Who does not like mangoes for their juicy and sweet flesh? Now scientists have also found other qualities to the tropical fruit, claiming that mangoes could play a significant role in the fight against global obesity and the type 2 diabetes epidemic, according to a new study.
Mango promotes a healthy intestinal flora and thus prevents diseases, say the scientists. Mango also prevents the loss of good gut bacteria, which can be caused by a high-fat diet. The experts also believe the inclusion of mangoes in the diet can be a future solution in the fight against obesity and diabetes. Mango has already proven anti-inflammatory properties in previous studies.
Mango lowers body fat and blood sugar
According to a new animal study conducted by Edralin Lucas, a professor of nutritional sciences at Oklahoma State University, integrating mango into the diet could help reduce body fat and control blood sugar. “Mango provides many nutrients and other bioactive substances that offer various health benefits,” says Lucas. “They are high in fiber, have a lot of vitamins A and C and other minerals and herbal active ingredients. In addition to the positive effects on body fat, blood lipids and blood sugar, mango has no serious side effects.”
Professor Lucas, together with colleagues and the financial support of the National Mango Board, investigated how effectively mango fruit meat affects blood sugar and blood fats in mice that were overweight with a particularly high-fat diet. Obesity and a particularly high-fat diet are associated with the development of many chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Medications such as rosiglitazone and fenofibrate are often prescribed to treat these diseases by lowering blood sugar and blood lipids. However, these drugs often have side effects ranging from liver enlargement to heart failure to increased risk of broken bones.
“Our results show that mango fruit is a promising alternative that can be useful for lowering body fat and blood sugar,” says Lucas. For their study, Lucas and her research team chose mangoes of the variety “Tommy Atkins”. The pulp was freeze-dried, ground into powder and then added to the standard feed of the mice. Six diets with different additions were investigated. A regular diet with four percent fat of total calories and five high-fat diets with 35 percent fat. Four of the high-fat diets were added one percent mango powder, ten percent mango powder, fenofibrate and rosiglitazone.
“We used the Tommy Atkins mango because it is one of the best-selling varieties in America and is easy for consumers to get,” explains Lucas. The high-fat diets contained similar amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus. Eight mice were fed one of the six diets for two months. After the two months, the researchers found no large differences in the body weight of the mice, but the body fat percentage varied depending on the diet group. The two mango groups achieved similar effects with the rosiglitazone and fenofibrate groups in terms of reducing body fat. The mango groups and the two drug groups had similar body fat percentages to the mice in the control group with a standard diet with normal fat content.
Mango lowers the level of the hunger hormone leptin
In addition to the positive effects of mango on body fat, the fruit also demonstrated blood sugar and cholesterol-lowering properties. In fact, the diet with one percent mango powder had a similar or even more pronounced effect on blood sugar than the diet with the diabetes drug rosiglitazone. The team also observed that mango influences various factors of fat metabolism. Mango lowered the level of the hormone leptin in the blood. Leptin is produced by fat cells and its concentration in the blood corresponds to the body fat percentage. If more body fat is stored, leptin levels in the body increase. Leptin plays a role in regulating hunger and energy intake and consumption. In this study, the mice with a high-fat diet and mango supplement had significantly lower leptin levels than mice that ate only a lot of fat.
Mango prevents metabolic syndrome
Lucas says clinical trials in humans need to be conducted to confirm the results. In addition, further research will find out which ingredients of the mango are responsible and how the positive effects on blood sugar, body fat and cholesterol are achieved. But the results so far already show that mango may be able to prevent metabolic syndrome. By this, physicians understand a group of diseases such as obesity, insulin resistance, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
“We will soon be conducting a clinical trial to determine whether adding mango to the diet of prediabetics helps to control blood sugar and whether integrating mango into the diet of obese people helps to reduce body fat percentage,” explains Lucas. »We are also investigating how mango reduces body fat and blood sugar.”
Choose healthier foods like mango
The current study is one of the first to show that mango fruit can effectively normalize blood sugar levels and body fat on a high-fat diet. Lucas hopes the results will encourage people to make better food choices. “We’d like people to choose healthier foods like mango and other fruits and vegetables,” she says. “It helps to prevent many chronic diseases, including obesity and diabetes.”