Beat Breast Cancer with Mango?

There are times in life when things just don’t get any better… and I think this qualifies perfectly. A lab study has shown that eating mango may have a beneficial effect on breast cancer and colon cancer.

Mango (moderately acidic) is the most popular fruit in the world.

According to a 2014 study by Texas AgriLife Research, scientists analyzed data from five mango varieties most common in the U.S.: Kent, Francine, Ataulfo, Tommy/Atkins and Haden.

breast cancer awarness
1 in 8 Australian women will develop breast cancer.

“If you look at what people currently perceive as a superfood, people think of high antioxidant capacity, and mango is not quite there,” said Dr. Susanne Talcott, who with her husband, Dr. Steve Talcott, conducted the study on cancer cells.

“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.”

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“Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death among women, and diet has been shown to have a preventive or protective role against several types of cancer,” she said. “It has been estimated that around 30 percent of cancers may be prevented with a healthy lifestyle and diet.”

The researchers investigated mangoes against cancer cells anyway, and concluded that they prevented or halted cancer growth in certain colon and breast cell lines, Susanne Talcott noted.

The researchers tested mango polyphenol extracts in vitro on colon, prostate, breast, lung and leukemia cancers. Polyphenols are natural substances in plants known to promote good health.

Talcott said “interest in mango has been increasing in recent years and experimental data has already shown bioactive compounds present in mangoes exert anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antiviral and antibacterial properties.”

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The mangoes showed their ability to help against leukemia, lung and prostate cancers but they were most effective on 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.”

breast cancer awarness
Mango Keitt polyphenols extraction.

Both non-cancer and cancer breast cells were treated with mango polyphenolics at different concentrations, and results were shown in Gallic acid equivalents per milliliter, or ug GAE/ml, of liquid sample.

The study showed that at 5 ug GAE/ml mango Keitt polyphenols decreased sample breast cancer cell proliferation by approximately 90 percent, and at the same concentration, decreased the proliferation of sample non-cancer cells by approximately 20 percent.

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“These results of the study indicate that the cell-killing effects of mango polyphenols are specific to cancer cells, where inflammation was reduced in both cancer and non-cancer cells, seemingly through the involvement of miRNA-21 — short microRNA molecules associated with cancer,” Talcott said.

“We found the normal cells weren’t killed, so mango is not expected to be damaging in the body,” she said. “That is a general observation for any natural agent, that they target cancer cells and leave the healthy cells alone, in reasonable concentrations at least.”

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She said “the mango polyphenols in the mice study also reduced expression of a cell-regulating protein that affects cell oxygen absorption. A preliminary microRNA profile screening showed the polyphenols also targeted several microRNA important to cancer-cell proliferation”.

“The earlier in vitro study and the study using the mice have moved us closer to determining whether mango polyphenols will have cancer-fighting effects on human beings,” Talcott said. “So far, the indications are positive, but a lot of work will have to be done to determine the actual concentration of mango metabolites in target tissues.”


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