It’s spring and people start thinking about trying to lose weight. It’s also human to want to lose weight fast (even though logic tells us that you can only burn 1kg of fat fairly slowly). I saw a claim about African Mango seed extract in the paper saying that it got results such as 5.5kg weight loss in 30 days.
Does it work? Short answer to the question is maybe it can help with weight loss. There have been two small human studies that look promising. However, the longest study was for 10 weeks (not long) and only 102 people were in the study, long term weight loss results and side effects are unknown.
Details: In the ten week study, half the volunteers (51 people) were on the ‘pretend’ (placebo) extract and the other half (51 people) took active dose of the Irvingia gabonensis seed extract (150mg) before both lunch and dinner. Eighteen people dropped out which could effect the results. Side effects were reported as headache (5 people), sleep difficulty (6 people), and intestinal flatulence/wind (6 people). After 10 weeks of the study, there were promising drops in body weight (eg 12.5kgs), body fat, waist measurements and cholesterol. However, the next type of study needed to back up these preliminary results would need to include a larger number of people (say 1500), the study would need to run for 1 to 2 years to look at long term weight loss results and any potential side effects and the study would need to try to prevent people from dropping out.
Bottom line: Further studies are needed to get a better idea if this extract can help with weight loss without any serious side effects. If you see a weight loss product that includes this extract does it have the kind of dosages used in the study (eg 150mg twice a day)? Can you afford to buy it knowing that it may or may not help with weight loss? Does the supplement have any other herbs that may interact with other medications or sleep (eg guarana is a herb that contains caffeine)? Discuss with you Doctor seeing as the long term side effects are unknown.