Joint Health Benefits Of Mango

  • Asha Moalin Master’s degree in Healthcare Technology, University of Birmingham

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Introduction

Mango also known as Mangifera indica is a stone fruit grown in regions such as South Asia, Southeast Asia, East and West Africa, the tropical and subtropical Americas and the Caribbean.1 Mango is one of the most popular tropical fruits and has been titled “the king of fruits” due to its juicy and sweet taste.2 The oldest texts of Hinduism called The Vedas, written 4000 years ago, considered mangoes to be the “food of the gods”, highlighting mango’s popularity and importance since ancient times.3

Mangoes have many health benefits that are useful to individuals. They are rich in phytochemicals (chemicals produced by plants) and the fleshy fruit contains high amounts of polyphenolics (compounds found in plants) and vitamins.4

Health benefits include:4

Antioxidant properties,
Anti-inflammatory properties,
Anti-cancer properties
Aiding digestions,
Maintaining healthy hair and skin,
Supporting eye and heart health,

Joint health:

A joint is where bones meet in the body that allows for movement and joint pain is a common pain that increases as one gets older.5
Joint pain can include:
Knee pain,
Shoulder pain,
Foot pain,
Elbow pain,
Neck pain,
Hip pain or
Hand pain.

Joint pain can be caused by an injury or due to arthritis where there is inflammation in the joint5. Eating mangoes may have some benefits for joint health.

Nutritional composition of Mango:

Mango’s nutritional composition will vary depending on the type and variety of the mango, where it was grown and how ripe the fruit is.6 Mango contains a mixture of macro and micronutrients.

Macronutrients include:6

Carbohydrates (sugar molecules) make up 16 to 18% of the mango’s flesh,
Proteins (large complex organic compounds composed of amino acids) consist of 0.5 to 5.5% of the macronutrient composition.

Mango macronutrients vary depending on how ripe the mango is6. Riper mangoes have higher sources of sugars such as fructose and glucose whilst an unripe mango would have higher levels of starch and pectin6. As the mango ripens, the starch is converted into the sugars6 and this causes the fruit to become sweeter.

Protein levels depend on where the mango is grown, for example, mangoes grown in Peru have a higher protein content compared to mangoes grown in Columbia6. Protein content relies on the amino acid content and this can vary depending on the ripeness of the mango, where it's grown and the variety of fruit6. The most common amino acids are leucine, lycine, methionine and valine6.

Micronutrients include:6

Vitamins including: Vitamins A,Vitamin C,Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Vitamin K,
Minerals: Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg), Phosphorus (P)
Total lipid fat (fatty compounds) consists of less than 0.5g per 100g.
Organic acids: (organic compound with acidic properties) citric acids, malic acid, oxalic acid,
Phytochemical composition (a plant-based compound produced by plants).

Minerals and vitamins are important micronutrient components of the mango flesh. There are 5 main vitamins present in the mango: Vitamin A, B, C, E and K. There is a higher concentration of Vitamin A and C compared to the other vitamins6, with vitamin C ranging from 98mg to 18g per kg of mango depending on how ripe the mango is, where it was grown and which variety it belongs to6. Vitamin E and K increase their concentration as the mango ripens. Mangoes also contain a lot of minerals which are essential for cellular function6 and mango can provide a good source of gaining these minerals.

The total lipid and fatty acid composition is lower in mango when compared to the protein and carbohydrate components, ranging from 0.8% to 1.36% of the mango flesh.6 The lipid content does increase slightly when the mango becomes more riper.6 Mango is a great source oforganic acids such as citric acid, oxalic acid, ascorbic acid, tartaric acid and malic acid. They are required for metabolic uses, used as an energy source and aid digestion.7

Mango is an excellent source of phytochemical compounds like phenolic compounds, carotenoids and sterols.6 Phenolic compounds are small molecules that contain a phenol group, important in metabolism and, found in high concentrations in mangoes.6 Carotenoids have also been found in mangoes including lutein, a-carotene and b-carotene and carotenoids are responsible for the pigmented color of the mango.4

Eating a portion of mango can fulfil the dietary requirement of vitamins and minerals an individual may need and can provide benefits to an individual's health. Mango is a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A which have antioxidant properties, improve the immune system and, prevent scurvy.6 There is evidence that vitamin A has benefits against heart disease and cancer and one mango fruit has a vitamin A concentration of 1000-6000 IU.6 Vitamin B is important in metabolism and a mango contains 1.5-2.5mg of vitamin B for every 100g of fresh fruit.5 Organic acids and phytochemical compounds have antioxidant properties and play an important role in reducing inflammation and are important in preventing aging.4

Anti-inflammatory properties:

Phytochemical compounds present in mangoes have anti-inflammatory properties and can aid against gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases.4 Inflammatory bowel disease includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis which is characterised by chronic inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract7 that can increase the risk of individuals developing colon and rectal cancers.4 The inflammation is caused by an overproduction of inflammatory proteins called cytokines4 like IL-1, IL-16 and TNF-alpha.4 Experiments with mangoes have shown that they may have anti-inflammatory properties when using a model of ulcerative colitis and have shown to reduce the levels of cytokines produced.4

Phenolic compounds also play a role in anti-inflammation. Mangiferin is a phenolic acid present in mango fruit6 that targets cytokines and inhibits them by suppressing their activation.9 Mangiferin also has anti-cancer properties and inhibits cancer cells by preventing their proliferation.9 Another phytochemical compound with anti-inflammatory properties is flavonoids, such as quercetin and rhamnetin, which are found in mangoes.6 Quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties and also has anti-arthritis properties, useful for joint health. It works by inhibiting inflammation by reducing cytokines levels and stopping cell apoptosis (programmed cell death).10

Inflammation is a factor that can affect joint health and can cause inflammatory arthritis.11 Inflammation is caused by the immune system incorrectly releasing inflammatory molecules such as cytokines unnecessarily and targets healthy cells.11 The inflammation attacks the joints, causing them to swell which leads to joint pain and can cause damage to the surrounding joint area.11 Reducing the inflammation can improve joint health as there would be less joint swelling reducing joint fluid and damage to the bone.

Anti-oxidant properties:

Mangoes contain anti-oxidant properties which reduces oxidative stress.4 Oxidative stress is caused by an increase of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) which are highly reactive chemicals that are created from mitochondrial metabolism.4 The body can reduce and remove the reactive oxygen species using specific enzymes like catalase but when the levels of the free radicals are too high and not removed, it can cause harm to the cells.4 Vitamins A, B and E are all involved in antioxidant properties and are present in high concentrations in mangoes.6 These vitamins react with the reactive oxygen species, effectively neutralising them, reducing cellular damage.12 They also work by upregulating and activating the specific enzymes against the reactive oxygen species.4 Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties where they interact with the free radicals, removing them from the cells and preventing cellular damage.6

Oxidative stress can cause joint pain leading to osteoarthritis (joint degenerative disease) where there is damage to the structure and function of the joint.13 The high concentration of reactive oxygen species and a lack of clearance can cause tissue damage and chronic inflammation.13 From this, a patient can feel joint pain. Eating mangoes may help to reduce the levels of reactive oxygen species, which would improve joint health.

Vitamin C and collagen synthesis:

Mango is an incredible source of vitamin Cand can make up the daily dietary requirements6. Vitamin C is important in collagen synthesis regulation and plays a role in anti-ageing and maintenance of healthy hair and skin. Vitamin C works by preventing inactivation of 2 key enzymes (lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase) in collagen biosynthesis.14 The enzymes are crucial in catalyzing protocollagen (collagen chains with non-hydroxylated proline and lysine residues) and changing it into a stable collagen structure (triple-helix shape).15 Vitamin C can be described as a promoter of collagen synthesis and is required for collagen formation.

Collagen is also important for joint structure and flexibility. Within the joints, there are strong cartilage tissues which are needed to act as shock absorbers and reduce friction whilst also protecting and supporting the bones.16 Collagen is arranged into a triple helix structure which provides strength and tensile properties to the cartilage helping to stabilize the cartilage.16 Collagen is also an important component in ligaments and tendons which controls flexibility of the joint. However, collagen is required for vitamin C to regulate lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase in collagen biosynthesis and mangoes are an excellent source of vitamin C.
Incorporating Mango into a Joint-Healthy Diet:
There are several ways to include mangoes in a healthy diet and here are some examples:

As a snack:17

Eating mangoes freshly sliced,
Enjoy it with yoghurt,
Eat mango with chilli lime seasoning,
Mangoes in a fruit salad.

With meals:17

Include mangoes as toppings on breakfast items like pancakes,
In a smoothie with other fruits and yoghurt,
Thin mango slices with deli meat like ham or turkey, rolled up,
Mango can be included as a puree over grilled fish or chicken,
Mango salsa is very popular and can be eaten with tacos,
Mango sorbet and mango lassi are popular desserts

Consideration and precautions

There are some side effects associated with eating mangoes as some individuals can suffer from potential allergies or sensitivities.

Some people may suffer some throat pain, stomach pain and a runny nose after eating mango,
And some people may suffer from stomach pain, diarrhoea, and indigestion if they consume too much mango.
If you suffer from any side effects following eating mangoes, it is best to seek medical attention immediately and to stop eating mangoes. They are best suited to assist you with your symptoms. Another consideration is to not eat too much mango and to not eat it with other meals as this can lead to weight gain. Moderation in mango consumption is important for balanced nutrition.

Summary

In summary, mangoes are a delicious tropical fruit enjoyed by many. They offer joint health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, and contribute to collagen biosynthesis regulation. However, it's important to consume them in moderation for balanced nutrition.

  • ‘Mango | Description, History, Cultivation, & Facts | Britannica’, 1 November 2023. https://www.britannica.com/plant/mango-plant-and-fruit
  • Shah, K. A., M. B. Patel, R. J. Patel, and P. K. Parmar. ‘Mangifera Indica (Mango)’. Pharmacognosy Reviews 4, no. 7 (2010): 42–48. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.65325
  •  Dr. Hauschka. ‘Dr. Hauschka’. Accessed 23 November 2023. https://www.drhauschka.com/plant-glossary/mango/#:~:text=In%20the%20Vedas%2C%20written%20down,mango%20fruit%20as%20a%20gift
  • Lauricella, Marianna, Sonia Emanuele, Giuseppe Calvaruso, Michela Giuliano, and Antonella D’Anneo. ‘Multifaceted Health Benefits of Mangifera Indica L. (Mango): The Inestimable Value of Orchards Recently Planted in Sicilian Rural Areas’. Nutrients 9, no. 5 (20 May 2017): 525. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9050525
  • nhs.uk. ‘Joint Pain’, 18 October 2017. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/joint-pain/.
  •  Lebaka, Veeranjaneya Reddy, Young-Jung Wee, Weibing Ye, and Mallikarjuna Korivi. ‘Nutritional Composition and Bioactive Compounds in Three Different Parts of Mango Fruit’. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 2 (January 2021): 741. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020741.
  • ND, Dr Miranda Wiley. ‘What Are Organic Acids & How Are They Associated with Your Health?’ Botanica, 8 June 2017. https://botanicahealth.com/blog/what-are-organic-acids-and-how-are-they-associated-with-your-health/.
  • ‘What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)? | IBD’, 27 April 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/ibd/what-is-IBD.htm.
  • Imran, Muhammad, Muhammad Sajid Arshad, Masood Sadiq Butt, Joong-Ho Kwon, Muhammad Umair Arshad, and Muhammad Tauseef Sultan. ‘Mangiferin: A Natural Miracle Bioactive Compound against Lifestyle Related Disorders’. Lipids in Health and Disease 16 (2 May 2017): 84. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12944-017-0449-y.
  • Wang, Haiyan, Yongyong Yan, Janak L. Pathak, Wei Hong, Jing Zeng, Dongyang Qian, Binwei Hao, et al. ‘Quercetin Prevents Osteoarthritis Progression Possibly via Regulation of Local and Systemic Inflammatory Cascades’. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 27, no. 4 (February 2023): 515–28. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.17672.
  • ‘Causes of Inflammatory Joint Pain | Arthritis Foundation’. Accessed 23 November 2023. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/managing-pain/understanding-pain/causes-of-inflammatory-joint-pain.
  • Sies, H., W. Stahl, and A. R. Sundquist. ‘Antioxidant Functions of Vitamins. Vitamins E and C, Beta-Carotene, and Other Carotenoids’. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 669 (30 September 1992): 7–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1992.tb17085.x.
  • Ansari, Mohammad Yunus, Nashrah Ahmad, and Tariq M Haqqi. ‘Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis: Role of Polyphenols’. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie 129 (September 2020): 110452. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110452.
  • Boyera, N., I. Galey, and B.A. Bernard. ‘Effect of Vitamin C and Its Derivatives on Collagen Synthesis and Cross‐linking by Normal Human Fibroblasts’. International Journal of Cosmetic Science 20, no. 3 (June 1998): 151–58. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1467-2494.1998.171747.x.
  • DePhillipo, Nicholas N., Zachary S. Aman, Mitchell I. Kennedy, J.P. Begley, Gilbert Moatshe, and Robert F. LaPrade. ‘Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review’. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 6, no. 10 (25 October 2018): 2325967118804544. https://doi.org/10.1177/2325967118804544.
  • Sophia Fox, Alice J., Asheesh Bedi, and Scott A. Rodeo. ‘The Basic Science of Articular Cartilage’. Sports Health 1, no. 6 (November 2009): 461–68. https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738109350438.
  • Mango.org. ‘Eating Mangos’. Accessed 24 November 2023. https://www.mango.org/eating-mangos/.

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Asha Moalin

Master’s degree in Healthcare Technology, University of Birmingham

Asha is a recent graduate with a Master’s degree in Healthcare Technology from the University of Birmingham. With a passion for innovating medical therapies and technologies, Asha is dedicated to contributing advancements that allow patients to lead longer and healthier lives.

Her expertise includes both laboratory research and comprehensive literature reviews. Drawing on several years of academic writing, Asha enjoys translating complex data into accessible and informative articles.

She is committed to bridging the gap between scientific intricacies and public understanding. Beyond healthcare, Asha also possesses exposure to the business world. This is evident in her work experience at J.P Morgan chase and Turner & Townsend, where she explored finance, consultancy and sustainability. These experiences have equipped her with a diverse skill set and understanding of the connection between healthcare and business.

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