Irvingia gabonensis

Purported Benefits, Side Effects & More

Irvingia gabonensis

Purported Benefits, Side Effects & More
Irvingia gabonensis

Common Names

  • African mango
  • Bush mango
  • Dika nut

For Patients & Caregivers

Tell your healthcare providers about any dietary supplements you’re taking, such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, and natural or home remedies. This will help them manage your care and keep you safe.

What is it?

The seed extract of African mango may support weight loss, but high-quality studies are needed.

The bark of African mango has been used in traditional medicine for stomach and intestinal ailments, pain, and infections. The seed extract is promoted as a weight loss supplement due to its potential to reduce sugar and cholesterol absorption, but this has not been adequately studied. In addition, side effects have been reported and it may interfere with the absorption of other medications. More studies are needed to ensure that this product is safe and effective in humans.

What are the potential uses and benefits?
  • Weight loss

    Most studies are small and of poor quality. High-quality studies are needed.
  • Lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels

    Data are limited and high-quality studies are needed.
  • Diarrhea, colic, dysentery

    Although used traditionally in Africa, data are lacking to support these claims.
  • Pain

    Data are lacking to support this use.
  • Infection

    Lab studies suggest antimicrobial effects, but this has not been studied in humans.
What are the side effects?
  • Gas
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping

Case report

Kidney failure:
In a 42-year-old patient who became dependent on dialysis following 2.5 months of using an African mango herbal medicine.

What else do I need to know?

Do Not Take if:

  • You are taking antidiabetic medications: Rat studies suggest African mango may further lower blood glucose levels. Clinical relevance has yet to be determined.

For Healthcare Professionals

Brand Name
Integra-Lean® African Mango Irvingia, truDERMA Mangodrin, Vitacost African Mango Extract IGOB131® Certified, Absonutrix African Mango, NV African Mango, Irvingiappress
Scientific Name
Irvingia gabonensis
Clinical Summary

African mango is a plant native to Central and West Africa. The fruit is consumed as food while the bark and seeds are used in folk medicine to relieve pain and gastrointestinal ailments. The seed extract is marketed as a dietary supplement for weight loss.

Preliminary studies suggest that African mango bark has antimicrobial (1), analgesic (2), and anthelmintic (12) effects. Its seed is rich in fiber and may help slow gastric emptying which results in gradual absorption of sugar, thereby decreasing blood glucose levels in diabetics after eating (3). Although the seed extract may have positive effects on obesity and cholesterol levels (4), most studies are small with poor methodology (13) (14) (15). Larger trials are needed to examine safety and benefits of this fruit extract as a weight loss supplement.

Limited human data suggest that African mango seed extract is well-tolerated, but adverse effects have been reported in clinical trials.

Food Sources

The fruit of African mango is consumed as food in West and Central Africa.

Purported Uses and Benefits
  • Weight loss
  • GI problems
  • Pain
  • Blood glucose
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Infections
Mechanism of Action

In vitro, the African mango seed extract can block adipogenesis through downregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and leptin, and upregulation of adiponectin (7). It also improved body weight, fat, and waist circumference as well as plasma total cholesterol (3), blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin, and leptin levels in humans (4). The extract is high in fiber and thought to help lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids (3).

Analgesic components of the bark are not yet known, but the aqueous extract had stronger effects than the ethanolic extract in animal studies  (2). A methanolic bark extract showed antimicrobial effects (1).

Adverse Reactions

Gas, headaches, and difficulty sleeping (4)

Case report
Renal failure:
In a 42-year-old patient who became dialysis-dependent following 2.5 months of using an African mango herbal medicine (16).

Herb-Drug Interactions

Antidiabetic drugs: Rat studies suggest African mango may have an additive hypoglycemic effect (5). Clinical relevance has yet to be determined.

Dosage (OneMSK Only)
  1. Kuete V, Wabo GF, Ngameni B, et al. Antimicrobial activity of the methanolic extract, fractions and compounds from the stem bark of Irvingia gabonensis (Ixonanthaceae). J Ethnopharmacol. Oct 8 2007;114(1):54-60.
  2. Okolo CO, Johnson PB, Abdurahman EM, et al. Analgesic effect of Irvingia gabonensis stem bark extract. J Ethnopharmacol. Feb 1995;45(2):125-129.
  3. Ngondi JL, Oben JE, Minka SR. The effect of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on body weight and blood lipids of obese subjects in Cameroon. Lipids Health Dis. 2005;4:12.
  4. Ngondi JL, Etoundi BC, Nyangono CB, et al. IGOB131, a novel seed extract of the West African plant Irvingia gabonensis, significantly reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight humans in a randomized double-blind placebo controlled investigation. Lipids Health Dis. 2009;8:7.
  5. Ngondi J, Djiotsa EJ, Fossouo Z, et al. Hypoglycaemic effect of the methanol extract of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on streptozotocin diabetic rats. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2006;3(4):74-77.
  6. Nangue TJ, Womeni HM, Mbiapo FT, et al. Irvingia gabonensis fat: nutritional properties and effect of increasing amounts on the growth and lipid metabolism of young rats wistar sp. Lipids Health Dis. 2011;10:43.
  7. Oben JE, Ngondi JL, Blum K. Inhibition of Irvingia gabonensis seed extract (OB131) on adipogenesis as mediated via down regulation of the PPARgamma and leptin genes and up-regulation of the adiponectin gene. Lipids Health Dis. 2008;7:44.
  8. Ross SM. African mango (IGOB131): a proprietary seed extract of Irvingia gabonensis is found to be effective in reducing body weight and improving metabolic parameters in overweight humans. Holist Nurs Pract. Jul-Aug 2011;25(4):215-217.
  9. Akubor PI. The suitability of African bush mango juice for wine production. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. Apr 1996;49(3):213-219.
  10. Kothari SC, Shivarudraiah P, Venkataramaiah SB, et al. Subchronic toxicity and mutagenicity/genotoxicity studies of Irvingia gabonensis extract (IGOB131). Food Chem Toxicol. May 2012;50(5):1468-1479.
  11. Sun J1, Chen P. et al. Ultra high-performance liquid chromatography with high-resolution mass spectrometry analysis of African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) seeds, extract, and related dietary supplements. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Sep 5;60(35):8703-9.
  12. Nweze NE, Ogidi A, Ngongeh LA. Anthelmintic potential of three plants used in Nigerian ethnoveterinary medicine. Pharm Biol. 2013 Mar;51(3):311-5.
  13. Onakpoya I, Davies L, Posadzki P, Ernst E. The efficacy of Irvingia gabonensis supplementation in the management of overweight and obesity: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Diet Suppl. 2013 Mar;10(1):29-38.
  14. Lee J, Chung M, Fu Z, et al. The Effects of Irvingia gabonensis Seed Extract Supplementation on Anthropometric and Cardiovascular Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Am Coll Nutr. Jul 2020;39(5):388-396.
  15. Maunder A, Bessell E, Lauche R, et al. Effectiveness of herbal medicines for weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2020 Jun;22(6):891-903.
  16. Ozkan G, Ulusoy S. A case of renal failure developing in association with African mango consumption. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2015;8(4):6374-6378.
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