Does African mango work to help solve health problems? Maybe.
African mango has been claimed to resolve a long list of health problems. In traditional African medicine, African mango has been used to treat diabetes, dysentery, bleeding, pain relief, and liver disorders. It’s also been used as an antimicrobial agent. In the last several years, African mango has become popular as a supplement to address weight and metabolic issues.
But now on to the question you’re most concerned about – Does African mango actually work? Unfortunately, few of these claims have been thoroughly tested, and most of the studies that have been conducted focus on weight and metabolism. The research is relatively limited, owing to small sample sizes, methodological problems, and potential conflicts of interest in a couple of studies sponsored by African mango supplement manufacturers. There have been no long-term studies of the use of African mango. Some of the laboratory studies involved cultures or animal subjects that may not have effects that are directly applicable to human subjects.
African Mango for Weight Loss
African mango has been most often studied in relation to its claimed effects as a weight loss agent. A double-blind study examining whether african mango works examined a seed extract. The study reported a reduction in food intake for the experimental group. Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol decreased among the subjects taking the proprietary extract.
Similar effects were also found in study of a preparation combining African mango with Veldt grape. This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study followed seventy-two subjects who needed to lose weight. Participants who received the mango-grape combination showed some significant improvements in several measurements: body weight, body fat composition, LDL cholesterol, waist circumference, blood glucose level, and total plasma cholesterol. However, it is difficult to isolate the efficacy of African mango alone from this study.
A study of a non-proprietary extract African was also conducted, with mixed results. The researchers reported a decrease in weight and waist circumference for the group taking African mango seed extract, but did not find a significant decreases in overall body fat.
Effects on Blood Chemistry
A study examining the effect of African mango seed extract on triglycerides showed a decrease in LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol in the experimental group as compared to the control. However, diet was not controlled for in this study.
Another study noted that subjects taking African mango seed extract experienced a decrease in blood sugar over those taking a placebo. This study only took place over one month, so the long-term effects on blood sugar are unknown.
So, taking all these results together, does African mango work? It seems that it might, albeit the effects may be limited. Outside of weight loss however, some mixed experimental results showed the fruit extract to have use as a pain reliever. One study found that an aqueous extract of African mango bark was moderately effective in reducing heat-induced pain. An ethanolic extract of African mango bark was less effective in reducing heat-induced pain, but more effective in reducing pressure-induced pain. The exact method of this effect is unknown.
African mango seeds have also been studied to see if they have antimicrobial properties. A laboratory study found that the seeds had very little antibacterial effect, but could have some antifungal effects against certain fungi under some conditions.
Overall, there has been little research to conclusively determine whether African mango works, and whether it can solve weight, blood sugar, cholesterol, or pain management issues. Further research is needed to determine if, and under what conditions, African mango can serve to improve human health.