African Mango is one of the most popular herbal weight loss supplement in the U.S. market right now.
But what is an African Mango?
No, it’s not a mango grown in Africa. It’s actually the nickname of a fruit grown on Irvingia Gabonensis (IG) trees in the rain forests of Guinea. The tree is also called dika, wild mango or bush mango.
The fruit itself is used as food in Cameroon and Nigeria because of its nutritional value because it is high in vitamin C. The bark, seeds, leaves, and roots have been used in alternative medicine for years. The bark is mixed with palm oil to help with dysentery, diarrhea, and colic. It is also an ingredient used for treating skin aliments. The leaves are used to help reduce fever.
In recent years, studies have shown that African Mango supplements can help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, and improve control of diabetes.
African Mango seeds are filled with iron, B vitamins, calcium, riboflavin, and healthy fatty acids. They consist of 15 percent carbohydrates, 67 percent fat and 8.5 percent protein. When the seeds are turned into extract, they can also be used as a supplement.
In 2005, BioMed Central studied the effects of IG seeds on 40 obese patients. Twenty-eight patients received IG supplements three times a day while the other received a placebo. After one month, the group that consumed the supplement lost an average of 5.26 lbs. while the other group on lost an average of 1.32 lbs.1
In 2008, another study by BioMed Central again examined the effect of African Mango supplements. This time, the researchers studied 72 obese or overweight patients’ body weight, fat, waist size, cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose level four times during the 10-week study. At the end, the two groups that received active supplements had significant differences in all areas of health. The difference really started to show at week four and continued for the rest of the study.2
Along with weight loss, African Mango can also help reduce cholesterol levels. Both studies completed by BioMed Central examined the effect on cholesterol and found that African Mango was successful in lowering the cholesterol levels of obese and overweight participants.
Participants in the 2008 study had lower cholesterol levels of more than 44 percent. The participants in the placebo groups showed no significant signs of lowered cholesterol. Many researchers believe the high fiber found in the supplement may be the cause of this.
In March 2009, a study published in Lipids in Health and Disease found similar results to the other studies. In this study, 102 participants, both healthy and overweight received either a 150 mg twice a day of the supplement or a placebo.3 The results of this study showed a positive impact on blood-glucose levels. This study was the first double blind randomized placebo controlled clinical trial in regards to anti-obesity and lipid profile modulating effects.4
Many studies gave participants dosage 30 minutes before a meal with a glass of warm water. Although these studies showed positive results when using African Mango supplements, they are all relatively small studies. Larger and longer-term studies need to done to determine the exact health benefits and side effects of the supplement.
1 Ngondi JL, Oben JE, Minka SR. The effect of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on body weight and blood lipids of obese subjects in Cameroon. Published May 2005. Accessed June 2016.
2 Oben JE, Ngondi JL, Makamto Sobgui CS. The use of a Cissus quadrangularis/Irvingia gabonensis combination in the management of weight loss: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Published March 2008. Accessed June 2016.
3 Ngondi JL, Etoundi BC, Nyangono CB, Mbofung CMF, Oben JE. IGOB131, a novel seed extract of the West African plant Irvingia gabonensis, significantly reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight humans in a randomized double-blind placebo controlled investigation. Published January 2009. Accessed June 2016.
4 Lee S. What are the Benefits of African Mango. Last updated July 2015. Accessed June 2016.