Chronic constipation is a common gastrointestinal condition associated with intestinal inflammation and a considerably impaired quality of life, affecting approximately 10–20% of the population in the US. Dietary fiber and laxatives have been shown to aid in the treatment of chronic constipation, Venancio, V. P. (2016)
Mango (Mangifera indica L.), a fiber- and polyphenol-rich fruit may provide anti-inflammatory effects in constipation.
Mangoes have many vital benefits which includes
Mangoes contain an antioxidant called zeaxanthin. A 2019 reviewTrusted Source suggests that zeaxanthin may play a protective role in eye health and could prevent damage from macular degeneration. This is an eye condition that gets worse with age.
The review cites the anti-inflammatory properties of zeaxanthin as a possible cause of this protective mechanism.
Also, the Skin Cancer Foundation suggest that a diet high in beta-carotene content can help protect against skin cancer. Orange fruits and vegetables, such as mangoes, contain beta-carotene. They also suggest that it can boost the action of the immune system against disease.
Constituents in mango promoting regular bowel movements
Fiber: Dietary fiber is defined by the IOM5 as nondigestible carbohydrates and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants, including the “plant nonstarch polysaccharides (e.g., cellulose, pectin, gums, hemicelluloses, β-glucans, and fibers contained in oat and wheat bran), plant carbohydrates that are not recovered by alcohol precipitation (e.g., inulin, oligosaccharides, and fructans), lignin, and some resistant starch.”
Functional fibers, on the other hand, include fibers that are added to foods (or provided as supplements) and that have been shown to have health benefits.
Mango contains a group of digestive enzymes called amylases. Digestive enzymes break down large food molecules so that they can be easily absorbed.
Amylases break down complex carbs into sugars, such as glucose and maltose. These enzymes are more active in ripe mangoes, which is why they are sweeter than unripe mangoes.
One four-week study in adults with chronic constipation found that eating mango daily was more effective at relieving symptoms of the condition than a supplement containing a similar amount of soluble fibre
Moreover, the plenty water and dietary fibre may help solve digestive problems like constipation and diarrhea.
They include but are not limited to, “isolated, nondigestible plant (e.g., resistant starch, pectin, and gums), animal (e.g., chitin and chitosan), or commercially produced (e.g., resistant starch, polydextrose, inulin, and indigestible dextrins) carbohydrates”.
The variety of fibers used in the food supply, especially the consistently increasing number of foods with added fibers, renders the examination of total fiber consumption in the U.S. population difficult.
In addition to fiber, mango contains sorbitol, a laxative sugar alcohol that has been found to be laxative when consumed in higher quantities. Potentially, when consumed together with fiber, lower concentrations of sorbitol may contribute to the laxative effects.
The effects of polyphenolics on gastro-intestinal motility is not well investigated however, polyphenolics have been shown to reduced intestinal inflammation in our preliminary studies in chemical-induced inflammation in rats and also in previously published studies. Reductions of intestinal inflammation and irritation contribute to the overall well-being and reduce abdominal pain.
In general, nutritional treatment of diarrhea would be preferable to conventional drug treatments that include steroid treatment that has severe side effects, pain medication.
In contrast to chemical laxatives (e.g. polyethyleneglycol) and fiber treatments that are available, mango combines the benefits of fiber, polyphenolics (with multiple benefits), sorbitol, and a wonderful taste. Overall, the high incidence of constipation in the US, specifically in an elderly population, and the composition of mango strongly suggest that the consumption of mango would be highly beneficial in individuals with constipation.
This indicates that mango has other components aside the dietary fibre that aid digestive health.
Mango has digestive enzymes, water, dietary fibre and other compounds that aid different aspects of digestive health
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Mertens‐Talcott, S. U., Kim, H., Talcott, S. T., & Venancio, V. P. (2016). Mango (Mangifera Indica L.) in the promotion of intestinal regularity and decreases inflammation in human subjects with constipation. The FASEB Journal, 30, 420-7.
Venancio, V. P., Kim, H., Sirven, M. A., Tekwe, C. D., Honvoh, G., Talcott, S. T., & Mertens‐Talcott, S. U. (2018). Polyphenol‐rich Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Ameliorate Functional Constipation Symptoms in Humans beyond Equivalent Amount of Fiber. Molecular nutrition & food research, 62(12), 1701034.
Talcott, S., & Talcott, S. Mango in the Promotion of Intestinal Regularity in Subjects with Constipation.