Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Mango Formula: 1% Mango Pulp = Fenofibrate + Rosliglitazone. Freeze Dried Mango Pulp Improves Glucose Tolerance, Lipid Profile and Body Composition More Effectively Than Standard Medication.

Image 1: Mango pulp (image
from HAK Agro Foods)
You know it, I love it: Real food! Meat, fish, dairy, vegetables, and, yes, fruits! Consumed in reasonable amounts, the latter are by no means that problematic, as some "gurus" and "fear-mongers" out there on the Internet want you to believe (I wonder why!? Probably because they cannot stand the thought that others eat the delicious fruit, they forbid themselves?). The paper of Edralin A. Lucas and her colleagues which was published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Nutrition (Lucas. 2011), is only the latest in a series of papers which should remind you of the fact that whole fruits (not juices or highly processed stuff) are way more than potentially harmful fructose bombs.

For eight weeks, the scientists from the Oklahoma and Carolina State Universities put a group of male C57BL/J6 mice on one of six dietary regimen:
  • normal rodent chow (AIN-93M) - 10% of the energy from fat
  • high fat diet (based on Molnar. 2005 > "Diabetes induces endothelial dysfunction but does not increase neointimal formation in high-fat diet fed C57BL/6J mice" - 60% of the energy from fat
  • high fat + 1% freeze dried mango pulp (FDM)
  • high fat + 10% freeze dried mango pulp 
  • high fat + fenofibrate (500mg/kg diet)
  • high fat + rosiglitazone (50mg/kg diet)
Despite lower average food and energy intakes in the high fat vs. the normal chow group, the animals in the high fat group "had a higher percentage body fat and epididymal fat mass". The latter was accompanied by an overall lower percentage of fat free mass.
Figure 1: Effect of different dietary regimens on energy intake, body weight gain, body fat and fat free mass in mice after 8 weeks on the respective diets (data calculated based on Lucas. 2011)
In contrast to the final body weight after 8 weeks, which did not differ significantly between the treatment groups, both, the addition of freeze-dried mango pulp, as well as the medications, reduced the percentage of body fat and helped the high fat fed mice to maintain a healthy percentage of fat-free mass.
Figure 2: Cholesterol and glucose response in mice on different diets after 8 weeks
(data adopted from Lucas. 2011)
Surprisingly, supplementation with 1%, but not 10%, freeze dried mango pulp had similarly beneficial effects on blood glucose and HOMA-IR (measure of insulin resistance) as rosiglitazone. The changes in blood lipids (total, HDL and LDL cholesterol; triglycerides), on the other hand, "did not reach statistical significance" in either of the treatment groups.

Leptin and adiponectin levels of the mice, however, responded favorably to the freeze-dried mango diets:
Mice consuming the freeze-dried mango diets had significantly lower plasma leptin concentrations than those receiving the control and HF diets. Rosiglitazone and fenofibrate had effects on plasma leptin concentrations that were statistically similar to the control and the freeze-dried mango groups. Mice that received the HF + 1% freeze-dried mango diet had the highest plasma adiponectin concentrations [...]. The HF +10% freeze-dried mango diet had a similar effect on plasma adiponectin concentrations to that of control and HF + rosiglitazone diets.
The reduction of leptin levels and the concomitant increase in adiponectin levels even beyond those of the mice on the control diet the HF + 1% mango group experienced are tell-tale signs of increased leptin sensitivity and decreased adipose tissue inflammation, both hallmarks in the etiology of the metabolic syndrome.

So, if the beneficial effects on body composition (cf. figure 1) have not already convinced you, the latter should certainly make you think of (re-)incorporating the fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera from the tropics into your diet. With a dose equivalent of 1g/kg body weight in mice and 80mg/kg in humans, my standard model, an 80kg human being, would have to eat at least 1 3/4 mangos (550g mango, considering a 85% moisture content) a day to arrive at a similar load of bioactive compounds (per kg body weight), as the mice used in the study. In view of the higher efficacy of the 1% vs. the 10% enrichment and similar results in studies on blueberries (Prior. 2010), it may yet suffice to eat mango (or its freeze dried pulp) twice or thrice a week. And even if you eat just one mango per week, I bet this would still be healthier than fruitphobia ;-)