African mango extracts are derivative of the seeds of a flowering and seed bearing plant referred to as Irvingia gabonensis. The tree commonly grows in the Central and West African Region.
The tree is known by the natives as ogbono, bush mango, dika nut, odika or wild mango.
There is history of the use of the African mango in Traditional medicine, but the fruit is edible and the seed is regularly used for cooking soup.
Presently, the I. gabonensis has received great attention, particularly after it was featured on The Dr. Oz Show. Modern day uses of the African mango extract are for the treatment of obesity, for weight loss, reduction of the levels of bad cholesterol,, management of diabetes and mitigation of pain.
The data presented in the Natural Medicine’s Comprehensive Database show that there is not enough clinical evidence to rate the African mango as a remedy for weight loss or any other therapeutic uses. A good numbers of the available data are gotten from a minute number of clinical trial studies that was flawed due to poor methodology and possible biased from the producers of the supplement who sponsored the research.
African mango extract contains large quantity of healthy fats and fiber. The seeds of I. gabonensis are made up of medium to long-chain fatty acids. At present, no clinical research shows that there is a bioactive molecule in I. gabonensis that is completely unique to it.
Pros of African Mango Extract
- The African mango extract is the ingredient frequently used in the production of weight loss supplements.
- It can be used in the treatment of diabetes
- It helps to regulate the levels of blood sugar and blood cholesterol
- It is an appetite suppressant
- It can be used as a carb blocker
- It boosts satiation and prevents weight gain
The African mango seeds are made up of high content of fiber and healthy fatty acids, which can result to weight loss when combined with healthy diet and good exercise regimen.
A lot of small-scale studies have suggested that African mango supplements may assist to minimize weight gain, boost weight loss, lower the levels of cholesterol and assist to control the levels of blood sugar in overweight individuals. Nevertheless, there have been some doubts about the quality of these available scientific studies.
Scientific Studies Conducted on African Mango Extract
In this part of the article, we will discuss about two available clinical studies conducted on the use of the African mango extract that regulating the levels of cholesterol and the treatment of weight loss.
These two studies were carried out by the same research team. The studies were as well sponsored by a producer of the African mango supplements. These results were considered flawed because they are thought to be substandard.
African Mango and Cholesterol
A study that involves overweight participants with either normal or a bit high levels of blood cholesterol levels, found that the treated participants recorded an improvement in levels of their good cholesterol while the levels of the bad cholesterol was reduced. It w also observed that the participants lost some weight.
Participants who were given 1.05 g of Irvingia gabonensis three times daily for a month were found to reduce the levels of total cholesterol and boost their levels of good cholesterol also known as HDL cholesterol. The same research found that the treated individuals reported a reduced triglyceride levels. The available data about the research showed that the treatment group recorded a:
- Thirty-nine percent reduction in total cholesterol;
- Forty six reduction in total LDL-C;
- Forty five percent less levels of triglycerides;
- Forty seven boost in HDL-C when combined with low-fat diet.
A second study found that overweight individuals in the treatment group who received two daily doses of 150 mg IGOB131, a special standardized blend of Irvingia gabonensis extract for ten weeks, recorded a 26 percent low total cholesterol levels and a 27 percent low LDL-C levels while the total cholesterol levels of the participants in the control group were only reduced by two percent.
The use of African Mango Extract for Fat Loss
African mango extract is advertised as a weight loss supplement. Nevertheless, there is minimal clinical evidence to conclusively establish the use of African mango for health purposes.
The accessible data is not widely accepted but have been critiqued for being sponsored by the product manufacturer and for using substandard methodology.
These accessible data on the trial studies show that African mango supplement can help people to lose weight.
In the study above, it was found that 1.05 g doses of African mango assisted individuals placed on low fat calorie diet of 1800kCal daily to lose weight.
The research participants were given the medication three times daily for a month and were grouped into the treatment group and the control group.
At the end of the four weeks study, it was found that the treatment grouped lost an average weight four kilogram or 8.8 lbs compared to the control group which did not record any significant weight loss.
In another study that made use of 150 mg of IGOB131 given to the treatment group two times a day for a period of ten weeks, it was found that the treatment group ate fewer calories and lost some weight without being placed on any form of calorie restriction.
The results show that individuals in the treatment group ate roughly 2,767 kCal daily while the control group ate roughly 3,156 kCal daily. It was also found that the treatment group lost roughly 12.8 kg (28.22 lbs) while the control group lost about 7 kg (1.8 llbs).
African Mango for management of Diabetes
A study published in 1990, show that one single dose of 4 g I. gabonensis seed fiber given to research participants for 30 days resulted to low levels of LDL-C or low density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people suffering from type II diabetes. It as well lowered the fasting blood glucose when compared to baseline levels.
Cons, Side Effects and safety of African mango seed extract
It was noted in the data of the Natural Medicine comprehensive Database that non-permanent and appropriate use of the pure African mango seed extract is possibly safe. However a few infrequent recognized side effects include the following:
- Mild and short-term experience of gas, sleep difficulty and or headaches.
- African mango supplements may interact with prescription and over-the-counter drugs especially medications used in the treatment of diabetes and hypertension.
- Get in touch with your doctor before taking African mango extract to ensure the supplement is safe.
- There are other plant sources that provide similar health benefits which can be obtained cheaper than the African mango extract like konjac root and/or glucomannan.
More research needs to be carried out to establish the therapeutic effects of I. gabonensis supplements.