Garcinia cambogia, a tropical fruit also known as the Malabar tamarind, is a popular weight-loss supplement. People say it blocks your body’s ability to make fat and it puts the brakes on your appetite. Loss of excess weight could help keep blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check, too. You’ll find it in bottles on the shelf at the store as well as mixed with other ingredients in diet products.
How It Works
The active ingredient in the fruit’s rind, hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, appears to block an enzyme called citrate lyase, which your body uses to make fat. It also raises levels of the brain’s chemical serotonin, which may make you feel less hungry. But actual weight loss results aren’t impressive. A review published in the Journal of Obesity found that people who took garcinia cambogia in studies lost about 2 pounds more than people who didn’t take it.
The reviewers couldn’t say for sure that the weight loss was because of the supplement. It could have been from the lower-calorie diet and exercise programs the people in the studies typically followed. Better studies are needed to find out if HCA really helps people lose a lot of weight and keep it off.
What is African mango?
African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) is a tree native to tropical West African forests. It’s also known as bush mango, wild mango, and dika nut. The fruit has greenish-yellow skin, a fibrous pulp, and a large, hard seed.
African mango’s pulp and seed are used in Nigerian and Cameroonian cuisine to make traditional soups, sauces, juice, wine, jam, jelly, and flavoring.
Like many tropical fruits, its pulp is high in vitamin C and carotenoid antioxidants. The African mango tree has long been used in traditional medicine. Local tribes use the leaves, roots, and especially the bark (in the form of a paste) to treat scabs and skin pain. The fruit’s large seed has been of particular interest in research because of the health benefits of its extract.
Some websites claim that the high soluble fiber content of IG seed can melt away belly fat and trim waistlines. It’s often combined with other ingredients such as green tea and marketed as a fat-burning supplement.
You may see claims that taking the supplement 30-60 minutes before meals can lower appetite, lower blood cholesterol, and triglycerides, reduce fat cell growth, boost the breakdown of fats, and improve blood sugar control. There are also claims that it is highly effective at getting rid of fat and cholesterol.
Can Garcinia cambogia and African mango be taken together?
Although both Garcinia cambogia and African mango are used for weight loss, it is important that you discuss with your doctor before using them together. Herbal products can pose unexpected risks because many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong effects on the body. For example, taking a combination of herbal supplements or using supplements together with prescription drugs could lead to harmful, even life-threatening results.
Remember that herbal supplement manufacturers do not have to prove the safety of their products like medication manufacturers do. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lets them tell you what conditions their products might help—called “claims”—if they have information to prove the claim. Once a product is on the market, the FDA monitors the maker’s claims, package inserts, and any problems that consumers report. The FDA has taken legal action against a number of manufacturers for making false or deceptive claims or because the product was unsafe.