The mango diet is a plan for weight loss that relies heavily on the consumption of the seed extract from a wild African fruit, the bush mango, Irvingia gabonensis. This African mango variety is not the same fruit that is sold widely on grocery store produce shelves, a South Asian variety known as Mangifera indica. Advocates of the mango diet say the African variety contains a special ingredient that helps speed weight loss by flushing fat from the body, a compound called IGOB131. Proponents say the fiber contained in this mango’s seeds energizes fat loss while cutting cholesterol levels.
Opponents of the mango diet do not believe the claims of special fibers and quick weight loss, and they say the mango diet is nothing more than a scheme to line the pockets of the diet’s promoters. Opponents also say other popular and more common fruits available in a grocery possess fiber and efficient cholesterol-lowering properties, including apples, pears, figs, nectarines, oranges and dates. Unlike the mango diet’s claims for the African mango, these common fruits alone will not reduce weight without a person also following a sensible diet and cutting back on calories. To put it bluntly, the mango diet puts forth an alleged get-skinny-quick plan, while opponents say it is nothing but a diet scam.
The special diet that relies on the bush mango requires the purchase of capsules that contain an extract made from the fruit’s seeds. A research study conducted in Africa found that people who took these capsules two times a day lost weight and experienced other health benefits. Each capsule contained 150 milligrams of the special seed extract. Some participants experienced gas, sleep disturbances and headaches, but the number of participants who experienced these side effects was the same as the number in a placebo group who also had these side effects without consuming the capsules. Opponents of this diet say more and larger studies need to be performed to accurately gauge this ingredient’s results.
The more common mango, Mangifera indica, is often referred to as “the king of fruit.” It is an excellent source of beta carotene, which the body converts to an antioxidant, vitamin A in the form of retinol. This antioxidant is beneficial for the skin and also for eyesight. The mango tree’s leaves are toxic, but there are many mango recipes and mango dishes that rely on the tree's fruit for delicious flavor.