The first well documented double-blind study of the effects of Irvingia gabonensis, also known as African mango, revealed weight loss of over 28 pounds in the course of 10 weeks without making changes to d
iet or exercise. The study was published in the March 2, 2009 online edition of Lipids in Health and Disease by Judith L. Ngondi, et al.
Researchers at University of Yaounde in Cameroon began the study with 120 subjects, who were randomly assigned into a control (placebo) group and an experimental (extract) group. Each group received 150mg of their assigned treatment 30-60 minutes before lunch and dinner. Participants in both groups were instructed not to change their diet or activity levels during the study, and intake monitoring confirmed that caloric intake remained comparable throughout the study for both groups.
Irvingia gabonensis is thought to work in part by providing high levels of soluble fiber and in part by impacting the function of several enzymes, resulting in stabilized metabolism, a decrease in sugar absorption from food, and the inhibition of the formation of fat in the human body. The extract is high in both plant protein and antioxidants, both of which have been demonstrated to impact metabolism.
Of the original 120 participants, 102 completed the study. Side effects were similar between the control and experimental groups, including headaches, sleep disruptions, and digestive difficulties. The remaining participants remained appropriately divided between the control and experimental groups. As expected, there was very little change in the control group over the course of the 10 week study. Weight, body size, and various blood markers remained stable throughout the study.
The Results Of The Study
The experimental group, however, showed significant changes. The average weight loss in the experimental group was about 10.2 kg (23 pounds) over the course of 10 weeks. Waist circumference for this group decreased by an average of about 5 inches. Body fat dropped by over 6%, while LDL (bad) cholesterol levels decreased by 27.3% from baseline. Total cholesterol decreased by 26%, and blood sugar levels dropped from an unhealthy fasting blood level of 85.5 to a much healthier 66.3. The importance of these results is that unlike some substances that can cause a decrease in weight by dehydration or by emptying the intestines, the use of Irvingia gabonensis extract in this study had an objectively measureable impact on health as well as weight.
There is evidence that prolonged use of the extract from Irvingia gabonensis may have more beneficial effects than short-term use. Over the course of the study, 28% of the weight loss observed occurred after four weeks. After eight weeks, 64% of the total observed weight loss had taken place, and 36% of the total weight loss took place in the last two weeks of the study, suggesting that there may be some cumulative or cascading effect that takes place after sustained use of the extract.
Irvingia Gabonensis For Weight Loss: Natural Miracle Or Scam?
These findings appear exciting. But how true can these statements be?
Tom Venuto, natural body builder and author of “Burn The Fat Build The Muscle”, gives his opinion about these findings and helps us understand what it means to lose 23 pounds in 10 weeks.
“Let’s do some math, shall we? 23 pounds of fat loss in 10 weeks = 23x10x3,500 = 80,500 calories (3,500 calories in a pound of fat), or 8,050 calories per week, or 1150 calories per day. So, the researchers and makers of this supplement are claiming that this product will raise metabolic rate by 1150 calories per day.
Is it a more reasonable assumption that an over-the-counter plant extract from an African tree caused astronomical increase in metabolism that not even drugs come close to, or that the research is flawed?”
The firm that prepared the extract for use in the study, Gateway Health Alliances, Inc., (out of Fairfield, CA) also partially funded but did not participate in the research.