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Dr. Oz Rx: African mango for weight loss

Can the African mango help you lose weight? The jury is still out.

"A miracle in your medicine cabinet that can help you lose ten pounds," pronounced Dr. Oz, the hot doc of daytime TV. Boom — a fad is born.

Grown in Cameroon on the west coast of Africa, the African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) actually began its rise with a 2009 study published in Lipids in Health and Disease by Cameroon researchers. This was the first double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trial. The 10-week study on 102 overweight people (BMI >25) showed 150mg twice daily 30-60 minutes before meals led to significant improvements in body weight, body fat, and weight circumference as well as cholesterol and blood-sugar levels.

What grabbed Dr. Oz' attention was a follow-up study, by the same researchers, published in the March 2011 issue of the same publication. Although a rat study, it showed significant increases in HDL (good) cholesterol.

In recent and related news on the weight-management front, another 2011 published review by pharmacists at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia concluded that "CLA, chitosan, pyruvate and Irvingia gabonensis speared to be effective in weight loss via fat modifying mechanisms. However, the data on the use of these products is limited."

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