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No African Mango in African Mango supplements

If you've bought a slimming supplement that contains African Mango, there's a chance that it doesn't contain any African Mango at all. Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture will soon publish the results of an analysis they did of five supplements in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, and despite the claims on the labels, African Mango by its absence.

African Mango is in. Studies have shown that African Mango seeds contain compounds that can cause dramatic weight loss. [More]

No African Mango in African Mango supplements
The exact composition of African Mango is not known, so the researchers obtained some of the seeds and analysed this.

African Mango seed contain substances that are different from those found in the seeds of regular mangos, the Americans discovered.

Regular mangos contain compounds based on mangiferin and isomangiferin; in the African Mango the researchers found substances based on ellagic acid and mono-, di- and tri-O-methyl ellagic acid.

Below is a total ion chromatogram of African Mango seeds. Each peak represents a compound, and the higher the peak the stronger the concentration.

No African Mango in African Mango supplements

No African Mango in African Mango supplements

The researchers then bought five slimming supplements containing African Mango from the internet and analysed the contents in the lab. All supplements were of US origin. In China the researchers bought two African Mango extracts from a wholesaler who sells to supplements manufacturers.

The figure below shows a total ion chromatogram in negative mode of each the five African Mango weight-loss supplements [Product A, B, C, D and E], the extracts from the wholesaler [Product F and G] and the African Mango extract that the researchers made themselves.

According to its label product A contained only extract of African Mango seeds and nothing else. But this extract was not found in product A. The researchers did find minute quantities of mangiferin, isomangiferin, galloylated mangiferin and galloylated isomangiferin. These are substances found in regular mangos, but not in the African Mango, and they were only present in low concentrations.

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According to their labels, products B and C contained 200 mg green-tea extract and a 4:1 extract of African Mango. The researchers found no trace of African Mango in these. Both supplements did contain caffeine.

According to product D's label it contained acai, maqui, green tea, resveratrol, apple vinegar, kelp, grapefruit, caffeine and African Mango of course. Once again the researchers found no African Mango, but a high level of caffeine. All other substances were only present in low concentrations.

In product E African Mango was also conspicuous by its absence. According to the label product E contained not only African Mango but also extracts of green tea, cranberry, raspberry, as well as fibersol, citric acid and stevia. The researchers found miniscule quantities of the other extracts, but again a high amount of caffeine.

Products F and G came from a Chinese bulk supplier. The producer claimed these contained extracts of African Mango, but the researchers found no compounds in these extracts that they had found in the seeds of African Mango, and no compounds found in regular mangos either. What the extracts did contain the researchers don't know either.

The researchers don't exclude the possibility that the manufacturers of products B, C, D and E had dealings with the Chinese bulk supplier. There are indications that the Chinese extract, or one very similar to this, has been used in supplements B, C, D and E.

"For African mango based dietary supplements, the labels do not provide accurate information for the consumer", the researchers conclude. "Proper standardization and quality control of raw materials and the herbal preparations should be carried out."

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Sep 5;60(35):8703-9.

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