Polyphenol extracts from mangoes have been found to have anti-cancer activity, particularly against colon and breast cancer, despite the fruit’s comparatively low antioxidant activity.
Mango showed some impact on lung, leukemia and prostate cancers but was most effective on the most common breast and colon cancers.
“What we found is that not all cell lines are sensitive to the same extent to an anticancer agent,” she said. “But the breast and colon cancer lines underwent apotosis, or programmed cell death. Additionally, we found that when we tested normal colon cells side by side with the colon cancer cells, that the mango polyphenolics did not harm the normal cells.”
The researchers discovered that the bioactive compounds possibly responsible for the anti-cancer effect is a class of polyphenolic compounds called gallotannins. This compound apparently interrupted the cell cycle. Clinical trials are being planned to test mango phenolics on individuals who have increased inflammation in their intestines with a higher risk for cancer.