photo of a fresh mango
Manoges contain mangiferin, an antioxidant that may contribute to the beneficial effects of mango on blood glucose

Eating mangoes could help reduce blood sugar

18 September, 2014

Natural Health News — If you are overweight consuming a small amount of fresh or dried mango daily could help you control blood sugar levels.

That’s the conclusion of a small pilot study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolic Insights.

This pilot study was designed to investigate the effects of mango consumption on anthropometric measurements, biochemical parameters, and body composition in obese adults. Participants completing the 12-week study included 20 adults (11 men and 9 women) ages 20 to 50 years old with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 to 45.

The study subjects were asked to maintain their usual diet, exercise habits, and regimen of regularly prescribed medications but each day they consumed 10 g of freeze-dried mango, and dietary intake was monitored via 3-day food records assessed at the beginning of the study and after 6- and 12- weeks of mango ‘supplementation’.

Height, weight, and circumference of waist and hip were measured at the beginning of the study and after 6- and 12- weeks. Body composition and blood analyses of fasting blood triglyceride, HDL-cholesterol, glucose, haemoglobin A1c, and plasma insulin concentration were also evaluated.

Reduced blood glucose levels

The researchers found that after 12 weeks, participants had reduced blood glucose levels. This effect was seen in both men and women, though the effect was slightly greater in men.

No significant changes were observed in terms of overall body weight, hip or waist circumference, waist to hip ratio, percent fat mass, and lean mass.

Overall and by gender, there were no significant changes in triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, or blood pressure either.

The blood sugar findings of this study are in agreement with the team’s previous animal research, which was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

“We believe this research suggests that mangoes may give obese individuals a dietary option in helping them maintain or lower their blood sugar. However, the precise component and mechanism has yet to be found” admitted lead author, Edralin Lucas, PhD, associate professor of nutritional sciences at Oklahoma State University, College of Human Sciences.

A nutritious fruit

A nutrient rich fruit, mangoes contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals, supporting optimal function of processes throughout the body. Mangoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamins C and A as well as folate. They are also a good source of fibre, copper, and vitamin B6.

Because of the relatively small size of the study, more research needs to be done to confirm the blood sugar lowering effect of mangoes.

Nevertheless, says Lucas, “We are excited about these promising findings for mangoes, which contain many bioactive compounds, including mangiferin, an antioxidant that may contribute to the beneficial effects of mango on blood glucose. In addition, mangoes contain fibre, which can help lower glucose absorption into the blood stream.”