Mango could help maintain gut bacteria at risk from high-fat diets

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Mango supplementation regulated gut bacteria in favor of Bifidobacteria and Akkermansia
Mango supplementation regulated gut bacteria in favor of Bifidobacteria and Akkermansia

Related tags Nutrition

Mango consumption could help prevent the loss of beneficial gut bacteria caused by a high fat diet, according to research on mice.

The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition​, ​appears to​ reveal for the first time the positive impact of mango on gut microbiota.

In the study, 60 male mice were assigned to one of four 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.

We investigated the effects of freeze-dried mango pulp combined with an high-fat diet on the cecal microbial population and its relation to body composition, lipids, glucose parameters, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production, and gut inflammatory markers in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity,”​ the study reports.

The high-fat dietary treatment with 10% mango (equivalent to 1½ cups of fresh mango pieces) was found to be the most effective in preventing the loss of beneficial bacteria from a high-fat diet without decreasing body weight or fat accumulation.

Specifically, mango supplementation regulated gut bacteria in favor of Bifidobacteria​ and Akkermansia​ and enhanced short-chain fatty acid (SFCA) production. SCFAs have been shown to possess a wide range of beneficial effects, such as anti-inflammatory properties.

Fibre benefits

In previous studies, Bifidobacteria​, for example, has been found to be lower in both obese individuals and those with type-2 diabetes. Similar results have been observed with Akkermansia​ in animal studies. High-fat diets, meanwhile, have been linked to gut dysbiosis, or bacterial imbalances within the intestinal tract.

"Fibre and other bioactive compounds in plant-based foods are suggested to prevent gut dysbiosis caused by a high-fat diet,"​ said Edralin A. Lucas, professor of nutritional sciences at Oklahoma State University and lead researcher of the study.

"Mango is a good source of fibre and has been reported in previous studies to have anti-obesogenic, hypoglycemic and immunomodulatory properties. The results of this animal study showed that adding mango to the diet may help maintain and regulate gut health and levels of beneficial bacteria levels.”

India, China, Indonesia and Thailand are the top four Mango growing countries, accounting for well over half the total global production.

Although more research is needed on the effects of mango on human health, this study suggests that mango consumption may be important in improving gut health particularly for those consuming a high-fat diet, the researchers concluded.

Source: Journal of Nutrition

2016 Aug;146(8):1483-91. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.226688. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

“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.”

Authors: Edralin A. Lucas, et al.

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