Mango lovers have yet another reason to celebrate their favourite fruit. A recent study published in the journal “American Chemical Society Pharmacology and Translational Science” found that mangoes are useful in protecting the gut health and protect people from several gastro disorders.

The research conducted by Gangadhar, Suresh Kalangi and Anil Kotha at the lab of Prof. Reddanna School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, demonstrated that mangiferin protects animals from experimentally induced colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

Mangoes, called the King of Fruits, are one of the most favourite fruits in the country. Estimated to be over 5,000 years old, the Indo-Burmese origin fruit comes with Vitamins A, B6 and C. 

Combinations of polyphenols

Mangiferin is a natural compound classified as a xanthone glycoside, which is found in various plants, including the mango tree (Mangifera indica), from which it derives its name.

Mangoes contain a combination of polyphenols and fibre, which have shown to improve gut health and in relieving constipation.

Mangiferin is well known for its pharmacological properties. Mangiferin is found in higher concentration in the leaves, and peels than in the pulp in various types of mangoes.

The study found that mangiferin is found to have prevented mucosal erosion and infiltration of inflammatory cells, which were induced by acetic acid, in animals.

Anti-cancer properties

The study also demonstrated anti-cancer properties of mangiferin on colon cancer cell line, Caco-2 by increasing the expression of pro-apoptotic markers. Further pre-clinical and clinical studies, however, are required to develop mangiferin as a clinical candidate for treatment of IBD and other GI disorders.

This study assumes importance in the light of increasing cases of IBD, which is a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The incidence of IBD has almost doubled in India from 1990 to 2019 as a result of changes in dietary habits and lifestyle.

A prolonged IBD condition, if not treated, may result in the damage of the GI tract and lead to cancers. “In the era of junk food and battling with infectious diseases, Indian traditional mangoes turn out to be a wonderful remedy for most of the gastrointestinal problems, including IBD,” the research study said.