- African mango
- Bush mango
- Dika nut
For Patients & Caregivers
How It Works
The seed extract of African mango may support weight loss. Large-scale clinical trials are needed to further determine its safety and efficacy.
The bark of African mango has been used in traditional medicine for stomach and intestinal ailments, to relieve pain, and to prevent infections. The seed extract has been studied and promoted as a weight loss supplement due to its ability to reduce sugar and cholesterol absorption. However, side effects have been reported in clinical studies and it may also interfere with the absorption of other medications. More studies are needed to ensure that this product is safe and effective in humans.
- Weight loss Although clinical trials have benefit, meta-analyses have determined that the evidence is insufficient.
- Lower cholesterol Clinical studies have shown that use of the seed extract leads to a reduction in cholesterol levels along with weight loss. Due to the small sample size, more studies are still needed.
- Diarrhea, colic, dysentery Although used traditionally in Africa, scientific data are lacking to support these claims.
- Pain The pain-relieving components of African mango bark are not yet known, but a study demonstrated that both water and ethanol extracts produce pain-relieving effects, with the water extract having stronger effects.
- Blood glucose A clinical trial on the seed extract from African mango shows a reduction in blood glucose levels in participants. However, this was a small study and more research is needed.
- Infection Laboratory studies showed that the alcohol extract of African mango has antimicrobial effects against bacteria and fungi. Its usage in humans has not been evaluated.
Do Not Take If
For Healthcare Professionals
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 the bark of African mango 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 the rise in blood glucose level in diabetics after eating (3). The seed extract showed positive effects in controlling obesity and lowering cholesterol levels (4). However, most studies conducted on African mango have been small with poor methodology (13) (14) (15). Larger clinical trials are needed to examine the safety and benefits of this fruit extract as a weight loss supplement.
Although an animal study and limited human data suggest that African mango seed extract is well-tolerated, adverse effects have been reported in clinical trials.
Mechanism of Action
An in vitro study showed that African mango seed extract can block adipogenesis through downregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) 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 content and is thought to help lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids. (3).
Gas, headaches, and difficulty sleeping (4)
A manufacturer-sponsored subchronic toxicity study suggests that an African mango kernel extract (IGOB131) does not cause adverse effects in animals (10). No independent toxicology study has been conducted in humans.
Renal failure: In a 42-year-old patient who became dialysis-dependent following 2.5 months of using an African mango herbal medicine (16).