photo Khalid Mahmood / Wikimedia

African mango, also known as Irvingia Gabonensis, is a fruit resembling a “traditional” mango, growing in rainforests and cultivated on plantations in West Africa. Other names by which it is known include “wild mango”, “bush mango”, “ogbono” and “dika”.

The African mango fruit is characterized by a pleasant taste, but it shouldn’t be very surprising that its core value is actually included in its kernel. In fact, it has quite recently turned out that African mango seed extract is a very effective weight loss supplement.

Apart from helping to boost metabolism and satiate hunger, it also offers some purely health benefits, such as the removal of bad cholesterol from the body, lower blood sugar and bowel cleanse.

The African tribes have been using the fruit and its seeds for medical purposes since at least several centuries. In the fruit’s natural environment, after the nuts have been harvested, they are being dried in order to preserve them.
As the next stage they are either sold directly, or ground until they become a powder which can be turned into a paste.

The “hedgehog” style is a form of mango preparation. / Wikimedia

In the native African regions it is being used to bake tasty bread (“dika bread”), which is one of the staple foods in this area, or becomes an ingredient of oils and several other products. Speaking of the pulp, it is useful for making jams, jellies, and juice, and is a popular dessert in Africa.

Nowadays, due to the fact that its beneficial properties have been discovered by the Western world, most of us are most likely to encounter the fruit it in the form of African mango diet pills.

How does it work?

It is now high time to finally explain in detail what does African mango do. As indicated at the beginning, studies have shown not just one, but several African mango benefits.

Importantly, the listed properties do not pertain to the pulp, but to the African mango seed extract. This is because, as it has already been said before, the largest amount of valuable substances of the fruit are included in its seeds.

First of all, they contain 10% of soluble fiber. Such high amounts of it are very helpful in slowing down the process of absorption of blood sugar. A study conducted on diabetic patients over a timespan of four weeks showed that as a result of taking the African mango supplement their blood glucose levels were lowered significantly.

Their enzyme ratio proved to be proportionate to the ratio displayed by healthy patients. Apart from lowering the risk of diabetes, low blood sugar also helps diminish the possibility of heart disease.

In fact, the mentioned research also proved  some more benefits of African mango fiber. It connects itself with the bile acids found in the intestines and, consequently, helps expel them from the body. This makes the liver escalate the metabolism of fats and of cholesterol in order to produce even more bile acids.

As a by-product of that process, stored fat gets burnt and the levels of bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein – LDL) as well as triglycerides levels are lowered. At the same time, the levels of good cholesterol (high density lipoproteins – HDL) actually increase.

Additionally, a well-known property of fiber is that it provides bulk. As a consequence, the African mango extract may also aid colon cleanse and, as a consequence, noticeably improve bowel function.

Since fiber may also be found in other foods, and, therefore, many of them share this property with African mango pills. Yet, as if the previously listed characteristics were not enough, this wonder fruit extract also increases the level of an anti-inflammatory hormone called adiponectin.

This substance, much as the good cholesterol HDL, has a lot to do with the lower risks of diabetes as well as cardiovascular diseases, and is produced by the fat cells in order to boost the metabolism of fats.

Satiate that appetite

The last of the benefits of African mango is probably one of its most attractive ones, as it consists in heightening the amount of leptin in our organism. Leptin is a hormone formed inside fat cells and taking part in the regulation of the appetite.

Explaining the significance of leptin may shed additional light on how does African mango work. When leptin levels are low, we feel a particularly strong craving for food and are therefore very likely to binge eat. Unfortunalely, this is particularly likely to happen at the moment when we least need it – that is, when we are on a diet.

Still, when leptin levels rise, suddenly food stops looking so attractive and we stop eating. Apart from reducing appetite, increased levels of leptin also result in thermogenesis (production of heat by the body), which gives the metabolism an extra boost.  That is exactly how African mango stimulates weight loss.

Still, in case of African mango, much as in case of any other diet supplement, there remains a question of how much to take.  In the conducted studies the doses amounted to around 150 mg of the excract, thirty minutes before lunch and dinner or 1,050 mg three times a day and thirty minutes before meals (with a glass of warm water).

There are usually powders, liquids or pills available, and the recommended dose is usually 150 mg of African mango extract taken twice a day, with food. In case of pills, you often only have to take one or two pills a day for the required effect.

There remains yet another question concerning African mango, that is how to use it. Many of the potential users will probably wonder in what form it should be taken. Should it only be swallowed as pills produced from the seeds? To be honest, it should, as the seeds, as it has just been shown, are definitely the most valuable element of African mango.

Despite displaying the beneficial properties described in the previous paragraphs, they also possess significant amounts of nutrients, i.e. vitamins, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and iron. Nevertheless, the African mango pulp is also a great source of calcium (containing 262 mg per 100 g of pulp) and vitamin C (66.7 mg per 100 ml). That is why it may be a good idea to also include African mango juice blend in your diet.

Could this be real?

Despite these optimistic facts, many of you will probably ask yourself the question “does African mango really work”? Naturally, one has to realise that not all African mango supplements are the same. In case of all effective supplements there are always bogus products that do not contain the actual working ingredient at all or contain only small amounts of it.

Never buy a product which does not contain an ingredient called Irvingia Gabonensis. It is best when it only includes that one ingredient, without any extra ones. Another things that you should be careful about are the so-called “free trials”. Quite frequently, they turn out not to be free at all, as it is mostly very difficult to back out of them. Also, they often do not offer the original ingredients either.

It sometimes happens that the sites containing the review of the product are actually only serving as advertisements of the “free trials”.

Still, as it was said before, if you read the etiquette and get the legitimate supplement, you can rest easy, as it has been proven that the African mango extract is a real help in the loss of the weight. A study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease in 2005, showed that its participants receiving African mango extract three times a day noted an approximate loss of 5% of body weight in a month, while the participants taking placebo only lost about 1% of body weight.

In a study from 2009 a decrease in bad cholesterol and an increase in leptin levels was additionally noted. Moreover, a lot of participants also experienced an energy boost (resulting from a metabolism boost) that could not be explained by any other reasons than taking African mango supplement.

Importantly, they were not increasing their usual amount of exercise or cutting back on the amount of consumed calories.

The last information seems to be of particular value, as many of us are reluctant to go on a diet for fear that we will have to give up our favourite foods while not even being sure that the diet plan will work and help us achieve our goals. The African mango supplement seems to be addressing these fears perfectly, as it seems that it is causing weight loss without any particular need to alter one’s eating habits or exercise habits.

Added to that, it is also safe to use, as only mild side effects (such as a headache or dry mouth) have been reported as probable. Combining this information with the fact that the extract is relatively inexpensive, and, most importantly, produced from a completely natural substance, one has to come to a conclusion that it is definitely a good idea to include the African mango supplement in one’s diet.

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