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Mary Shomon is the nation's leading thyroid patient advocate, and author of a number of best-selling books on thyroid disease. Mary has also been Guide to the Thyroid Site -- part of the New York Times Company -- for 10+ years. Talk to her now.


Clinical Trials Show Irvingia Gabonensis Is Effective Aid in Weight Loss

African Mango-Like Fruit Extract Lowers Glucose, Resulted in Weight Loss of 28 Pounds Over 10 Weeks

irvingia gabonensis integra-lean supplement for diet and weight loss There's promising news in the area of supplements for weight loss. The supplement Irvingia gabonensis -- often referred to as simply irvingia -- was the subject of a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial that showed that supplements made with the traditional West African food plant may be a potent weight loss aid.

Irvingia gabonensis is part of a family of African and Southeast Asian trees that produce both mango-like fruit -- known as African mango, or bush mango -- and protein-rich nuts.

In the clinical trial, reported on in the March 2, 2009 issue of the journal Lipids in Health and Disease*, it was shown that Irvingia gabonensis given at a dosage of 150 mg twice daily before meals resulted in Significant improvements in body weight, body fat, and waist circumference. Improvements were also seen in blood fats, including total cholesterol, blood glucose, C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation), and leptin levels, when compared to the placebo group.

According to the researchers, the study suggests that an extract of Irvingia gabonensis "safely and significantly reduces body weight in overweight and/or obese subjects, and has a favorable impact upon a variety of other metabolic parameters."

(You can read a Reuters story titled "Fruit extract shows promise as weight-loss aid" which talks about Irvingia online.)

Earlier, the Life Extension Foundation had reported on Irvingia, including two other recent studies. The first double-blind study of Irvingia in humans took place in 2005, comparing some participants taking Irvingia, to a group on placebo. After 30 days, subjects taking Irvingia lost an average of 12.3 pounds. The Irvingia group also experienced significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and an increase in HDL (good cholesterol.)

A larger study was done over a 10-week period, and at the end of the study period, the Irvingia group lost an average of 28 pounds (13.1% decrease in body weight), shed 6.7 inches from their waistline, and had reduced their total body fat by an average of 18.4%.

Naturally there haven't been any studies that look at the effectiveness of Irvingia specifically for people who are overweight and have an underactive thyroid. (When do they ever study anything specific to thyroid patients?!) But the properties of Irvingia suggest that it may be an especially good supplement for overweight thyroid patients to consider, for several reasons:

  • Irvingia shows promise in the ability to correct and overcome leptin resistance. Leptin resistance appears to be more common in thyroid patients who are overweight.

  • Cholesterol levels tend to increase in hypothyroidism, and Irvingia was able to reduce cholesterol levels.

  • Fasting glucose tends to be higher in overweight thyroid patients, and Irvingia lowered fasting glucose.
  • Thyroid patients who are overweight are at greater risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, and many appear to be especially sensitive to carbohydrates. and Irvingia increases the insulin-sensitizing hormone adiponectin and inhibits the digestive enzyme amylase, which is involved in carbohydrate digestion.
NOTE FROM MARY SHOMON / Late March 2009:

I've been taking Irvingia for about a month, and I have lost several pounds without any particular change in my diet or exercise. (This is unusual for me, as I usually have to work hard in terms of diet and exercise for every ounce of weight loss.) I'll keep reporting back on my progress, and if you are a thyroid patients who tries Irvingia, let me know how it's going for you!

Integra-Lean™ Irvingia, 150 mg 60 vegetarian capsules WHERE TO GET IRVINGIA

The only source of Irvingia that I'm aware of at present is Life Extension Foundation, which sells: Integra-Lean Irvingia, 150 mg 60 vegetarian capsules

* Judith L Ngondi et. al. "IGOB131, a novel seed extract of the West African plant Irvingia gabonensis, significantly reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight humans in a randomized double-blind placebo controlled investigation," Lipids in Health and Disease, 2009, 8:7. Online

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"Nothing else has worked in the past and I was more than a little skeptical that anything would work at this point. But I have already lost about 14 pounds in less than two months! It is amazing. I feel wonderful...I almost don't feel like I'm doing anything that deprives me at all. Thank you Thank you Thank you, a million times. Thank you.
Carrie R.

I couldn't wait any longer to thank you for your help and book "The Thyroid Diet". I have been hypothyroid since 1998 and have battled my weight for years. I've weighed as much as 230 pounds. I finally decided I had to take matters in my own hands and ordered your book. I started your diet and in 3 weeks lost 15 pounds and felt and looked better than I had in months!!! SO - I just had to write and tell you that you have saved my life...THANK YOU!!!!!
Kendra G

"Exactly 9 weeks ago today I weighed in at 144 lbs. Today I weighed in at 121!!! Those twenty three pounds have been with me for almost ten years and nothing was moving them. I had tried Atkins and after some weight loss I would stall on the scale, as soon as I ate again I would gain all the weight back and then some. I loved the diet plans and modified them to my benefit. I just want to say thank you for all your effort in thyroid information. I receive your newsletters and love the updates and am thrilled with the weight loss."

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