Mango Lowers Inflammation, Helps Prevent Cancer
A multitude of scientific studies have concluded that mango offer significant health benefits, including inhibiting cancer growth and reducing inflammation.
Much of the research has focused upon a compound found in mangoes 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.
Mangiferin blocks cancer growth
A 2018 study tested mangiferin against breast cancer cells. The researchers found that the compound inhibited malignancy and the progression of breast cancer. The research also found the mangiferin blocked the ability of the cells to signal each other in order to expand.
A 2017 study from University of Missouri studied mangiferin with prostate tumors. The researchers found that mangiferin reduced tumor size by five times after three weeks of treatment.
Another study, from Detroit’s Karmanos Cancer Institute, 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.
Eating mangoes reduces inflammation
Scientists presented research at San Diego’s Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) that reported 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 significantly 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.
Mangiferin kills breast cancer cells
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.”
A 2017 study from Spain’s University of Cadiz tested mango leaf extracts against different degrees of invasive breast cancer. They found that the extracts provided protection against minimally invasive breast cancer as well as highly invasive breast cancers. The researchers found that compounds called gallotannins killed breast cancer cells.
Many nutrients in Mangoes
Mangoes contain more than 20 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also contain significant amounts of a special antioxidant called beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is known to help protect the eyes from macular degeneration. Carrots also contain significant beta-carotene. And carrots also help prevent some cancers.
Mango is one of the world’s most popular fruits outside of the U.S. Mangos typically grow in warm, tropical climates. And mangoes have become more plentiful on the world market in recent years. Mango availability per capita has increased steadily over the past decade and can now often be found at different markets. The delicious and healthy fruit may very well be at your local market.
Deng Q, Tian YX, Liang J. Mangiferin inhibits cell migration and invasion through Rac1/WAVE2 signalling in breast cancer. Cytotechnology. 2018 Apr;70(2):593-601. doi: 10.1007/s10616-017-0140-1.
Fernández-Ponce MT, López-Biedma A, Sánchez-Quesada C, Casas L, Mantell C, Gaforio JJ, Martínez de la Ossa EJ. Selective antitumoural action of pressurized mango leaf extracts against invasive breast cancer. Food Funct. 2017 Oct 18;8(10):3610-3620. doi: 10.1039/c7fo00877e.
Al-Yasiri AY, Khoobchandani M, Cutler CS, Watkinson L, Carmack T, Smith CJ, Kuchuk M, Loyalka SK, Lugão AB, Katti KV. Mangiferin in prostate tumor therapy: green nanotechnology for production, in vivo tumor retention and evaluation of therapeutic efficacy. Dalton Trans. 2017 Oct 31;46(42):14561-14571. doi:10.1039/c7dt00383h
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Yusakul G, Kitirattrakarn W, Tanwanichkul N, Tanaka H, Putalun W. Development and Application of an Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay for Specific Detection of Mangiferin Content in Various Cultivars of Mangifera indica Leaves Using Anti-mangiferin Polyclonal Antibody. J Food Sci. 2012 Apr;77(4):C414-C419.
Li J, Malakhova M, Mottamal M, Reddy K, Kurinov I, Carper A, Langfald A, Oi N, Kim MO, Zhu F, Sosa CP, Zhou K, Bode AM, Dong Z. Norathyriol suppresses skin cancers induced by solar ultraviolet radiation by targeting ERK kinases. Cancer Res. 2012 Jan 1;72(1):260-70. Epub 2011 Nov 14.
García-Rivera D, Delgado R, Bougarne N, Haegeman G, Berghe WV. Gallic acid indanone and mangiferin xanthone are strong determinants of immunosuppressive anti-tumour effects of Mangifera indica L. bark in MDA-MB231 breast cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 2011 Jun 1;305(1):21-31.
Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn our health around. As I drove home that night, I realized this knowledge should be available to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.”