Ancient Fruit, Future Superfood?

Mangos shown to stop or prevent certain breast and colon cancer cells

(RxWiki News) Mangos pack more than delicious flavor, it turns out. The fruit indigenous to the Indian subcontinent has been shown to prevent and halt development of certain colon and breast cancer cells.

Texas AgriLife Research food scientists looked at the five types of mangos commonly found throughout the U.S. and found breast and colon cancer cell lines went through apotosis (programmed cell death) when exposed to the fruit, which also showed some benefit for lung, leukemia and prostate cancers.

Although mangos contain considerably fewer antioxidants than so-called superfoods like blueberries, acai berries and pomegranates, as well as containing about fives times less antioxidant capacity than an average wine grape, mangos "still hold up fairly well in anticancer activity," said Dr. Susanne Talcott, who conducted the study with her husband, Dr. Steve Talcott.

The team conducted further tests on colon cancer lines due to the fact that mangos contain small molecules that are readily absorbed in the colon and larger molecules that are not. They found that healthy cells were not killed (which is always good) but instead the fruit targeted the cancer cells in reasonable concentrations.

The National Mango Board funded the study to better assess the fruit's nutritive powers.

The Talcotts are now looking to test mangos' possible new superfood status in a clinical trial with individuals with increased intestinal inflammation who are at a higher risk of colon cancer.

Review Date: 
January 10, 2011