In a recent study, researchers find that eating mango may have beneficial effects on gut microbiota. The finding is published in the Journal of Nutrition.
One cup of mango is bursting with antioxidants and over 20 different vitamins and minerals and provides a good source of fiber.
While it has been well-documented that compounds in mango exhibit anti-inflammatory activities and that fiber aids digestion, the effects of mango on the gut microbiota have not previously been investigated.
In this study, 60 male mice were assigned to one of 4 dietary treatment groups for 12 weeks – control (with 10% of calories from fat), high fat (with 60% calories from fat), or high fat with 1% or 10% mango. All high-fat diets had similar macronutrient, calcium, phosphorus, and fiber content.
When samples were compared from the beginning to the end of the study period, mango supplementation was found to prevent the loss of beneficial gut bacteria often induced by a high-fat diet.
In particular, the high-fat dietary treatment with 10% mango (equivalent to 1½ cups of fresh mango pieces) was most effective in preventing the loss of beneficial bacteria from a high-fat diet without decreasing body weight or fat accumulation.
This is an important finding as specific bacteria in the intestinal tract may play a role in obesity and obesity-related complications, such as type 2 diabetes.
Researchers suggest that fiber and other bioactive compounds in plant-based foods can protect gut from a high-fat diet.
The results of this animal study showed that adding mango to the diet may help maintain and regulate gut health. Further research is necessary to see if these study results can be replicated in humans.
Citation: Ojo B, et al. (2016). Mango Supplementation Modulates Gut Microbial Dysbiosis and Short Chain Fatty Acid Production Independent of Body Weight Reduction in C57BL/6 Mice Fed a High Fat Diet. Journal of Nutrition, 146: 1483-1491. DOI.
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