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How More Mango Could Help Diabetes, Cancer


If mango is not on your grocery list, it may be time to reconsider. A number of new and previous studies indicate that including mango in your diet or as a supplement can have a significant beneficial impact on your health, including the fight against type 2 diabetes and cancer.

What is the magic of the mango?

At the recent Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) gathering, researchers presented some of the latest information on the health benefits of mangos. In particular, they explained that obese animals that consumed 10 grams of freeze-dried mango every day for 12 weeks experienced a decline in blood sugar levels, a result that could prove helpful in the management of type 2 diabetes.

According to Edralin Lucas, PhD, who led the study, “Although the mechanism by which mango exerts its effects warrants further investigation, we do know that mangos contain a complex mixture of polyphenolic compounds.”

Polyphenols are a type of natural chemical found in plants. More than 4,000 different polyphenols have been identified, and their main benefit in the body is antioxidant activity against disease-causing, cell-damaging molecules called free radicals.

In a 2011 study, researchers explored the effect of freeze-dried mango compared with drugs to lower lipids and fight diabetes (e.g., fenofibrate, rosiglitazone) in mice fed a high-fat diet. They discovered that the use of mango “improved glucose tolerance and lipid profile and reduced adiposity [fat] associated with a HF [high fat] diet.”

More about the mango
Mangos (Mangifera indica) are naturally rich in fiber, the antioxidants vitamins A and C, and vitamin B6. The fruit also contains substances called triterpene and lupeol, which have been shown to inhibit skin and colon cancer in the laboratory.

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For example, a new study in Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine reports that mango extract given to mice protected against photoaging (translation: skin damage such as wrinkles and skin cancer) associated with ultraviolet B rays. A Texas study reported that mango extract was effective in inhibiting colon cancer cell growth.

One of the more interesting studies concerning mango comes from Poland, where researchers reported on mangiferin, an active ingredient in mangos. The authors reported that mangiferin has shown pain-fighting, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, heart-protection, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic benefits, as well as an ability to improve memory and protect the nervous system.

An analysis by experts in India suggested that the antioxidant, antidiabetes, and anti-inflammatory powers of mangiferin are due to its unique structure. Mangiferin also has been shown to effectively inhibit a specific signaling pathway, which the authors explained “partially explains its anti-inflammatory ability and, additionally, points towards its anticancer potential.”

Could mango help with weight loss? Some researchers think so. Several studies indicate that African mango extract (Irvingia gabonensis) is effective in reducing body weight and improving metabolic factors in people who are overweight.

One example comes from a recent study in the Journal of Dietary Supplements that reported on the results of three randomized controlled trials. The authors noted that while the studies indicated significant reductions in weight and waist circumference when compared with placebo, more research is needed because they felt the reporting quality of the studies was poor.

Overall, it appears that mango as food or a supplement offers a variety of potential health benefits in the areas of diabetes, cancer, and weight loss. Is it time for more mango in your diet?

Lucas A et al. Mango modulates body fat and plasma gluose and lipids in mice fed a high-fat diet. British Journal of Nutrition 2011; 106: 1495-1505
Matkowski A et al. Mangiferin—a bioactive xanthonoid, not only from mango and not just antioxidant. Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 2013 Mar; 13(3): 439-55
Noratto GD et al. Anticarcinogenic effects of polyphenolics from mango (Mangifera indica) varieties. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2010 Apr 14; 58(7): 4104-12
Onakpoya I et al. The efficacy of Irvingia gabonensis supplementation in the management of overweight and obesity: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Dietary Supplements 2013 Mar; 10(1): 29-38
Ross SM. African mango (IGOB131): a proprietary seed extract of Irvingia gabonensis is found to be effective in reducing body weight and improving metabolic parameters in overweight humans. Holistic Nursing Practice 2011 Jul-Aug; 25(4): 215-17
Song JH. Protective effect of mango (Mangifera indica L.) against UVB-induced skin aging in hairless mice. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine 2013 Apr; 29(2): 84-89
Vyas A et al. Perspectives on medicinal properties of mangiferin. Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 2012 May; 12(5): 412-25

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Appreciate any article that can help diminish blood sugar levels. To normal levels.
Hi Rizal: Thank you for your comment. A search of the Emaxhealth website will reveal many articles on how to manage blood sugar levels naturally. Some of the topics include bitter melon, chromium, cinnamon, fenugreek, ginger, lady fingers, licorice root, resveratrol, and turmeric.
i am U.A.E. national from Dubai and my age is started 70 from medical background family reputed would like to add to what was written about mango here. i am dibitic from from 1989 no 2 and about 15 years before on thursday i went to my farm in which planted lot of mango trees . it was july and at 5pm my gardner got me mango as usual and i dnot know what made me eat about 6 mangos sweet and i knew tht mango takes suger level up. friends told u got it see ur suger , but the strange matter at 10.30 pm about 5 hours latter i felt that i came back to the strength of when i was 25 years. i was so surprised for what i felt felt like layer of heat below my skin all over my body and i felt so strong different then evry day and that was very strange to me . it did not come to my mind to measure my sugger level . it was time to sleep . on friday which is next day i kept feeling so strong and active and with full energy in my body. i use to suffer from hoints pain in the legs even that i did not feel it for few days say 5 dyas then started again to feel joints pain and comming back to normal . from that event i start to carry on this matter . I came to 100% conclusion that mango doesnt take suger level to up. then from 15 years i start to test this casw where proved to me that eating mango dont take the suger up and i use to inform my friends about it but mind u that i eat the mango with its skin . I did spread the news to all sorrounding . To meet 100% eating mango with its skin bring suger down or doesnt taje it up, Let me give u more rrresults which u did not mentioned here. 6 months i eat mango and 6 months i stop for about 15 years all my joints pain disappear when i stop i feel it and now i am totally free from any joints pain. This matter i did inform so many doctors in bones to look in it most said we did not hear about this. i spread all over this news even to my rullers in Dubai. Three friend did try according to the way i ngave them. one of them aftr using the same with his wife he announced to all that his wife did get rid of her legs joints and more her disk pain . I liked this information to be looked into. This is Mahmood from Dubai and our father was the first local doctor in uae and the owner of the first pharmach in uae . thanks hope this is to be looked into joints pain Mahmood
Mahmood: Thank you for your very interesting story. I am so glad eating mango has so helped improve your diabetes and your joint pain. Mango does contain some helpful digestive enzymes, but as for relieving joint pain, I will need to investigate this further. Thank you again for your comments. I wish you continued good health.
Do mean green mangoes or ripe mangoes recommended for diabetics ? Thanks and regards.
My research indicates the studies involved ripe mangoes.
Thank you. I will try eating mangoes more often to ease my joint pains and sugar level in my body.