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Mango Supplementation Improves Blood Glucose in Obese Individuals

Abstract: This pilot study examined the effects of freeze-dried mango (Mangifera indica L.) supplementation on anthropometrics, body composition, and biochemical parameters in obese individuals. Twenty obese adults (11 males and 9 females) ages 20- to 50-years old, received 10 g/day of ground freeze-dried mango pulp for 12 weeks. Anthropometrics, biochemical parameters, and body composition were assessed at baseline and final visits of the study. After 12 weeks, mango supplementation significantly reduced blood glucose in both male (‒4.45 mg/dL, P = 0.018) and female (‒3.56 mg/dL, P = 0.003) participants. In addition, hip circumference was reduced in male (‒3.3 cm, P = 0.048) but not in female participants. However, there were no significant changes in body weight or composition in either gender. Our findings indicate that regular consumption of freeze-dried mango by obese individuals does not negatively impact body weight but provides a positive effect on fasting blood glucose.

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Alex’s Notes: I personally don’t eat mango, mainly because I prefer other fruits. However, it is always interesting to come across studies that may provide a food alternative to help with diabetes. The study at hand recruited 22 obese (average age 36.5-years; BMI 34.6) subjects with normal liver and kidney function. None had pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, none were smokers, none consumed more than 1 ounce of alcohol daily, and none were taking antioxidant or fish oil supplements greater than 1g/day. For 12 weeks these people consumed 10g/day of freeze-dried mango pulp (the “Tommy Atkins” variety which is most prevalent in the U.S.) and were instructed to maintain their habitual exercise and dietary intakes. This amount of mango is the equivalent of about 100g of fresh fruit.

After 12 weeks of mango supplementation, no changes were observed in overall body weight, hip or waist circumference, waist to hip ratio, and percentage of fat mass and lean mass. There were also no significant changes in blood pressure or serum HDL and triglyceride concentrations. The mango provided an additional 39 kcal per day, and analysis of 3-day food logs and physical activity questionnaires to ensure compliance revealed that there were no significant changes in food intake and physical activity before and after 12 weeks. It is amusing to note that the average intake of the subjects was reported as 2200 kcal, yet they were 220 lbs with a DXA confirmed 36% fat-mass. I believe this easily speaks to the notorious under-reporting of overweight persons.

Anyways, the only noticeable difference was that after 12 weeks, blood glucose was reduced by an average of 4.1 mg/dL. It begs the question why, and as it turns out, may be due to mangiferin, which interferes with the enzymes responsible for digesting simple sugars (sucrose, isomaltase, and maltase). Thus, there could have been reduced glucose absorption in the small intestine. It also makes one wonder what would happen if more mango were consumed, or if a mangiferin supplement would be of use.

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