The African mango is becoming popular as a food considered to help weight-loss. This fruit, also known as irvignia gabonesis, wild mango, or bush mango, is grown in Africa and Southeast Asia. The seeds of the African mango are the parts used most often.
There have been some recent studies involving the African mango. A notable one, published in May 2005 in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease, evaluated the effectiveness of irvignia gabonensis seeds in the treatment of obesity. This research, by Ngondi, Oben, and Minka, involved 40 obese subjects, 19 to 55 years old, over a one-month period.
Twenty-eight of the subjects took a 350 mg capsule of irvingia gabonensis seed extract a half hour before meals, three times daily. The other twelve subjects had a placebo capsule of oat bran, which they took at the same intervals as the first group. All 40 subjects followed a low fat, 1800 Kcal diet.
The subjects taking irvingia gabonensis lost an average of 5.26 kilos (11.5 pounds), while the placebo group only lost an average 1.32 kilos (2.9 pounds). Besides losing weight, the irvingia gabonensis group also significantly decreased their levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and systolic blood pressure. Additionally, their good HDL-cholesterol levels increased. The placebo group showed no changes in their cholesterol levels.
A second study, conducted by the same research group, was published in March 2008. This study involved 120 subjects. Subjects were again separated into two groups, one taking 150 mg of irvingia gabonensis extract twice daily, and the other taking a placebo. Cholesterol levels in the irvingia gabonensis group decreased by 27%, body fat decreased by 6.3%, and they lost 12.8 kg (28.1 pounds). In the placebo group, cholesterol levels decreased 4.8%, body fat dropped 1.9%, and weight decreased 0.7 kg (1.5 pounds).
African mango appears to be beneficial to overall health. It is a natural stimulant free product, which aids in weight loss and improves heart health. However, only two main studies on its weight loss potential have been published, both being done by the same group of researchers. Before acclaiming African mango as the next “miracle weight loss food”, more research needs to be conducted.