The duo did further tests on the colon cancer lines because a mango contains both small molecules that are readily absorbed and larger molecules that would not be absorbed and thus remain present in a colon.
"We found the normal cells weren't killed, so mango is not expected to be damaging in the body," she said. "That is a general observation for any natural agent, that they target cancer cells and leave the healthy cells alone, in reasonable concentrations at least."
The Talcotts evaluated polyphenolics, and more specifically gallotannins as being the class of bioactive compounds (responsible for preventing or stopping cancer cells). Tannins are polyphenols that are often bitter or drying and found in such common foods as grape seed, wine and tea.
The study found that the cell cycle, which is the division cells go through, was interrupted. This is crucial information, Suzanne Talcott said, because it indicates a possible mechanism for how the cancer cells are prevented or stopped.
"For cells that may be on the verge of mutating or being damaged, mango polyphenolics prevent this kind of damage," she said.
The Talcotts hope to do a small clinical trial with individuals who have increased inflamation in their intestines with a higher risk for cancer.
"From there, if there is any proven efficacy, then we would do a larger trial to see if there is any clinical relevance," she said.
|Contact: Kathleen Phillips|
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications