango).