Mango lowers blood sugar

In the Southern Hemisphere the first inklings of spring are bringing with them promises of summer. As those spring zephyrs wind their way through the corridors of memory so do thoughts turn to crashing waves, haze weaving from the footpath, the aroma of coconut, and indolent afternoons in the shade of a welcoming tree. Among all of these sights and sounds of summer, riding high above the rest is the multi-sensual mango. So deliciously seductive is this fruity child of summer that eating mangoes seems an indulgence but in fact mangoes are as healthy as they are luscious, and new research shows they can even be good for your blood sugar.

The new study comes from Oklahoma State University and involved obese adults with a BMI between 30 and 45. The participants consumed 10 grams of freeze-dried mango daily (equivalent to 100g or half a fresh mango) for 12 weeks. Aside from taking the mango the subjects maintained their usual diet, exercise habits, and medications.

At the beginning of the study, then after six weeks, and again at the end of the study the subjects had measurements of height, weight, waist circumference, and hip circumference. They also had blood tests done at these times which assessed; triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, glucose, HbA1c, and insulin levels.

After the 12 weeks the researchers found that blood glucose levels dropped by an average 4.41 mg/dl. This drop held true for males and females although the drop in males was greater than in females. While overall bodyweight and waist circumference stayed the same there was a drop in hip circumference in males.

The effect seen here is thought to be due to an antioxidant found in mangoes called mangiferin. As well as being an antioxidant mangiferin has been shown to block several inflammatory pathways. So although this was only a small pilot study and further, larger trials need to be done, there is enough here to suggest that you can enjoy the delights of the mango this summer without a guilty conscience.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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