Animal Study: Mango May Aid Body Fat Reduction

June 22, 2011

Researchers at Oklahoma State University have completed what they say is one of the first studies to demonstrate mango’s ability to reduce body fat and modulate hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Researchers at Oklahoma State University have completed what they say is one of the first studies to demonstrate mango’s ability to reduce body fat and modulate hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

With funding provided by the National Mango Board, researchers assigned rats to eat freely one of six diets for two months: a standard diet (4% calories from fat); a high-fat diet; or four other high-fat diets containing 1% mango powder, 10% mango powder, or the drugs Fenofibrate or Rosiglitazone (commonly prescribed to type 2 diabetics for lowering blood sugar).

The freeze-dried mango powder came from the Tommy Atkins mango variety, which is considered the most common variety sold in the United States.

After adjusting for carbohydrates, fiber, protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorous, the researchers observed no significant differences in body weight, but did observe significant differences in body fat between the groups. The mango diets provided body fat reductions similar to those provided by the two drugs-drugs with usage that has been linked to side effects, such as liver enlargement, heart failure, and increased bone fracture risk.

The researchers also reported reduced levels of the hormone leptin with the mango diets. This finding is deemed noteworthy because leptin levels are directly proportional to body fat levels.

Lead researcher Edralin Lucas, an associate professor of nutritional sciences at Oklahoma State, said that the group is now eager to take on a human study on mango consumption.

“We will soon be conducting a human study to investigate whether the addition of mango to the diets of pre-diabetics will help them control their blood sugar and whether incorporation of mango into the diet of overweight people will help them reduce body fat,” said Lucas. “We are also investigating how mango reduces body fat and blood glucose.”