Are mangoes a natural remedy for depression?

Researchers from the University of Lagos in Nigeria found that mangoes (Mangifera indica) have antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. This study, which was published in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, used in vivo experiments in mice to determine these properties.

  • The bark of mango trees is commonly used in traditional African and Ayurvedic medicine to remedy hypertension, insomnia, tumor growth, rheumatism, and depression.
  • In this study, the researchers collected extracts from mango tree bark and administered them to mice to observe for potential antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. These were determined using the forced swim, tail suspension, and elevated plus maze tests.
  • The team also tried to determine the potential mechanisms of action by co-administering inhibitors of different pathways commonly utilized by conventional medications for depression and anxiety. These compounds include parachlorophenylalanine, metergoline, yohimbine, and sulpiride.

The results of the study showed that treatment with mango bark extracts significantly improved depression- and anxiety-like behaviors of the mice in the different tests. Moreover, they also observed that the antidepressant effects were due to interactions with the receptors for the neurotransmitters serotonin, adrenaline, and dopamine. Overall, these results prove that mangoes have potential use as a natural remedy for depression.

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Journal Reference:

Ishola IO, Awodele O, Eluogu CO. POTENTIALS OF MANGIFERA INDICA IN THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSIVE-ANXIETY DISORDERS: POSSIBLE MECHANISMS OF ACTION. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. 8 June 2016;13(3). DOI: 10.1515/jcim-2015-0047

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