A study published in Lipids in Health and Disease shows that the extract of the seeds of the West African fruit Irvingia gabonensis (also known as African mango) may help in weight control, cholesterol, and leptin levels in overweight patients.
The study participants were comprised of 102 healthy, overweight and/or obese volunteers randomly divided into two groups. The groups received, on a daily basis, either 150 mg of the African mango seed extract (IGOB131) or matching placebo in a double-blinded fashion, 30–60 min before lunch and dinner. At baseline, four, eight, and 10 weeks of the study, subjects were evaluated for changes in body measurements and metabolic parameters to include fasting lipids, blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin, and leptin.
After the 10 weeks, the researchers found that the group taking the extract had lost more weight and improved their waist circumference than those in the placebo group. In addition, the group taking the extract lost more body fat (6.3%) compared to the placebo group (1.9%). While baseline levels of serum lipids were similar in the two groups, significant differences were observed between the two as the study progressed with the experimental group showing progressively greater improvement. At week 10, significant differences were observed for total cholesterol (placebo: 142.5 mg/dl vs. extract: 111.9 mg/dl) and LDL cholesterol (placebo: 77.7 mg/dl vs. extract: 59.77 mg/dl). Compared to baseline values, total cholesterol decreased by 1.9% in the placebo group as opposed to 26.2% for the extract group, while LDL cholesterol levels fell by 4.8% in the placebo compared to 27.3% in the extract group.
The researchers concluded that: "Irvingia gabonensis administered 150 mg twice daily before meals to overweight and/or obese human volunteers favorably impacts body weight and a variety of parameters characteristic of the metabolic syndrome. This is the first double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial regarding the anti-obesity and lipid profile modulating effects of an Irvingia gabonensis extract. The positive clinical results, together with our previously published mechanisms of gene expression modulation related to key metabolic pathways in lipid metabolism, provide impetus for much larger clinical studies."