The New and Improved Superfood: African Mangoby Dr. Nancy on May 4th, 2012 in Diets, Nutrition
African Mango Products are the newest weight loss craze, which followed the green tea and acai pill diets of last season. Since featured on the popular Dr. Oz show recently, the sales of African Mango blends, seeds and extracts have increased ten-fold overnight. Is this the true natural metabolism booster and fat burner that Hollywood claims it is? What is behind this claimed Superfood?
African mango, or Irvingia gabonensis, is indigenous to tropical rain forests of Guinea and while the flesh of the fruit has nutritional value, it is the pit, or the dikanut, that has been extensively studied for its medicinal properties. According to the Global Institute for Bioexploration, extract of the dikanut may help to alleviate diarrhea, diabetes, hernia and yellow fever, while leaf extracts may help to reduce fever. Clinical studies also support the pit of African mango as a treatment aid for obesity and elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol.
There was a university study performed in 2009 that found the Irvingia Gabonensis (African Mango) has a natural ability to act as very strong appetite suppressant, actually influencing the way your brain works. There were a few other studies by Bio Med Labs that claim participants lost 30-40 percent more fat than the placebo group and also decreased their cholesterol. One research team of scientists found that the best African Mango supplements for weight loss were those that have the actual African seeds.
The pure African Mango does not contain any natural or artificial stimulants have been advertised to rev up the metabolism and fat burning abilities of the human body. It does have an effect on leptin and grayling which are the chemicals that control hunger and appetite. The African Mango seed is a soluble fiber and that may be why it could lower cholesterol and suppress appetite. Consumers should note that many of the clinical trials that have been completed on the African Mango are conducted by the same marketers and patent investors. Like so many supplements that are over the counter on and available on the market today, there is no regulation by anyone. The FDA does not consider supplements to be a food, drug or claim to cure any disease. The ingredients printed on the advertisements and labels are always under scrutiny and test after test confirm the ingredients rarely match the label. This truly goes to show that unbiased research still needs to be done.
One study, led by Judith Ngondi, was published in the May 2005 edition of “Lipids in Health and Disease.” Ngondi researched the effects that dikanut extract had on the weight of individuals diagnosed with obesity. The study consisted of 40 individuals that were divided into two groups, intervention and control. The intervention group ingested the pit extract of the African mango fruit thrice daily over a 4-week period while the control group was administered placebos. The results indicated that the intervention group experienced an average weight reduction of 5.26 lbs. while the control group lost an average of 1.32 lbs. This study only held 40 people and the weight loss at the end of the day in the intervention group was small, but does show a twinkle of promise to the weight loss claims. Alt
In the same 2005 study, Ngondi also noted that the subjects placed in the intervention group exhibited a significant reduction in blood lipid levels, which include triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, the participants’ level of high density lipoprotein, otherwise known as the “good” cholesterol, showed marked improvements. The placebo group, on the other hand, exhibited no alterations to blood lipid levels.
Special Note: For those taking Cholestyramine Powder to lower cholesterol, there is no known drug interaction between Cholestyramine and African Mango.
Improve Blood-Glucose Levels in People with Diabetes
Another study, published in the March 2009 edition of “Lipids in Health and Disease,” also conducted by Ngondi, reported that the extract of the dikanut may help to improve blood-glucose levels in patients diagnosed with diabetes. The study was performed over a 10 week period and consisted of 100 overweight individuals. Similar to the previous study in 2005, the subjects were divided into two groups, intervention and placebo. The results indicated that African mango does have a positive impact on blood-glucose levels; however, further research is required.
There is no magic pill or Superfood, that when eaten alone, will melt away fat and provide optimal health without a holistic approach to wellness. This includes exercising, eating a well-balanced and wholesome diet filled with fresh vegetables and seasonal fruit, mental happiness and a purposeful existence. The greatest diet fads of today are short lived and cannot provide a healthy way of life and teach you how to keep well in the long run. Save your money for fresh foods and relaxing with people who make you feel good and lift you up.
sources: self.com, shape.com, droz.com, webmd.com, livestrong.com
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