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Mangos Trim Body Fat, Control Blood Sugar

STILLWATER, Okla.—Incorporating mango in the diet may help to reduce body fat and control blood sugar and ultimately lower the risk for developing metabolic syndrome, which can lead to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to new research conducted at Oklahoma State University.

“Mango contains many nutrients and other bioactive compounds that can provide various health benefits aside from what we investigated," said lead researcher Edralin Lucas. “It is high in fiber, vitamins A and C, as well as other minerals and phytochemicals. In addition to the positive effects on body fat, blood lipids and glucose, it is not associated with serious side effects such as negative effects on bone that is linked with the use of rosiglitazone, a drug commonly used to lower blood sugar."

OSU researchers conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of powdered mango flesh in modulating blood glucose and lipid values in mice fed a high-fat diet to induce obesity. They formulated six diets with various additives including a regular mouse diet, which had 4% total calories from fat, and five high-fat diets with 35% total calories from fat. One diet was only high fat, while the other four high-fat diets also contained 1% mango powder, 10% mango powder, fenofibrate or rosiglitazone. After adjusting the high-fat diets to have similar carbohydrate, fiber, protein, fat, calcium and phosphorous content, the team assigned eight mice to each of the six diets and allowed them to eat and drink at will for two months.

After a 2-month follow-up, they found no statistically significant differences in body weight among the mice, but the amount of body fat was varied according to the diets. Both diets containing mango had comparable effects with those of rosiglitazone and fenofibrate in reducing body fat.  The mice consuming diets with mango or the two drugs had body fat levels similar to those mice eating the standard control diet. The mango-containing diets also exhibited glucose and cholesterol-lowering properties. The 1% mango diets had a similar or even a more pronounced effect in reducing blood glucose than the diet containing rosiglitazone.

The researchers also determined mango affected several factors involved in fat metabolism including a reduction in the circulating level of the hormone leptin. Mice that received high-fat diets containing mango had significantly lower levels of leptin than mice eating the high-fat diet alone.

Mangos also have been found to lower the risk of breast and colon cancer. A study conducted by Texas AgriLife Research food scientists tested mango polyphenol extracts in vitro on colon, breast, lung, leukemia and prostate cancers. Although the mango created some difference against lung, leukemia and prostate cancers, it was most effective on common types of breast and colon cancers.

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