A new study reported by scientists at Texas Agrilife Research Food Institute, found that mango halted or prevented the growth in laboratory cell cultures of colon and breast cancer.
While mango is not currently perceived as a superfood, this study shows while it may lack the antioxidant potency of other fruit such as pomegranate, blueberry and acai, it does possess significant anticancer properties.
According to Susan Talcott, "It has about four to five times less antioxidant capacity than an average wine grape, and it still holds up fairly well in anticancer activity. If you look at it from the physiological and nutritional standpoint, taking everything together, it would be a high-ranking super food," she said. "It would be good to include mangoes as part of the regular diet."
Polyphenol extracts, naturally occurring chemicals found in numerous fruit and vegetables, and are known to possess health enhancing properties. Mango polyphenol extracts from mangoes were tested in her lab on colon, breast, lung, leukemia and prostate cancers.
Mango showed some impact on lung, leukemia and prostate cancers but was most effective on the most common breast and colon cancers.
"What we found is that not all cell lines are sensitive to the same extent to an anticancer agent," she said. "But the breast and colon cancer lines underwent apotosis, or programmed cell death. Additionally, we found that when we tested normal colon cells side by side with the colon cancer cells, that the mango polyphenolics did not harm the normal cells."
"For cells that may be on the verge of mutating or being damaged, mango polyphenolics prevent this kind of damage," she said.
Talcott hopes to do a small clinical trial with individuals who have increased inflamation in their intestines with a higher risk for cancer.