Mangoes are a good dietary source of vitamin A and vitamin C and contain some B vitamins, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Mangoes contain numerous compounds with suspected or demonstrated cancer fighting properties, including beta-carotene, quercetin, lupeol, and various gallotannins and catechins. Mangoes are also a dietary source of mangiferin, gallic acid, ellagic acid, cinnamic acid, propyl and methyl gallate, benzoic acid, and protocatechuic acid. Mangoes and their components have been shown to act as powerful antioxidants, have radioprotective properties, help prevent atherosclerosis, and improve glucose and lipid parameters in experimental mice fed a high fat diet.
Mango phenolic compounds have been demonstrated to have anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities against human leukemia, as wells as human lung, breast, colon and prostate cancer cells. In addition, lupeol, a component of mango, has been shown to inhibit proliferation and increase apoptosis of prostate, pancreatic and skin cancer cells in laboratory mice. One European population study found that consumption of mangoes was associated with lower risk of gallbladder cancer. A Mexican study found that consumption of mangoes was associated with lower risk of gastric cancer.
Breast cancer-related effects of eating mangoes
While mangoes contain compounds that suggest the fruit may have chemopreventive properties against breast cancer, no major population studies have been performed to evaluate this potential. Mango extracts and components have been demonstrated to have anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities against both human hormone receptor negative (ER-/PR-) and ER+/PR+, as well as HER2/neu overexpressing (HER2+) breast cancer cells. Mangiferin has been shown to enhance the treatment effects of Adriamycin in ER+/PR+ breast cancer cells.
However, a study of carcinogen-induced mammary tumor development in rats found that while long-term mango consumption increased rat plasma antioxidant capacity, it did not inhibit mammary tumor development. Also, mangiferin and extracts rich in mangiferin have been shown to increase endothelial cell migration, which could possibly assist angiogenesis in established tumors.
Mangoes should be avoided during radiation treatment because mangiferin has been shown to protect cells against cell death caused by radiation damage, raising the possibility that eating mangoes will lessen the cytotoxic impact of radiation on breast cancer cells.
Despite the similarity in the names, mangosteen (a Southeast Asian tropical fruit) is not related to mango.
Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on mango.