Mangoes Found to Prevent and Slow Cancer Growth
Much of the research has focused upon a compound found in mangos called mangiferin. Mangiferin is a xanthonoid that contains a C-glucosyl molecular bond structure. It is this structure that appears to produce many of mango’s anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer benefits.
Research from Detroit’s Karmanos Cancer Institute has found that mangiferin blocks the inflammatory NF-κB signaling pathway, which in turn inhibits cancer cell formation and growth.
A metabolite of mangiferin called norathyriol was found by University of Minnesota researchers to inhibit the growth of skin cancer. Skin cancers were suppressed amidst UV radiation. These researchers also found the NF-κB pathway was blocked.
Researchers from Cuba’s Center for Pharmaceutical Chemistry found that mangiferin extracted from mango bark also contained these anti-tumor effects. In this study, they found the mango tree contained another anticancer compound called gallic acid, which seemed to work in conjunction with the mangiferin compound.
They called this particular extract Vimang. Vimang blocked the growth of a number of cancer cell types.
Mangoferin is also contained within mango leaves. Researchers from Taiwan and Japan found that mango leaves contain significant mangiferin content, and this mangiferin produced similar anti-cancer activity.
Other research has established that mangiferin may be useful in a number of inflammatory-related disorders, including diabetes and heart disease.
Mango is one of the world’s most popular fruits outside of the U.S.
Scientists presented research this week at San Diego’s Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) that suggests that people who eat mangos have a better diet and fewer health issues.
The research compared the diets of over 13,000 individuals participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2001 and 2008 to the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). Those who ate mangos regularly scored higher on the HEI than those that did not.
Compared to non-mango consumers, mango consumers had increased intake of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and dietary fibers, and had a lower average body weight.
Mango eaters also had lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.
“We found that adults who ate mangos tended to have a lower body weight, higher intake of fiber and lower intake of fat, all of which are associated with better cardiovascular health,” stated Dr. Victor Fulgoni, the lead researcher of this study.
Another exploratory study presented at FASEB conducted at Texas A&M University found that mangiferin is toxic to breast cancer cells.
“In summary, the anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory activity of mango polyphenolics in breast cancer cells were at least in part due to targeting proteins that play an important role in the survival of breast cancer cells,” noted one of the study’s lead researchers, Dr. Susanne Talcott. “The ability for bioactive components in mangos to reduce cancer promoting cells may be the next big thing in the battle against breast cancer, but more research is needed at this time.”
Mangos contain more than 20 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They typically grow in warm, tropical climates. And mangos have become more plentiful on the world market in recent years. Mango availability per capita has increased 35% since 2005 to an estimated 2.53 pounds per year in 2011. The delicious and healthy fruit may very well be at our local market.
Written by Case Adams PhD.
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