Mangoes may fight diabetes, obesity, cancer

New research suggests mangoes may help fight obesity and cancer.

The key to helping people with two of the nation's most troubling conditions, obesity and cancer, may be wrapped up in a skin that mimics the tropical sunsets in the orchards where the fruits are grown. Recent research has scientists wondering if mangoes may hold the secrets to controlling blood sugar levels in obese people and inflammation in cancer cells. The research, sponsored by the National Mango Board, was presented this week at the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) in Boston.

Edralin Lucas, PhD, associate professor of nutrition at Oklahoma University led a study in which 20 obese adult participants added 10 grams of dried mango to their daily diet for 12 weeks. By the study's end, the participants' blood sugar levels had significantly decreased. The average distribution of fat, however, did not change much, reports

"The results of this study support what we learned in our recent animal model, which found that mango improved blood glucose in mice fed a high fat diet," said Lucas in a release. "Although the mechanism by which mango exerts its effects warrants further investigation, we do know that mangoes 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."

Research led by Susanne Mertens-Talcott, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director for Research, Institute for Obesity Research and Program Evaluation of Texas A&M University, examined the effects of polyphenols found in fresh mangoes on cancerous and non-cancerous breast cells in a lab. This study suggests that mango polyphenols may limit inflammatory response in both cancerous and non-cancerous breast cells, reports the Wall Street Journal. More research is needed to determine whether mango polyphenols can have the same effect in humans, however.

The potential polyphenol power of the mango may just make the juicy orb a contender in a celebrity superfruit smackdown. Acai should worry.

For the complete polyphenol business story - sourcing, innovations, product launches and more - check ou the Nutrition Business Journal / Engredea monograph report on polyphenols.

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