Tropical fruit helps to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes
Dieters have long sworn that grapefruit and even pineapple can magically help people lose weight.
Now scientists have added another fruit to the mix, claiming mangoes may also help to stop obesity and type 2 diabetes, new research claims.
The superfood was found to boost gut bacteria which can ward off the conditions.
The study found eating the fruit can prevent the loss of beneficial gut bacteria which can be caused by a high-fat diet.
Researchers said the specific bacteria in the intestinal tract may play a role in obesity and obesity-related complications, such as type 2 diabetes.
In this study by at Oklahoma State University, 60 mice were put in one of four dietary treatment groups for 12 weeks.
This included a control group where 10 per cent of calories consumed were from fat, a high fat group where 60 per cent of calories were from fat, or a high fat diet where one or 10 per cent of it was mango.
All high-fat diets had similar macronutrient, calcium, phosphorus, and fibre content.
When samples were compared from the beginning to the end of the study period, those which were supplemented with mango lost the least beneficial gut bacteria often induced by a high-fat diet.
'Mango is a good source of fibre and has been reported in previous studies to have anti-obesogenic, hypoglycemic and immunomodulatory properties,' said Professor Edralin Lucas.
'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.'
The research, published in the Journal of Nutrition, was commissioned by the National Mango Board which promotes consumption of the fruit in the US.
It adds to a growing body of evidence the tropical fruit, which is native to southern Asia, has various health-boosting properties.
Previous studies have found compounds in mango exhibit anti-inflammatory activities with its high fibre-content aiding digestion.
One cup of mango is bursting with antioxidants and over 20 different vitamins and minerals and provides a good source of fibre.
But the effects of mango on the gut microbiota have not previously been investigated.
Further research is necessary to see if these study results can be replicated in humans, researchers said.