Can the African mango help you lose weight?

Who doesn't remember the hoodia craze a few years ago? If you've ever lost or wanted to lose weight, you probably heard the news of this supposed South African miracle bush and how extract from the plant would help suppress appetite and make you stay slim. I admit that I bought into it at the time, tried the supplements but gave them up quickly after I didn't feel much of an effect.  

Now there's a new weight loss supplement hitting the stores thanks to positive word-of-mouth from The Dr. Oz Show: the African Mango. Just like hoodia before it, extract from the fleshy West African fruit is being praised as helping people reduce body fat and weight. But is this fruit really the miracle that some claim that it is?

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Although it's supported by the famous TV doctor, there hasn't been a lot of research. Shape.com reported that one recent study, published by the journal Lipids in Health and Disease, did find some positive results:

"According to the study, subjects who took 150mg of this African mango seed extract twice a day showed 'significant improvements' in their body weight, body fat, and waist circumference, as well as a slew of numbers that indicate better heart health"

The problem, though, is that this is all very new information and not a lot has been reported on the supplement's side effects or its lasting effect on body mass.

As someone who has lost, regained and lost weight again as well as experimented with plenty of weight loss supplements while I was regaining the weight (before ultimately making the choice to have a gastric bypass), I can tell you one thing: weight loss supplements are never 100% safe and they only work so long as you keep taking them.

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Personally, I think I'd rather eat a real mango than take a supplement for the rest of my life. I've learned the hard way that the only way to really lose and keep the weigh off is with a healthier diet. There's no miracle weight loss drug, fruit or supplement. Trust me, I wish there was. But, like everything else in life, it takes good old fashioned hard work to get slim.

Have you ever taken a "natural" weight loss supplement, like hoodia or the African mango?

Image via justine.arena/flickr

Topics: diabetes  diseases  latino health  overweight  weight loss  womens health