African mango supplements are derived from the seeds of the African mango fruit that grows on the Irvingia gabonensis tree. They are reported to cause weight loss but there is currently only low-quality evidence to support this claim.
African Mango is most often used for
African mango, also known as bush mango, is an edible fruit that grows on the Irvingia gabonensis tree, which is native to tropical Africa. The fruit is sweet and juicy and provides ascorbic acid (i.e., vitamin C). African mango seeds, sometimes called “dika nuts”, are high in fatty acids and other nutrients, like polyphenols and iron. The seeds can be eaten raw or roasted, and are used to make oil, gum, and thickening agents used in cooking. The seeds or their extracts are sold as dietary supplements under the name “African mango”. African mango is unrelated to mango fruit sold in U.S. grocery stores, which are typically from India or Southeast Asia.
African mango supplements are claimed to cause weight loss and improve aspects of metabolic syndrome by affecting total cholesterol, LDL-C, and blood glucose. While systematic reviews conclude that African mango supplements might cause these beneficial effects, these reviews also conclude that the evidence has a high risk of bias because of poor reporting quality and serious methodological problems. including unclear randomization and blinding protocols, and the inclusion of lifestyle modifications in addition to supplementation. Therefore, high-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to determine whether African mango supplements are useful for weight loss or the treatment of metabolic syndrome.
Other evidence shows that Irvingia gabonensis extracts can reduce organ toxicity caused by certain drugs used to treat cancer, such as doxorubicin and trastuzumab. However, these effects have only been shown in rodent experiments and require verification in humans.
Some randomized controlled trials report headaches, sleep problems, and flatulence in people receiving African mango supplements. However, similar symptoms are also reported by people randomized to receive placebo, so African mango supplements are unlikely a direct cause of these side effects.
There is one reported case of renal failure associated with African mango consumption in a person with chronic kidney disease, but causality cannot be certain. Rodent experiments do not find evidence of toxicity caused by extracts of African mango seeds. However, there are currently no pharmacological or toxicology studies that have involved humans. Such studies are needed to fully understand the safety of African mango supplements.
Some evidence shows that African mango extracts may reduce cell growth and change the expression of leptin in fat cells (adipocytes). Leptin is a hormone involved in appetite and energy balance. This might explain the potential role of African mango supplements in weight loss. Other evidence shows that a specific extract from African mango seeds, called terminalin, may increase glucose uptake into muscle cells, possibly explaining how African mango supplements reduced blood glucose in some studies. However, these potential mechanisms are derived from cell culture experiments (i.e., in vitro) and require verification in humans. Furthermore, it is currently unclear whether African mango supplements indeed cause weight loss or improve blood glucose.
It bears repeating that due to the low quality of evidence, high-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of African mango.
- African Wild Mango
- African Mango Extract
- African Bush Mango
- Dika Nut
- Irvingia Gabonensis
Supplemental dosages of irvingia gabonensis are quite variable, being anywhere between 150-3,200mg taken daily alongside meals. The optimal or effective dose is not currently known, but since the dietary fiber may be the active ingredient then supplementing in the higher end of the aforementioned range may be prudent.
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