Mango seed fiber (Irvingia gabonensis)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
African mango trees (Irvingia gabonensis) are found on farms and in the tropical forests of central and western Africa. They are 10-40 meters high with a flared base, densely dark green foliage, elliptical leaves, yellow-white flower clusters, and spherical fruit.
Historically, African mango has been used commercially for the development of a diverse array of products, such as foods, cosmetics, and drugs.
According to traditional medicine, the bark, seeds, leaves, and roots of the African mango tree may be used for therapeutic purposes. African mango is believed to possess antibiotic and pain-relieving properties. It has also been investigated for its potential benefit for the management of obesity and diabetes. However, evidence in these areas is currently lacking, and additional research is needed.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Research in humans suggests that Irvingia gabonensis may help with weight loss, either alone or combined with other dietary supplements. Irvingia gabonensis has been shown to improve body weight and waist and hip circumference, as well as levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and hormones such as leptin and adiponectin. However, more evidence is needed to make firm conclusions on potential benefits.
Preliminary research in humans suggests that Irvingia gabonensis may improve metabolism and levels of blood sugar and fats in diabetic patients. However, more research is needed before any firm conclusions may be made.
*Key to grades:
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, astringent (causes contraction of body tissues), breast feeding, burns, dental hygiene, dental pain, diarrhea, dysentery (inflammation of the intestine), fertility, flavoring agent, food uses, gastric ulcer (inflammation in the stomach lining), hernia, insect repellent, kidney protection, lipid lowering (cholesterol and triglycerides), liver protection, pain relief, poisoning, skin ailments, yellow fever.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (18 years and older)
For obesity, the following has been taken by mouth: 1.05 grams of Irvingia gabonensis three times daily for one month; 150 milligrams of IGOB131®, a marketed Irvingia gabonensis extract, twice daily for 10 weeks.
For diabetes, four grams of Irvingia gabonensis has been taken by mouth daily for one month.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for Irvingia gabonensis in children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to Irvingia gabonensis, its parts, or any member of the Irvingiaceae family.
Side Effects and Warnings
Irvingia gabonensis is likely safe when consumed in amounts typically found in foods or in accordance with prescribed doses and dosage regimens. Small amounts of potentially toxic chemicals (such as cyanide and gossypol) have been found in Irvingia gabonensis seeds.
Irvingia gabonensis may cause gassiness, headache, mild nausea, and sleeplessness.
Irvingia gabonensis may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Use cautiously in people taking Cissus quadrangularis or pain relievers.
Use cautiously in people who have high testosterone levels, gastrointestinal blockage, or liver disorders.
Avoid in children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or in those with known allergy or sensitivity to Irvingia gabonensis, its parts, or any member of the Irvingiaceae family.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There is currently a lack of scientific evidence on the use of Irvingia gabonensis during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Irvingia gabonensis may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Irvingia gabonensis may also interact with agents that lower cholesterol or blood fats, agents that affect the liver, antibiotics, antifungals, antigout agents (antihyperuricemic/xanthine oxidase inhibitors), antiobesity agents, gastrointestinal agents, hormonal agents, and pain relievers.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Irvingia gabonensis may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Irvingia gabonensis may also interact with antibacterials, antifungals, antigout agents, antiobesity herbs and supplements, antioxidants, Cissus quadrangularis, gastrointestinal herbs and supplements, herbs and supplements that lower cholesterol or blood fats, herbs and supplements that affect the liver, hormonal herbs and supplements, and pain relievers.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
- Adamson, I., Okafor, C., and Abu-Bakare, A. A supplement of Dikanut (Irvingia gabonesis) improves treatment of type II diabetics. West Afr.J.Med. 1990;9(2):108-115. View Abstract
- Adamson, I., Okafor, C., and Abu-Bakare, A. Erythrocyte membrane ATPases in diabetes: effect of dikanut (Irvingia gabonensis). Enzyme 1986;36(3):212-215. View Abstract
- Atawodi SE. Polyphenol content and in vitro antioxidant activity of methanol extract of seeds of Irvingia gabonensis Baill of Nigerian origin. Electronic Journal of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2011;10(6):2314-2321.
- Fadare, D. A. and Ajaiyeoba, E. O. Phytochemical and antimicrobial activities of the wild mango-Irvingia gabonensis extracts and fractions. Afr.J.Med.Med.Sci. 2008;37(2):119-124. View Abstract
- George IN, Zhao YM. Pharmacological activity of 2,3,8-tri-O-methyl ellagic acid isolated from the stem bark of Irvingia gabonensis. African Journal of Biotechnology. 2007;6(16):1910-1912.
- Idu M, Onyibe HI. Medicinal plants of Edo State, Nigeria. Research Journal of Medicinal Plant. 2007;1(2):32-41.
- Kianbakht, S. A review on medicinal plants used in treatment of obesity and overweight. Journal of Medicinal Plants. 2010;9(36):1-19, 217.
- Kuete, V., Wabo, G. F., Ngameni, B., et al. Antimicrobial activity of the methanolic extract, fractions and compounds from the stem bark of Irvingia gabonensis (Ixonanthaceae). J.Ethnopharmacol. 10-8-2007;114(1):54-60. View Abstract
- Ngondi J, Djiotsa EJ, Fossouo Z, et al. Hypoglycaemic effect of the methanol extract of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on streptozotocin diabetic rats. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 2006;3(4):74-77.
- Ngondi JL, Fossouo Z, Djiotsa EJ, et al. Glycaemic variations after administration of Irvingia gabonensis. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 2006;3(4):94-101.
- Ogunwande IA, Matsui T, Fujise T, et al. á-Glucosidase inhibitory profile of Nigerian medicinal plants in immobilized assay system. Food Science and Technology Research. 2007;13(2):169-172.
- Okolo, C. O., Johnson, P. B., Abdurahman, E. M., et al. Analgesic effect of Irvingia gabonensis stem bark extract. J.Ethnopharmacol. 1995;45(2):125-129. View Abstract
- Osadebe, PO Ukwueze SE. A comparative study of the phytochemical and anti-microbial properties of the Eastern Nigerian species of African mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus) sourced from different host trees. Bio-research 2(1)Nsukka:Faculty of Biological Sciences 2004;18-23.
- Udeala, O. K., Onyechi, J. O., and Agu, S. I. Preliminary evaluation of dika fat, a new tablet lubricant. J.Pharm.Pharmacol. 1980;32(1):6-9. View Abstract
- Udo SE, Madunagu BE, Umana EJ, et al. The efficacy of extracts from four oilseeds and an oil fruit as agents against pathogenic microbes in comparison with known antibiotics. Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and Social Sciences. 2006;4(2):119-125.
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.