African Mango fruit
Proponents of the latest health fad say that the African mango, indigenous to coastal west Africa, is an age-old Cameroonian bush medicine, its 'unique' properties apparently helping to budge fat and even lower blood fat levels.
The African mango, Irvingia gabonesis, is unlike other mangoes in that it produces an edible protein-rich seed that is commonly used in Cameroonian cooking. Extracts from the seeds are available in a tablet form, dubbed the 'breakthrough supplement.'
The capsules were given the boost they needed when Oprah's Doctor Oz gave the capsules his endorsement last year.
The Emmy-winning Dr Oz Show aired a segment on the 'miracle in your medicine cabinet' and the show's Dr Tanya Edwards tried the pills.
Dr Edwards wrote on DoctorOz.com: 'Sounds like a magic bullet to me! I tried it myself, and low and behold, in the first month of taking it (only once per day, mind you, instead of the recommended twice daily), I lost 7 pounds without making any changes in my usual healthy diet and exercise routine!' She soon recommended the supplement to patients.
In no time, sites selling the supplement mushroomed online. Chris Khilam, known as the 'medicine hunter', told FoxNews.com that now, 'the mango diet is here with a vengeance.'
Boom: Interest in African mango supplements has shot up
A short search for African mango tablets reveals hundreds of sales sites in the U.S. and beyond brashly extolling the virtues of the supplement, which costs around $40 per bottle.
But is there any truth behind its miraculous claims?
Two studies by Judith L Ngondi and colleagues at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon, published in the Journal of Lipids in Health, support the hype, their data apparently showing the seeds to cause significant weight loss and improve blood flat levels.
In a 2005 study, the team studied 28 volunteers, comparing weight loss over four weeks between a group who were given a placebo and a group who were given African mango supplements. Taken before meals, three times a day, the study reported that those who took the African mango supplement lost 5.3% of their body weight, while the control group only lost 1.3%.
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