The Health Benefits of African Mango

African mango is used for weight loss and reducing obesity

Mango vendor holding mangoes
Dan Herrick / Getty Images

African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) is a natural fruit that African tribes have long used in traditional medicine. Typically, all parts of the plant get used—the leaves, root, bark, and fruit. In areas where African mango grows (mostly in Central and West Africa), people widely consume the flesh like any other fruit.

The African mango seeds also contain a number of nutrients, including hearty fiber, healthy fatty acids, and essential minerals. In recent years, the seeds have been converted into an extract and marketed as a dietary and weight-loss supplement. You might also see the African mango marketed under other names dika nut, bush mango, and wild mango. Here is what you need to know about African mango supplements.

Health Benefits  

Few studies on African mango’s health benefits are available, and the majority of which are sponsored by supplement manufacturers. However, published research in peer-reviewed journals—although limited—shows plausibility for African mango as a dietary supplement.

However, it is important to note that studies on the fruit itself do not necessarily mean that the same results will be achieved by taking the supplement. Here are some of the potential health benefits.

May Aid Weight Management

A comprehensive meta-analysis on Irvingia gabonensis found this fruit could be a potential to aid in weight loss. Here are two examples researchers discussed.

In one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, participants received 350 milligrams of the seed extract or a placebo for 4 weeks. The results showed that the Irvingia gabonensis group decreased body weight at a greater rate than the placebo group.

In another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 102 participants were given 150 milligrams of Irvingia gabonensis or a placebo. After 10 weeks, the treatment group achieved a greater loss of body weight, waist circumference, and body fat percentage than the placebo group.

Meanwhile, in a systemic review on the efficacy of African mango supplementation, researchers found statistically significant changes in achieving smaller waist circumferences compared with a placebo in 208 participants.

May Improve Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

In a systematic review of randomized controlled trials of African mango, researchers found that Irvingia gabonensis supplementation had positive effects on the blood lipid profiles of participants.

In another analysis on African mango, the fruit's high soluble fiber content was potentially found to reduce plasma cholesterol and triglycerides.

May Aid Digestion

The Irvingia gabonensis extract is rich in fiber, which can help your digestive system function properly and keep you feeling fuller longer (and thereby, eating less).

Possible Side Effects

Consuming African mango supplements can cause side effects. For instance, the supplement could give you energy, making it more challenging to sleep. If you're using African mango, you can try to combat this by taking the pill earlier in the daytime.

You also might get dehydrated taking African mango, so be sure to drink lots of water when taking it. Likewise, keeping your mouth moist with liquid can help reduce dry mouth, which has also been associated with African mango.

Pregnant and nursing women, children, anyone immunocompromised, and those taking medications should avoid this supplement. Because the supplement industry is not properly regulated, the content on African mango product labels could differ from what you actually consume.

Dosage and Preparation

The appropriate dosage depends on your health, age, and tolerance to supplements. You might also want to take the supplement with food as African mango could upset the stomach. Meanwhile, taking it earlier in the day could work better for some people as the supplement is known to provide energy.

To purchase the product, you can find African mango available online, in natural-food stores, and in brick-and-mortar stores specializing in dietary supplements. Talk to a healthcare provider before you take this or any other supplement. They can let you know if it is right for you or how it might interact with your current medications.

What to Look For

If you choose to consume African mango, look for extract supplements that contain the USP
(United States Pharmacopeia) seal, as this ensures product quality. The label also should not list any treatment, cure, or relief of symptoms for a disease. Making these types of claims is illegal per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A Word from Verywell

African mango is often promoted as a weight management tool. But because supplements are not regulated by the FDA, you should speak with a healthcare provider before consuming it. You also should bring a record of every medication and supplement you take to appointment to ensure you will not have any negative interactions or allergic reactions to African mango.

If you are interested in losing weight, consider working with a registered dietitian. They can help you set attainable goals and ensure you followed a balanced and nutritional eating plan. Many times, making slight changes in your eating patterns under the guidance of a professional is more advantageous than taking supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is in African mango diet pills?

    African mango diet pills are made from an extract of the seeds of the West African fruit Irvingia Gabonensis’. Keep in mind, supplements are not regulated and could contain other ingredients. You should read the label to make sure they do not contain anything you do not want to ingest, especially if you have food allergies.

  • Is there caffeine in African mango?

    African mango does not contain caffeine. However, some commercial products might add caffeine to boost energy for weight loss. If you are sensitive to caffeine, make sure you read the ingredient label before taking the supplement.

  • When should I take African mango pills?

    There is no specific time of day you should take African mango pills, although you might want to consume the pills, capsules, or powder with food to avoid upsetting your stomach. Follow the instructions on the label for the recommended dosage. You also might want to spend the first 7 days taking half the product to make sure the supplement agrees with your digestive system.

    If you consume a nutritious, balanced diet, you will likely not need to take any supplements, including African Mango. Supplements are not regulated and their efficacy and safety are not supported by solid evidence, so always speak with a health care practitioner prior to adding a product to your routine.

6 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Egras AM, Hamilton WR, Lenz TL, Monaghan MS. An evidence-based review of fat modifying supplemental weight loss productsJ Obes. 2011;2011:297315. doi:10.1155/2011/297315

  2. OnakpoyaI, Davies L, Posadzki P, Ernst E. The Efficacy of Irvingia Gabonensis Supplementation in the Management of Overweight and Obesity: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 2013.

  3. OnakpoyaI, Davies L, Posadzki P, Ernst E. The efficacy of Irvingia gabonensis supplementation in the management of overweight and obesity: a systematic review of randomized controlled trialsJ Diet Suppl. 2013;10(1):29-38. doi:10.3109/19390211.2012.760508

  4. Sun J, Chen P. Uhplc/hrms analysis of african mango (Irvingia gabonensis) seeds, extract and related dietary supplementsJ Agric Food Chem. 2012;60(35):8703-8709. doi: 10.1021/jf302703u

  5. Zelman KM, MPH, RD, LD. African mango: what to know about irvingia gabonesis. WebMD.

  6. Food and Drug Administration. Dietary supplements.

Additional Reading

By Jennifer Purdie, M.Ed, CPT
Jennifer Purdie, M.Ed, is a certified personal trainer, freelance writer, and author of "Growth Mindset for Athletes, Coaches and Trainers."