Related Topics: Cancer, Opinion

According to AnnA – Could Mangos Prevent Cancer?

Researchers have documented that the division process cancer cells go through was interrupted by mango extract.

AnnA Rushton

Ever since I learned how to eat a mango – courtesy of Hercule Poirot demonstrating how to take the skin off with a dessert spoon – I have loved their flavour with both sweet and savoury foods. They make a wonderful smoothie and add sweetness to a lamb tagine but now it seems their rich blend of vitamins A and C could help prevent some types of cancer, but are particularly effective for colon cancer.

Food scientists Dr. Susanne and Steve Talcott undertook a study at Texas A&M University on five varieties of mangos that are most common in the USA. Kent, Francine, Ataulfo, Tommy/Atkins and Haden, in case you are interested, and they specifically tested polyphenol extracts from the fruit on colon, breast, lung, leukaemia and prostate cancer cells.

Polyphenols are natural substances in plants that are antioxidants with the potential to protect the body from disease and this research focused on polyphenolic compounds in mangos known as gallotannins, a class of natural bioactive compounds believed to help prevent or block the growth of cancer cells.

The results are encouraging as the mango extract demonstrated some cancer fighting ability when tested on lung, leukaemia and prostate cancer cells, but really were impressive when tested on the most common breast and colon cancers where they were found to cause cancer cells to undergo apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

The researchers documented that the division process cancer cells go through was interrupted by mango extract. This is crucial information. For cells that may be on the verge of mutating or being damaged, mango polyphenolics could prevent this and so prevent cancer.

The scientists have conducted additional research on the colon cancer cell lines because mangos contain small molecules that are readily absorbed in the colon as well as larger molecules that are not absorbed and remain present longer in the colon. That could potentially make eating mangos a potent way to help prevent colon cancer.

Time to add mangos to one of your five a day?

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AnnA Rushton | 9:44 am, May 9th, 2010

I know of no vitamins that could harm ovarian cancer, indeed many patients include vitamins as part of their health regime to maintain a good immune status. This would include plenty of vitamin C and a good multivitamin and other supplements such as Echinacea and CoQ10 which has been shown to be effective in some trials. The only vitamins that can be toxic in vary high doses are Vitamins B2, A and E – but I would stress this is only in high doses.

Christina Nagle, a lecturer in epidemiology at the University of Queensland Medical School in Australia found that diet played a major part in having a more favourable outcome. Her findings were published in the International Journal of Cancer (Vol. 106, No. 2: 264-269) and what is usually recommended a diet containing plenty of vegetables, particularly carrots, tomatoes and other foods high in carotene and lycopene and plenty of green tea. One study on survival rates also found that yellow and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale) seem particularly beneficial. At five years, 75% of the women who ate less than one serving a week of yellow vegetables were alive, compared to about 82% of those who had three or more servings of yellow vegetables a week. Those who ate the most red meat, processed meat, and cured meat had a briefer survival time so that would be worth addressing too.

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