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Irvingia gabonensis

(Dika nut)


Irvingia gabonensis is a small tree growing in areas of West and Central Africa. It is also known as the wild mango or bush mango. The tree produces a yellow edible fruit containing a seed known as a dika nut, which is also edible and contains fats and soluble fibre.

The soluble fibre in the seeds is the latest in a string of plant extracts that promise to help overweight people to lose some of their excess fat. Many botanicals have shown some potential in theory, but have failed to produce results in the real world. However, according to some research carried out in Cameroon ( irvingia extract seems to have real potential as a weight loss aid.

The 'double-blind' study indicated that a seed extract of Irvingia gabonensis reduces fat deposition in the body, probably through a variety of critical metabolic pathways. The study participants 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 Irvingia extract or matching placebo, 30–60 minutes before lunch and dinner. At the start, and at 4, 8 and 10 weeks into the study, subjects were evaluated for changes in body fat and various metabolic parameters to include fasting lipids, blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin, and leptin.

Significant improvements in body weight, body fat, and waist circumference as well as plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood glucose, C-reactive protein, adiponectin and leptin levels were observed in the Irvingia group compared with the placebo 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.

Further studies by the same authors concluded that a combination of Irvingia with an extract of Cissus quadrangularis, an Indian vine used for healing bone injuries, enhanced the weight loss effect still further by some unknown synergistic process.

Irvingia gabonensis is fast becoming one of the most popular ingredients in the supplement industry because studies are consistently showing the benefits of Irvingia when it comes to weight loss, high cholesterol or elevated blood glucose levels.


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