What Is African Mango?
If you were hoping that African mango supplements would help with weight loss, you should know that the research on this is thin.
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.
In areas where IG grows, its flesh is widely eaten. But it’s the seed or nut (fresh or dried) that contains the supposedly powerful ingredients. Sold almost exclusively online, the seed extract comes in powder, liquid, and capsules.
What Are the Claims?
Some web sites claim that the high soluble fiber content of IG seed can melt away belly fat and trim waistlines. It’s often combined with other ingredients such as green tea and marketed as a fat-burning supplement.
You may see claims that taking the supplement 30-60 minutes before meals can lower appetite, lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce fat cell growth, boost the breakdown of fats, and improve blood sugar control. There are also claims that it is highly effective at getting rid of fat and cholesterol
The Facts on African Mango for Weight Loss
According to the study, subjects who took 150mg of this African mango seed extract twice a day showed “significant improvements” in their body weight, body fat, and waist circumference, as well as a slew of numbers that indicate better heart health, including plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin, and leptin levels—all without changing their diet or exercise routine. Additional studies have shown similar results, with subjects losing weight (about 8-10 pounds) without making other lifestyle changes.
The good news is that, so far, no adverse side effects have been reported. “This is an extract from a food that has been consumed for centuries in fairly large amounts (reports of daily consumption for more than 10 years in certain tribes),” Dr. Oben says. “We don’t have any reports of negatives to date. However some reports of increased libido have been brought to my attention by users of VitaLean in the UK.” A supplement that helps you shed pounds and feel sexier? Sounds good to us! But is it too good to be true?
While test subjects did find initial improvements, more research needs to be done to see if continuous supplementation would yield any additional benefits. In fact, Tanya Edwards, MD, M.Ed. (one of Dr. Oz’s correspondents) wrote on her blog that when she tried the supplement herself, she lost an initial seven pounds, but did not keep losing with continued use (and noticed the same with her patients).
African Mango Uses and Benefits
These weight loss products were used in ancient times for many other health conditions due to their wonderful medicinal properties.
● Garcinia Cambogia, the fruit that was earlier used to add flavor to food, has now been recognized for its medicinal properties as well. It was used to treat health problems related to pain in the joints, poor digestion, painful ulcers, edema, and menstruation problems.
● African Mango, the popular weight loss inducing fruit, is also amazing due to the antioxidants and vitamins within it, and is antimicrobial and analgesic. It has been found to also control diabetes and other GI issues.
So, what is so special about Pure African Mango anyways?
African Mango, which are also known as ‘dikka nuts’ or Irvingia, are native to the Guinean rain forests of West Africa. Native inhabitants of that region can tell you this natural fruit and the seeds it contains have been used for hundreds of years by African tribes for medical purposes.
These wildly grown fruits are edible and are quite similar to the traditional mango, and also bear protein. The nuts grown by the plants are harvested and dried so that they are preserved. Then they may be sold in their entirety, or are ground into a powder which can be used to make a paste, used in cooking. The paste is even used in native regions to create delicious breads, oils, and other products. The cool thing about this particular diet is that its foundation is not chemicals, but simply a really healthy fruit. In fact, the real health benefits of this wonder fruit comes from the extract of its seeds.
African mango seeds extract has been discovered to have a significant effect on lowering cholesterol, more specifically LDL or low density lipoproteins and triglycerides (the bad cholesterols), increasing HDL (good cholesterol), and even helping people lose weight.
In the same 2005 study, Ngondi also noted that the subjects placed in the intervention group exhibited a significant reduction in blood lipid levels, which include triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, the participants’ level of high density lipoprotein, otherwise known as the “good” cholesterol, showed marked improvements. The placebo group, on the other hand, exhibited no alterations to blood lipid levels.
Another study, published in the March 2009 edition of “Lipids in Health and Disease,” also conducted by Ngondi, reported that the extract of the dikanut may help to improve blood-glucose levels in patients diagnosed with diabetes. The study was performed over a 10 week period and consisted of 100 overweight individuals. Similar to the previous study in 2005, the subjects were divided into two groups, intervention and placebo. The results indicated that African mango does have a positive impact on blood-glucose levels; however, further research is required.