Scope: Chronic constipation is a common gastrointestinal condition associated with intestinal inflammation and considerably impaired quality of life, affecting about 20% of Americans. Dietary fiber and laxatives aid in its treatment but do not fully address all symptoms, such as intestinal inflammation. Mango (Mangifera indica L.), a fiber- and polyphenol-rich fruit may provide anti-inflammatory effects in constipation.
Methods and results: The 4 week consumption of mango fruit (300 g) or the equivalent amount of fiber is investigated in otherwise healthy human volunteers with chronic constipation who are randomly assigned to either group. Blood and fecal samples and digestive wellness questionnaires are collected at the beginning and end of the study. Results show that mango consumption significantly improve constipation status (stool frequency, consistency, and shape) and increase gastrin levels and fecal concentrations of short chain fatty acid (valeric acid) while lowering endotoxin and interleukin 6 concentrations in plasma.
Conclusion: In this pilot study, the consumption of mango improves symptoms and associated biomarkers of constipation beyond an equivalent amount of fiber. Larger follow-up studies would need to investigate biomarkers for intestinal inflammation in more detail.
Keywords: chronic constipation; gallotannins; inflammation; mango; polyphenols.
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