There are a lot of great reasons to munch on mangoes. Besides the fact that they’re delicious, they also contain nutrients and antioxidants that can protect eye health, lower blood pressure, balance blood sugar, support a healthy gut and more.
But what you may not know is that mangoes have another amazing ability… one that could offer protection from one of the most dangerous diseases around… cancer.
In study after study, mangoes kill cancer cells. Granted, most of these studies were performed in test tubes or on animals, not humans… but they’re still great indicators of the mango’s anti-cancer potential.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the amazing research that demonstrates the cancer-fighting potential of mangoes…
The verdict is in… mangoes can kill cancer cells
A 2010 study conducted by researchers at Texas AgriLife found that mango extract acted against colon, breast, lung, leukemia and prostate cancer cell lines in a laboratory setting. But even though it showed some anti-cancer potential against all these types of cancer, it was most effective against colon and breast cancer.
These researchers found that mango extract was able to kill colon and breast cancer cells without killing the healthy cells around them. And when you consider this study alongside other research into mangoes’ anti-cancer properties, it seems that colon and breast cancer may be the cancers mangoes have the most power against…
A 2015 study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that mango extract killed breast cancer cells and suppressed breast tumor growth in mice. And a 2016 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that mango extract decreased breast cancer tumor volume in mice by 50 percent in just four weeks.
Plus, a 2013 study published in the International Journal of Clinical Oncology found that zeaxanthin and other carotenoids found in mangoes were linked to a lower risk of developing colon cancer.
Of course, there was also a 2008 study found that a compound in mangoes called lupeol can kill prostate cancer cells in mice and kill human prostate cancer cells in a test tube. So, you can’t limit mangoes cancer-fighting abilities to just colon and breast cancer quite yet.
What’s behind the mango’s ability to mangle cancer cells
In most studies, it seems to be powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants known for their amazing ability to fight oxidative stress, which is connected to many types of cancer.
Mangoes don’t contain quite as many polyphenols as other popular superfoods like blueberries, grapes (famous for resveratrol), acai or pomegranate… but based on all this research, they contain enough to give cancer cells a run for their money. And that’s an impressive feat.
Mangoes are also home to one unique polyphenol — mangiferin. Mangiferin has been shown in studies to fight oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, stop cancer cell growth, reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells. So, it may have something to do with the mango’s incredible anti-cancer power.
Make mangoes a regular part of your diet
If eating more mangoes can potentially lower your cancer risk, sign me up! Of course, even if mangoes don’t kill cancer cells in humans, they have plenty of other benefits that make adding more to your diet a fantastic choice.
Besides those cancer-killing polyphenols, they’re also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and vitamin B6. Plus, they contain copper, calcium and iron. So, squeeze more mangoes into your diet. They taste delicious on their own, but they’re also great in smoothies, salsa, fruit salad, yogurt… the list goes on and on.
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- The potential role of mangiferin in cancer treatment through its immunomodulatory, anti-angiogenic, apoptopic, and gene regulatory effects — Biofactors.
- Mangiferin and Cancer: Mechanisms of Action — Nutrients.
- Polyphenols as Modulator of Oxidative Stress in Cancer Disease: New Therapeutic Strategies — Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.
- Polyphenolics from mango (Mangifera indica L.) suppress breast cancer ductal carcinoma in situ proliferation through activation of AMPK pathway and suppression of mTOR in athymic nude mice — Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
- Mango polyphenolics suppressed tumor growth in breast cancer xenografts in mice: role of the PI3K/AKT pathway and associated microRNAs — Nutrition Research.
- Induction of apoptosis by lupeol and mango extract in mouse prostate and LNCaP cells — Nutrition and Cancer.
- Anticarcinogenic effects of polyphenolics from mango (Mangifera indica) varieties — Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
- Mango effective in preventing, stopping certain cancer cells — Digital Journal.
- What to know about mangoes — Medical News
- Inverse associations between serum concentrations of zeaxanthin and other carotenoids and colorectal neoplasm in Japanese — International Journal of Clinical Oncology.