African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) is a natural substance often promoted as a weight-loss aid. African mango supplements usually contain extracts of the seeds of the African mango tree (a plant native to West Africa). African mango seeds are known to contain a variety of nutrients, including fiber, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and minerals.
To date, few scientific studies have tested the health effects of African mango. However, some research suggests that African mango may help protect against obesity and enhance metabolic health.
For instance, in a 2009 study in Lipids in Health and Disease, researchers found that participants who took African mango every day for 10 weeks experienced significant improvements in body weight, body fat, waist size, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation). The study involved 102 healthy overweight or obese people; half of the participants received African mango, while the other half were given a placebo.
Additionally, a 2008 study in Lipids in Health and Disease indicated that taking a combination of African mango and cissus (an herb long used in Ayurvedic medicine) may help fight obesity. Every day for 10 weeks, 72 obese or overweight participants took capsules containing one of three substances: a placebo, the African mango/cissus combination or cissus alone. By the study’s end, members of the African mango/cissus group showed the greatest reductions in body weight, body fat, waist size, and cholesterol levels.
In animal-based research, scientists have determined that African mango may fight obesity by inhibiting the development of fat cells.