This weight-loss supplement, made from extracts of the seeds of the fleshy West African fruit Irvingia gabonensis (also known as African mango), is being praised for its ability to help reduce body fat, weight, and even cholesterol and leptin levels in overweight subjects, according to a recent study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease.
“African mango was a staple for many tribes in Cameroon and Nigeria, and one characteristic of these tribes is their slim build, as well as low incidence of cardiovascular disease,” says Julius Oben, PhD., one of the primary researchers in the study and an associate professor of nutritional biochemistry at University of Yaoundé in Cameroon.
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).
Should You Try African Mango Extract?
While you may experience some initial benefit from taking the supplement, the jury is still out on whether or not the effects will last or if you will continue to see results with regular use.
If you want to test it out for yourself, be sure to look for products (like truDERMA’s Mangodrin) that actually contain the extract called “IGOB131.” Many supplements on the market don’t, even though they are labeled as African mango.