An extract derived from a West African fruit may help overweight people shed pounds and lower their cholesterol, a new study suggests.
The extract comes from Irvingia gabonensis, also known as African mango, a fruit commonly eaten in West Africa. Lab research has shown that extracts from the plant’s seed may inhibit body fat production, through effects on certain genes and enzymes that regulate metabolism.
For the current study, researchers at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon randomly assigned 102 overweight adults to take either the plant extract or a placebo twice a day for 10 weeks. The study participants did not follow any special diet and were told to maintain their normal exercise levels.
By the end of the study, the extract group had lost a significant amount of weight — an average of roughly 28 pounds — while the placebo group showed almost no change.
At the same time, they showed declines in “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels.