In recent years, there has been an increasing popularity of weight loss supplements. Statistics show that nearly 34% of American adults use dietary supplements specifically for weight loss. African mango (Irvingia gabonensis), also known as Dika nut, is gaining attention as a potential natural weight loss aid. Native to tropical West Africa, African mango has been used traditionally in regional cuisine and medicine. The extract derived from the seed of the Dika Nut fruit is now used in many dietary supplements to aid weight loss.
We have done thorough research on whether Dika Nut actually helps weight loss or not. Here’s what we found.
What Is Dika Nut?
The Dika Nut, also known as the African mango, is a fruit-bearing tree native to the rainforests of West Africa. Unlike the common mango, the Dika Nut has greenish-yellow skin and contains a large, hard seed within its fibrous pulp. The pulp and seeds are used in many traditional Nigerian and Cameroonian dishes like soups, sauces, and beverages. The leaves, roots, and bark also have a history of medicinal use in African folk medicine, often being applied topically to treat various skin conditions. However, it is the nutritious and bioactive seed that is most prized.
An extract called African mango extract or Dika nut extract is made from these seeds and has growing popularity in the dietary supplement market. This supplement is now available in liquid form, pills, and powder forms, and sometimes, it is also blended with other herbs.
Nutrients And Components Of Dika Nut
The Dika Nut is high in vitamin C, carotenoids and antioxidant compounds. The seed is particularly rich in vitamins, minerals like iron and calcium, and magnesium. It is also a good source of fiber, antioxidants and plant-based protein. The seed contains high amounts of beneficial fats like myristic and lauric acids. It also contains phenolic compounds like tannins, flavonols, and ellagic acid. These compounds act as antioxidants and help neutralize free radicals in the body. The specific nutrient profile of Dika Nut seed may contribute to observed health effects like weight loss.
Does Dika Nut Help Weight Loss?
Early research suggests that Dika Nut extract may support weight loss. One 10-week study found that taking 300mg of the extract daily resulted in an average weight loss of 28 lbs. It also reduced waist size, body fat percentage, blood sugar and cholesterol in participants. Another 90-day study showed the extract decreased blood sugar levels, waist circumference and triglycerides. When combined with another supplement, greater weight loss effects were seen. Proposed mechanisms for these effects include anti-inflammatory actions and balancing of hormones. Dika Nut extract may block the formation of new fat cells and also improve the breakdown of existing fat. However, more high quality human studies are still needed to confirm definitive weight loss benefits.
Other Potential Health Benefits Of Dika Nut
The antioxidant compounds in Dika Nut may help lower the risk of chronic illnesses. Phenolic compounds can neutralize free radicals, thereby reducing oxidative stress. Some studies in rodents show Dika Nut extract can lower blood pressure. It may also help modulate cholesterol levels; one human study found it reduced LDL and total cholesterol. Early research indicates potential antidiabetic effects as well. Dika Nut helps regulate blood sugar; several human studies reported reductions in fasting blood glucose. Its anti-inflammatory properties could also benefit conditions like arthritis, infections and autoimmune disorders.
Safety, Dosage And Side Effects Of Dika Nut
Dika Nut extract appears relatively safe based on existing studies. Only minor side effects are reported in humans, including headaches, gas trouble and sleep troubles. High doses may interact with certain medications, so consult a doctor before use. Those with chronic kidney disease may need to avoid Dika Nut due to possible toxicity concerns.
It is important to buy high quality Dika Nut extract from reputable suppliers. There is no standard recommended dosage, but studies use doses ranging from 150-500mg taken 1-3 times daily. The extract may be most effective when taken 30-60 minutes before meals for optimal absorption. See a doctor before use if pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medications. Discontinue use if any adverse effects develop and consult a healthcare provider.
Dika Nut is a nutrient-dense tropical fruit that is gaining popularity as a natural weight loss supplement. Early research on Dika Nut extract is promising. However, larger and longer human studies are still needed. It may support weight loss through anti-inflammatory, hormone balancing and other mechanisms. Dika Nut also provides antioxidants that can benefit overall health and reduce disease risk. As with any supplement, proper dosage, quality control, and safety monitoring are key. Consult a doctor before use, especially with any underlying health conditions or medications. While current data is preliminary, Dika Nut extract could be a potentially helpful addition to a diet and exercise regimen for weight loss.