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Mangos could prevent heart disease and diabetes, finds controversial study

LONDON Sept 8: Eating mangos each day could prevent heart disease and diabetes, if controversial new research is to be believed.
The study, funded by suppliers of the exotic fruit, found they can control blood sugar levels and slash cholesterol.
Funded by the US-based National Mango Board, the 'comprehensive' review also showed benefits for brain, skin and gut health.
But critics have hit back at the findings and lambasted the supposed evidence as being an 'obvious agenda' to sell more mangos. 
Researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, looked at seven studies into mangos and type 2 diabetes across the last two decades.
They found that consumption of the fruit appeared to control blood sugar levels in both humans and animal sufferers. Uncontrolled levels can be deadly.
Trials on rodents also showed of similar benefits for those without the preventable condition by controlling blood glucose.
Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to blindness and amputations, is caused when the body doesn't produce enough insulin - causing glucose to stay in the blood.
The same experiments also showed a reduction in cholesterol and triglycerides. High levels of these can lead to heart disease - the world's leading killer. 
Lead author Dr Britt Burton-Freeman, based at the university's Center for Nutrition Research, said: 'Mangos are one of the popular fruits in the world.
'They contain a variety of essential nutrients and bioactive components that may play a role in supporting key metabolic functions.' 
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, research claimed last year.
The superfood was found to boost gut bacteria which can ward off the conditions by Oklahoma State University scientists.
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. 
Commenting on the research published in the Food & Function journal, Oliver Jelley, editor of The Diabetes Times, slammed the results.
He said: 'We have come across research before which promotes the benefits of eating mangos, but this appears to be a relatively small body of work. 
'This study is linked to the US-based National Mango Board so there is an obvious agenda. Our verdict is to treat the findings with caution.' There is no suggestion of any impropriety on behalf of any of the scientists or universities involved.
Findings from studies in laboratory cells and animals earlier this year suggest that mangos could reduce the severity of inflammatory bowel disease.
The condition, which blights the lives of millions across the world, is caused by inflammation in the intestines.
But Texas A&M University research has highlighted gallic acid and mengiferin, found in low quantities in the fruit, to have positive effects on such a mechanism.
In 2013, Korean scientists also found that mangos may have the ability to fight off wrinkles by protecting collagen.
Collagen production declines naturally as adults grow older, causing skin to lose its elasticity. Hair is also affected. 
Preliminary trials, conducted by Iranian researchers two years ago, even imply that eating mangos could stave off dementia.
The fruit prevents build-ups of toxic clumps in the brain - which are believed to be the signature hallmark of the disease, experiments on rats showed.
However, the US researchers behind the mango analysis stressed further studies are needed to dig into the true health benefits of the fruit. 
The National Mango Board says it is a 'promotion and research organization, which is supported by assessments from domestic and imported mangos'.