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Eating Mangoes May Help Fight Cancer, Inflammation

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Aside from being refreshing and delicious, mangoes contain plenty of nutrients that make the fruit a powerful medicinal food.

Mangoes have copious amounts of compounds -- such as beta carotene and vitamin C -- that possess antioxidant properties. These fruits also have polyphenolic compounds such as gallic acid and gallotannins.

Gallotannins are larger polymers which have been linked to anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits in past in vivo and in vitro studies. However, the metabolism, absorption, and excretion of galloyl derivatives have yet to be investigated in humans.

Now, a study featured in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research focused on examining this exact idea.

"In order to demine if these polyphenolic compounds have potential benefits to human health at realistic food consumption amounts, it was first necessary to study how these compounds are metabolized in the body," said Susanne Mertens-Talcott of Texas A&M University, lead researcher of the study.

Eleven healthy study volunteers who were aged between 21 to 38 years old consumed 400 grams of mango pulp per day throughout the course of 10 days. The participants' urine and blood samples were taken on the first day and tenth day of trial, following mango consumption.

The participants were asked to refrain from taking dietary supplements and eating food which could be sources of gallic acid. They did this one week prior to the start and during the 10-day mango consumption. The food included grapes, berries and tea.

Researchers identified seven metabolites of gallic acid in the urine of healthy participants. Of the seven, two metabolites were more abundantly excreted than the others.

The findings indicate that the presence of pyrogallol metabolites in human urine after eating 400 grams of mango confirms the mango-derived metabolites' availability and anti-inflammatory ability.

Meanwhile, Talcott was also involved in a study in 2015 that found 4,000 various antioxidant polyphenols in mangoes, all of which are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

"If you look at [mango] from the physiological and nutritional standpoint, taking everything together, it would be a high-ranking superfood," said Talcott.

In 2010, Talcott and her husband also found that compounds in mangoes target colon and breast cancer cells. The compounds effectively target harmful cells while unaffecting healthy cells. This is unique to nature as it cannot be found in pharmaceutical-based treatments.

Photo : Saad Akhtar | Flickr

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