According to a clinical pilot study published in the journal Nutrients, regular intake of modest amounts of Ataulfo mangoes may improve facial wrinkles in fair-skinned postmenopausal women; however, the beneficial effects on skin health may be lost if the intake of mangoes is particularly high.
Mangoes may be particularly suited to provide compounds that benefit the skin, particularly Ataulfo mangoes.
They are rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids, along with phenolic and ascorbic acids, which are generally higher compared to other mango cultivars typically found in the U.S.
Gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, protocatechuic acid, and vanillic acid are the major phenolics identified in Ataulfo mangoes.
While a mango extract fed to mice inhibited wrinkle formation through inhibition of epidermal thickening and increasing collagen bundles, the effects of mango consumption on human skin remain unknown.
“We therefore assessed the effects of Ataulfo mango intake at 85 g (0.5 cup) or 250 g (1.5 cups) for 16 weeks on the development of wrinkles and erythema, and changes in skin carotenoids, in postmenopausal women,” said senior author Professor Robert Hackman from the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis and colleagues.
The study involved 28 postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types II or III (skin that burns more easily than tans).
The participants were divided into two groups: one group consumed a half cup of mangoes 4 times a week for 16 weeks, and another consumed a cup and a half for the same period of time.
Facial photographs were captured at weeks 0, 8, and 16, and wrinkles at the outer eye corners and erythema at the cheeks were quantified. Skin carotenoid values were measured with reflection spectroscopy.
“The system we used to analyze wrinkles allowed us to not just visualize wrinkles, but to quantify and measure wrinkles,” Professor Hackman said.
“This is extremely accurate and allowed us to capture more than just the appearance of wrinkles or what the eye might see.”
Deep wrinkle severity decreased significantly in the 85 g group after 8 and 16 weeks compared to baseline measures.
In contrast, those in the 250 g group showed an increase after 16 weeks in average wrinkle severity, average wrinkle length, fine wrinkle severity, and emerging wrinkle severity.
Erythema in the cheeks increased with 85 g of mango intake.
“This shows that while some mango may be good for skin health, too much of it may not be,” said first author Vivien Fam, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis.
“It’s unclear why consuming more mango would increase the severity of wrinkles. It may be related to a robust amount of sugar in the larger portion of mangoes.”
“Further research is needed to learn the mechanisms behind the reduction in wrinkles,” she added.
“It may be due to the beneficial effects of carotenoids and other phytonutrients that could help build collagen.”