Mangoes and Warfarin

The mango is a versatile fruit that can be added to salsas and smoothies, desserts and dinners as well as being enjoyed alone. The mango is one of the most popular and widely consumed fruits in the world.1,2 Patients on warfarin are not strangers to mangoes as it has been controversial fruit for warfarin patients along with grapefruit and cranberries. 

The Mango Fruit

The first mangoes were grown in India over 5,000 years ago and have since had their seeds carried by humans from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America.1 Indeed, the mango plant’s bark, skin, leaves and pit have been used in folk remedies for centuries. Mangoes are a member of the drupe family which also includes cashews, pistachios, olives, dates and coconuts. These plants have fruits that feature an outer fleshy part with a seed surrounded by a giant shell or pit.1,2 Since they were first cultivated, the variety of mangoes available has grown, ranging in color, shape, flavor and seed size. The similarities between all these varieties is that the flesh of the fruit is usually a golden yellow with a sweet, creamy taste.2

Mango fruit is available throughout the year. Many of the mangoes sold in the United States are from Central and South America and are usually one of six different varieties: Tommy Atkins, Haden, Kent, Keitt, Honey and Francis.1

Mangoes and Your Health

No matter the variety, mangoes are considered a healthy addition to a person’s diet. Mangoes contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals.2 The health benefits of eating mangoes include benefits for your eyes, your colon, digestion and for both your skin and hair. About one cup of any mango type contains around three grams of fiber. Diets that are high in fiber can help in the management of diabetes and digestion.2

While our Vitamin K Finder lists mangoes as a food low in vitamin K, with about 6.9 micrograms of vitamin K per one cup serving, there has been some concern about warfarin patients consuming mango. Eating mango while on warfarin may increase your INR.3 While there have been reported cases of increased INR associated with mango fruit consumption, the nature of the interaction is unclear and can be different for each patient.3,4 Patients should be mindful of their mango consumption while on warfarin and discuss their diet with their doctor.

References:

  1. National Mango Board. About Mangoes. www.mango.org. 2017.
  2. Ware, M. RDN, LD. Mangoes: Health Benefits, Nutritional Breakdown. Medical News Today. October 21, 2015.
  3. UC San Diego Health. Anticoagulation Clinic: Food and Supplement Interactions. 2017. Retrieved from the website: https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/anticoagulation/providers/warfarin/Pages/supplement-interactions.aspx.
  4. Wan-Chih Tom, Pharm.D. Warfarin-Food Interactions. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter. May 2005, Vol 21, Number 210507.