Lose weight, Manage Diabetes with Ogbono (Irvingia Gabonensis)

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Maintaining a healthy body weight has become a major concern all over the world due to the it’s attendant health benefits. Gone are those days when newly married wives are put in fattening room to increase their weight which serves as evidence of good living. Excess body weight can predispose one to a variety of health challenges hence the search for several ways to loss weight.

Research has shown that Ogbono (Irvingia Gabonensis), a tropical plant whose seed is used in preparing the popular ogbono soup has beneficial effects for weight loss. It was also found to controls diabetes, reduce cholesterol , has antioxidant and  analgesic properties.  African bush mango improve gastro intestinal activities and prevent constipation.

Ogbono( botanically named Irvingia Gabonensis) is also known as African bush mango, dika, sweet bush mango  is indigenous to Africa. It is found in the dry and humid tropical zones like Nigeria, Angola, Uganda, Congo, Cameroon, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Southeast Asia. In Nigeria, the Hausas call it goron or biri; Igbos call it ogbono or ugiri; while it is known as oro in  Yorubaland.

See also: Melon seed (egwusi): Health Benefits and side effects you need to know. 

African bush mango is cultivated mainly for its seeds which are rich in fat and protein, although the pulp is edible and sweet. The pulp can be used in making jam, jelly, juice and wine. The seed is used as a thickening agent in soup because of its mucilaginous polysaccharides. Ogbono seed can be pressed to extract oil which is used in cooking, soap making, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

Ogbono is a rich source of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, water and fibre. The mineral content includes potassium, iron, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. The seeds also contain fatty acids such as stearic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid. Several studies have shown that the seed contains 18 amino acid.

How Ogbono (Irvingia Gabonensis) Promote weight Loss

A research carried out  Ngodi  et al (2005 ) to test the effectiveness of African mango on weight loss had  a total of 40 participants. Twenty-eight of the participants took 350 mg of African mango extract for one month while the other 12 were given a placebo. The results of the study showed that the people who took the African mango extract were able to lose about five percent of their body weight. The subjects who were given a placebo only lost one percent of their body weight.

African bush mango is able to aid weight loss through the following ways .

1. Prevents conversion of sugar to fat

The seeds prevent the activities of the enzymes responsible for conversion of the blood sugars
into fats. In this way, the body produces less fats and therefore reduction of fats in the belly and other parts of the body is made possible.1

2. Converts fats to usable forms

Ogbono boosts the production of a hormone called Adiponectin that is responsible for the regulation of blood  sugar levels and  increased breakdown of fatty acids.2 By increasing the oxidation of fatty acids, the hormone stimulate the body to mobilize stored fat molecules to supply the depleted fatty acids leading to weight loss.

3. Suppress appetite for food

Ogbono helps to increase the level of hormone
called leptin in the body. Leptin is produced by fat cells and controls hunger by reducing
appetite. Increase in the levels of leptin can help prevent us from overeating and invariably weight gain.

4. Delays stomach emptying

Ogbono inhibits carbohydrate absorption. Irvingia Gabonensis has high soluble fiber content that acts as a laxative slowing the absorption of carbohydrates by delaying stomach emptying. This prevents the deposition of excess calories as fats.3

Other Health benefits of ogbono (Irvingia Gabonensis)

Management of Diabetes

The high fibre content of ogbono controls the release of sugar into the blood stream. This  prevents spike in blood glucose levels in those disagonized with diabetes. African mango helps in lowering the risk of diabetes by controlling the levels of insulin in the body  and also by maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar.

Reduce cholesterol levels

The high fiber content of Irvingia gabonensis , is assumed to also help hasten the speed of removal of cholesterol. However, what has been proven is that African mango has been shown to increase the levels of high density lipoproteins or HDL-cholesterol (also known as the good cholesterol) while it decreases the levels of low density lipoproteins or LDL-cholesterol (the baddie).

Relieves pain

Ogbono has been found to have pain relieving ability. Okolo et al 1995 analyzed the water and ethanolic extract from African bush mango stem bark. The water extract was found have analgesic effects similar to a narcotic analgesic while the ethanol extract might contain compounds that behave similarly like non-narcotic analgesic agents.

Gastrointestinal Activities

The high fiber in ogbono improve  bowel movement and prevent constipation. The dietary fiber improves digestion by stimulating the release of digestive juices .

Side effects

African bush mango is considered to be generally safe. Some side effects which are rare and mild in nature that might be noticed when taken this fruit include headache, flatulence and sleep problems.


African bush mango is used as a weight loss supplement under its scientific name Irvingia Gabonensis in the western world. However, for one reap the full benefits of ogbono in terms of weight loss it should be combined with low calorie diet and exercise.






4.Ngondi, J. L., Oben, J. E., & Minka, S. R. (2005). The effect of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on body weight and blood lipids of obese subjects in Cameroon. Lipids Health Dis., 4, 12. Online Reference

5.Okolo, C. O., Johnson, P. B., Abdurahman, E. M., Abdu-Aguye, I. and Hussaini, I. M. (1995), Analgesic effect of Irvingia gabonensis stem bark extract, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp. 125-129.


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