Mango: the amazing health properties of this exotic fruit

The pleasure we have in tasting a mango comes as much from its refreshing side as from the sweet and aromatic taste of its flesh. This flavor is due to the presence of some 400 fragrant molecules from the terpene family (delta-3-carene, ocimene, myrcene and terpinolene). Collectively, these molecules give mango a unique taste, very distinct from that of other fruits.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer molecules

But beyond its exquisite taste, the mango is an important source of vitamins, fiber and minerals as well as several phytochemical molecules beneficial to health. For example, the mango contains no less than 25 distinct types of carotenoids, including carotene, which is responsible for the orange color of the fruit. More importantly, research suggests that other phytochemical molecules found in mango may influence several processes involved in inflammation and cancer development.

Mango is one of the few fruits to contain significant levels of lupeol, a triterpene that has recently become known for its ability to inhibit the growth of several cancer cells. For example, the administration of lupeol to mice bearing human tumors causes a dramatic reduction in the volume of these tumors as well as the complete suppression of the formation of metastases. Lupeol has several interesting pharmacological properties, including potent anti-inflammatory activity that may also help inhibit the growth of cancer cells stimulated by chronic inflammatory conditions.

Other American researchers have shown that a class of polyphenols found in mango, the gallotannins, could also exert a strong anti-cancer action. Addition of these molecules to cells derived from a number of tumors revealed strong growth-inhibiting activity in tumor cells from colon and breast cancer, two of the most common cancers in Western societies. .

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Mango: protective fruit of health

The mechanisms involved in this anticancer activity are still not very well understood, but in the light of these observations, there is no doubt that mangoes are exemplary fruits that combine the pleasure of eating with the prevention of diseases.


Lee et al: Lupeol suppresses cisplatin-induced nuclear factor-kappaB activation in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and inhibits local invasion and nodal metastasis in an orthotopic nude mouse model. Cancer Res, 67:8800-9.

Saleem M: Lupeol, a novel anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer dietary triterpene. Cancer Lett, 285:109-115.

Texas A: Mango Effective in Preventing, Stopping Certain Colon, Breast Cancer Cells, Food Scientists Find. ScienceDaily.


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