Mangoes may help regulate blood glucose levels and limit inflammation in people who are obese, according to the results of a small study recently presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Boston. Approximately 80% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
In previous studies, the research team had found that mango consumption had a positive effect on blood glucose levels in mice. To evaluate the effect in humans, they provided twenty obese adults — 11 men and 9 women — with 10 grams of freeze-dried mango (equivalent to approximately 100 grams, or one half, of a fresh mango) each day for 12 weeks.
At the end of the study period, the researchers found that the participants’ blood glucose levels had been significantly reduced compared to at the start of the study. There wasn’t any substantial change among body composition in either the men or the women, but body-mass index (a measure of a person’s weight in relation to his height) had increased in women, on average.
According to lead author Edralin Lucas, PhD, “The results of this study support what we learned in our recent animal model, which found that mango improved blood glucose in mice fed a high-fat diet. Although the mechanism by which mango exerts its effects warrants further investigation, we do know that mangoes contain a complex mixture of polyphenolic compounds. Research has shown that several other plants and their polyphenolic compounds…have a positive effect on [fat] tissue.”
The scientists note that these results are from a single study and that further research is needed to evaluate the effects of eating mangoes on human health.
In addition to their potential beneficial effect on blood glucose levels, mangoes are also good sources of vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as dietary fiber. Separate research also indicates that polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) found in fresh mangoes may limit inflammation in cancerous and noncancerous breast cells.
For more information, read the article “Mangos Help Regulate Blood Sugar Among Obese People” or see the press release from the National Mango Board. And if you’d like to incorporate some mangoes into your routine, be sure to try our Caribbean chicken salad or refreshing mango ice.