African mango is a tree native to West Africa that is widely publicized for its weight loss and fat burning effects. It is widely believed that extracts of various parts of this tree have antioxidant properties, lower cholesterol, and reduce blood sugar.
African mango is a tree found in the rainforests of West Africa, and fruits of this tree are protein-rich and resemble mangoes. It is even known as wild mango, bush mango, dika, and Ogbono (locals).
All parts of the African mango tree are used for a variety of purposes. The fleshy part and pulp of the fruit is consumed as food or used to make jams, juice, and wine, and the seeds are eaten raw or used to prepare different foods and supplements.
The roots, bark, leaves, and seeds are used to make traditional medicines, but it’s the seed or nut (fresh or dried) that contains the powerful ingredients. The seed extract comes in powder, liquid, and capsules.
Some set of people claim that the high soluble fiber content of IG seed can melt away belly fat and trim waistlines, and 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 African mango supplement can:
- lower appetite,
- lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides,
- reduce fat cell growth,
- boost the breakdown of fats, and
- Improve blood sugar control.
Studies on African Mango for Weight Loss
According to a study, subjects who took 150mg of African mango seed extract twice a day showed “significant improvements” in their body weight, body fat, and waist circumference. A good number of subjects also indicate better heart health, including plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood glucose, and C – reactive protein, adiponectin, and leptin levels.
They showed this result without changing their diet or exercise routine, and other studies have shown similar results for subjects losing weight without making other lifestyle changes.
The African mango supplement is an extract from a food that has been consumed for centuries in fairly large amounts with almost no reports of negatives to date.
However, some users (in the UK) of this supplement (VitaLean) reports an increased libido.
While studies report initial improvements, more research needs to be done to see if continuous supplementation would yield any additional benefits. A blogger even wrote in her blog that when she tried the supplement herself, she lost an initial seven pounds, but did not keep losing with continued use. She also noticed the same effect with her patients.
In all these studies, researchers suggest the high fiber content of the seed competes with cholesterol and helps remove it.
In another separate study of people on a low-fat, low-calorie diet, people did lose more weight when taking Africana mango than those on the placebo group. However, being that most of these studies were funded by the supplement maker, more research is needed.
Components of African mango
The fruit of African mango provides 86 Kcal, and the nutrient content per 100g fruit is:
- Water 78 g
- Protein 1.1 g
- Vitamin C 56 mg
- Calcium 262 mg
- Fat 1.1 g
- Carbohydrates 17.8 g
- Fiber 0.4 g
The seeds of the fruit are a good source of nutrients and contain the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which have antioxidant properties. They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, etc…
Health Benefits of African Mango
Fibers in African mango seeds can bind to bile salts and carry them out of the body in the stool, helping to increase the conversion of cholesterol into bile salts to replenish the deficiency. This helps to decrease blood cholesterol levels.
African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) seed extract can suppress fat production by:
- Reducing the activity of the protein PPARγ, which promotes gaining of weight
- Increasing adiponectin, which is a protein hormone involved in fat breakdown and glucose control
- Reversing leptin resistance. Leptin resistance can lead to obesity
Furthermore, Leaf, bark, and root extracts of African mango contain antifungal and antibacterial compounds (terpenoids and ellagic acid-like compounds), that can disrupt bacterial and fungal cell membranes, preventing microbial adhesion, and inactivating microbial enzymes.
In a nutshell, the benefits of African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) include:
- African mango may promote weight loss and fat burning
- African mango may lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol
- African mango may lower blood sugar levels, and the extract of the may help to improve blood glucose levels in patients diagnosed with diabetes. In a study of 102 overweight volunteers, treatment with African mango seed extract decreased fasting blood glucose levels by 25% after 2 months.
- African mango may reduce systolic blood pressure
- African mango has antioxidant properties and can protect against heavy metal toxicity. In a study, African mango leaf extracts significantly improved liver function in rats with heavy metal-induced liver toxicity.
- African mango has antibiotic and anti-parasitic properties, and the leaf extracts of African mango also have antiparasitic effects. In the laboratory, leaf extracts of African mango killed up to 71% of roundworm larvae.
- African mango may relieve pain and may improve gut health. In a lab test, African mango extracts also inhibited ulcer formation in rats by increasing mucus production in the stomach.
Safety and Side Effects of African mango
African mango supplements are generally safe, being that it has been consumed for centuries among local indigenes’, in fairly large amounts with almost no reports of negatives to date. In the lab, doses as high as 2500 mg per kg body weight per day, did not show any damaging effects.
However, some people have reported headache, insomnia, and stomach gas.
Also, since African mango lowers blood sugar levels, it should be used with caution when taken with anti-diabetic medications. It may also affect the rate of absorption of some prescription drugs since it delays stomach emptying.
Clinical studies have used 150 mg capsules twice a day, 250 mg capsules twice a day, and 1.05 g capsules three times a day (taken 30 minutes before meals). However, consult your doctor before supplementing with African mango extract for weight loss.