African mango is purported to promote weight loss by suppressing appetite, speeding up metabolism and preventing fat buildup. In addition, some proponents claim that African mango can help treat certain health problems, such as high cholesterol and diabetes.
Inhibits adipogenesis and reduces leptin levels
Irvingia gabonensis (IG) is the Latin name of the tree grown in Central and West Africa that produces a fruit similar to a mango and nicknamed African mango, wild mango, dika nut, or bush mango.
African mango seeds have high amounts of soluble fiber. Soluble fibers are “bulk-forming,” meaning that they delay the rate by which food exits the stomach, leading to a gradual absorption of sugars. This decreases the elevated blood glucose level after a meal .
Irvingia Gabonensis (African Mango) is a supplement derived from the seeds of the plant known as African Mango (not related to common Mango fruits); there is insufficient evidence to support its usage as a fat burning supplement, and it may merely be a vessel for fiber and fatty acids.
There are a few research studies on the health effects of IG extracts, and most have been sponsored by supplement makers. That’s a red flag, says Marisa Moore, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
A few studies have shown that supplements containing IG extract can aid in weight loss and lower blood cholesterol levels. Researchers suggest the high fiber content of the seed competes with cholesterol and helps remove it.
In two studies of people on a low-fat, low-calorie diet, people did lose more weight when taking IG than those who took a placebo. Another study combined IG with another herbal preparation, Cissus quadrangularis, and resulted in weight loss. The combination of ingredients makes it hard to isolate the role of IG alone. All three of these studies were funded by the supplement maker. More research is needed.
Leptin supplements contain various nutrients that are said to improve leptin sensitivity and promote fullness, but research is lacking. African mango may help lower levels of the hormone and improve sensitivity, but more studies are needed.
In conclusion, Irvingia gabonensis extract administered twice a day to healthy, overweight and obese individuals resulted in both weight reduction (body weight, body fat, waist size) and an improvement in metabolic parameters associated with insulin resistance. The current results suggest that IGOB131 may be a helpful adjunct in the management of overweight and/or obesity, supporting previous suggestions from our laboratory .
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1) African Mango May Promote Weight Loss and Fat Burning
2) African Mango May Lower Bad Cholesterol and Raise Good Cholesterol
3) African Mango May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
4) African Mango May Reduce Blood Pressure
African mango supplements reduced systolic blood pressure in a study of 28 overweight individuals after 2 weeks (DB-RCT) .
5) African Mango Has Antioxidant Properties
6) African Mango Has Antibiotic and Anti-Parasitic Properties
Extracts of leaves, bark, and roots of the African mango significantly inhibited bacterial and fungal growth in a lab study. Leaf and root extracts exhibited the highest antimicrobial activity .
7) African Mango May Relieve Pain
Stem bark extracts of African mango stem relieved heat and pressure-induced pain in mice. Although the mechanisms are unclear, it is thought to work by activating opioid receptors, which are involved in reducing pain .
8) African Mango May Improve Gut Health
African mango leaf extracts protected mice and rats from castor oil-induced diarrhea and fluid buildup in the intestines. They also decreased chemically-induced contractions in isolated rabbit and guinea pig intestines .
African mango extracts also inhibited ulcer formation in rats by increasing mucus production in the stomach .
No safety concerns reported for up to 3,150 mg/day for 10 weeks.
Reported adverse effects: Headache, difficulty sleeping, flatulence, and gas.
Insufficient evidence to draw conclusions, but at this moment in time there do not appear to be any significant side-effects associated with irvingia gabonensis
Clinical studies used dosage regimens of 150 mg of African mango seed extract 30 minutes before lunch and dinner or 1,050 mg 3 times daily 30 minutes before meals with a glass of warm water. Powders, liquids, and capsules are available from commercial manufacturers, with most common dosage regimens consisting of 150 mg of African mango twice a day with food.
African mango supplements are generally safe. In the lab, doses as high as 2,500 mg/kg bw/daydid not show any genotoxic (DNA damaging) effects .
There is some evidence that soluble fiber delays stomach emptying which in turn reduces appetite. Furthermore, an intake of soluble fiber is known to reduce blood cholesterol and is also known to reduce the elevation of blood sugar after a meal which is handy when it comes to controlling diabetes. A small double-blind randomized study of 40 subjects in 2005 showed a significant weight loss of about 4 kg with 3 grams of the extract taken daily. There was also a decrease in cholesterol and triglycerides as well as in waist and hip measurements. But there are some peculiarities in the data. First of all, the average initial weight of subjects in the experimental group was 105 kg while that in the placebo group was 79 kg. In a sense we are comparing apples to oranges here because any sort of intervention will cause a greater initial weight loss when there is more weight to lose. Why were the subjects not randomized in such a way that the initial weights in the experimental and control groups were roughly equal?
A later study in 2009 eliminated this concern with the initial weights of the two groups being essentially equal. This time there were 102 volunteers randomly divided into two groups with the experimental group swallowing a capsule containing 150 mg of African mango extract an hour or so before lunch and dinner. Why only one tenth as much of the extract as in the 2005 study was used isn’t addressed in the paper published in “Lipids in Health and Disease,” a peer-reviewed but not top-of-the line journal. It is likely that the extract, provided by a company that markets the product, was a different version than that used in the original study. The weight loss after ten weeks, with one tenth as much of the extract, was about 13 kg, far more than in the original trial as was the 16 cm decrease in waist size. Curious. There was also an astounding drop in total cholesterol of 40% and blood glucose of 19%. These are amazing and surprising numbers in comparison with what has been seen in other weight loss regimens. How do the researchers explain these stunning results? By invoking changes in certain hormone levels that they have measured. Leptin goes down and adinopectin goes up, both effects have been linked with weight loss. But before jumping on the bandwagon, the one where Dr. Oz has already planted himself on the driver’s seat, I’d like to see some replication of these results. Just sounds too good to be true.
An amino acid profile of fresh African mango seeds indicated the presence of 18 amino acids.Ekpe 2007Although phenotypic variations exist, physiochemical analysis documented that the seeds contain 3% moisture, 8% crude protein, 66% crude fat, 2% mineral ash, 10% crude fiber, and 11% carbohydrates. The oil content of the seed provided evidence for its use in industry, and the fiber content may provide bulk, improving bowel function.Matos 2009, Oboh 2004, Onimawo 2003 Analysis of the pulp documented 80% moisture, 1% crude protein, 1% crude fat, 1% mineral ash, 0.5% crude fiber, and 11% carbohydrate.Matos 2009, Onimawo 2003, Onyeike 2002 The high moisture content of the edible pulp provides evidence for its use in the production of juice, while the low ash content indicates a low mineral content.Matos 2009, Oboh 2004, Onimawo 2003
The seeds are a good source of nutrients, containing vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and iron.Oboh 2004, Onyeike 2002 The pulp is also an excellent source of calcium (262 mg per 100 g) and vitamin C (66.7 mg per 100 mL).Onimawo 2003