Eating Mangoes Could Benefit Your Cardiovascular And Bowel Health

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Eating Mangoes Could Benefit Your Cardiovascular And Bowel Health
Eating Mangoes Could Benefit Your Cardiovascular And Bowel Health. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com Image © shutterstock.com 385801849 (under license)

This tropical fruit has more benefits than being a prime ingredient for shakes and desserts. While this fruit is already quite popular because its delicious, recent studies have shown that not only are mangoes yummy, they are good for you as well. So, the next time you order (or make your own!) mango shake or parfait, think about these benefits.

There are several studies that have focused solely on the benefits of mangoes. On a side note, there has been some bad rep surrounding mangoes because of high sugar (fructose) content, but in moderation, its benefits definitely overweigh the disadvantages. Mangoes are rich in antioxidative compounds called polyphenols. These antioxidants help clear out free radicals from the blood stream, which damage cells and cause oxidative stress. However, the bioavailability of these antioxidants vary from person to person; a factor involved is body weight.

Mangoes And Cardiovascular Health

In the 2017 Experimental Biology Conference, lead researcher Dr. Susanne Mertens-Talcott presented findings from their research on mango benefits on cardiovascular health. Focusing on the absorption, metabolism, and excretion of gallic acid, galloyl glycosides, and gallotanins (which are antioxidants), Dr. Mertens-Talcott and Dr. Talcott found that consuming mango over a course of six weeks had significant anti-inflammatory benefits compared to sporadic consumption of the fruit. However, the researchers reported that there was no significant difference in absorption between lean and obese individuals after six weeks of eating 400 grams of frozen mango pulp. While gut microbiota was much lower in obese individuals, after six weeks the benefits of consuming the mangos were the same in both groups, lean and obese. The same study yielded results that showed that obese individuals benefited more because of a significant decreased risk in atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and inflammatory markers associated with cardiovascular disease. [1]

While Dr. Mertens-Talcott touched on the subject of gut microbiota and the absorption of the tannins from mangoes, a randomized pilot study was conducted by lead researched Dy. Hyemee Kim, focusing on the role of mangoes in changes in the gut microbiota. Gut microbiota plays a big role in the absorption of nutrients from food. Dr. Kim found that intake of frozen mango pulp, the same as the previous study, was able to significantly reduce inflammation in the gut, which affects gut microbiota and nutrition. Because of the antioxidant effects of mangoes, inflammation was reduced and the gut was able to absorb the nutrients better, which paints a better picture for people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases like gastric ulcers. [2]

The third significant study was published by lead research Dr. Fang (also with Dr. Mertens-Talcott and Dr. Talcott) in the same year, 2017, and focused on mango intake and how it affects metabolism and inflammation in both lean and obese individuals. The researchers report two significant results: (1) mangoes are able to reduce systolic blood pressure significantly in lean individuals (but not in obese individuals) and (2) improved glucose control in obese individuals (but not lean individuals). The study was conducted over 42 days and involved a consumption of 400 grams of frozen mango pulp. [3]

Another study was also presented in the conference by lead researched Dr. O’Hara and also focused on glucose response, specifically post-prandial responses. The study included young adult males aged 18 to 25 years old and assessed their post-prandial glucose levels after taking freeze-dried mango pulp. One hour after the meal, post-prandial glucose was significantly lower in the individuals who had mango included in their diet than individuals who didn’t. These effects were reported as modest and the researchers suggested that further studies be done to see what benefits mangoes have. [4]

The health benefits on mangoes still need to be studied further but the ones that were presented in the 2017 Experimental Biology Conference suggest that there may be more to this fruit than its role as a drink or dessert ingredient. If possible, include mango in your daily diet; fresh mangoes are the best choice over processed drinks and snacks which are much too high in sugar.

References:

[1] Mertens-Talcott, S. & Talcott, S. (2017). Human Bioavailability and anti-inflammatory
properties of Mango Polyphenols. http://www.mango.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Human_Bioavailability_antiinflammatory_Mango_Polyphenols_Eng.pdf

[2] Kim, H. (2017). Mango Polyphenolics Reduce Inflammation in Intestinal Colitis—Involvement of the miR-126/PI3K/AKT/mTOR Axis In Vitro and In Vivo. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5053910/

[3] Fang, C., et. al. (2017). Daily Mango (Mangifera Indica L.) Consumption for 42 Days Differentially Modulates Metabolism and Inflammation in Lean and Obese Individuals. https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.431.3

[4] O’Hara, C., et. al. (2017). The Effects of Acute Freeze-Dried Mango Consumption with a High-Fat Meal on Post-Prandial Responses in Healthy Young Adult Males. https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.166.3

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