The Many Health Benefits of Bergamot Supplementation

Bergamot (A Versatile Fruit)

Bergamot, Citrus bergamia, is a citrus plant and a member of the Rutaceae family. A hybrid of lemon and bitter orange, it grows largely in some regions of italy. More than 90 percent of bergamot comes from the southern coast of the Calabria region, the balance is produced in Greece, Morocco, Iran, and the Ivory Coast.

The Bergamot fruit posesses many medicinal properties. Bergamot juice has separate qualities than the essential oil extracted from the peel. The essential oil is widely used in perfumes, cosmetics, food, and confections, because of its fragrance and therapeutic effects. The juice contains a diverse group of bioflavonoids that have been associated with many different health benefits. Bergamot derived polyphenolic fractions (BPF) extracted from the juice are used to lower blood serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose. 

Bergamot BPF is clinically proven to significantly effect various blood lipid markers that are associated with cardiovascular health and wellness.

  • HMG-CoA Reductase
    Clinically proven to optimize cholesterol levels
  • Maintain Inflammatory Balance
    BPF contains a wide array of phenolic compounds that inhibit inflammatory processes
  • Arterial Health
    BPF supplementation has been associated with arterial elasticity and decreased cardiovascular risk factors

The cardiovascular health benefits of Bergamot supplementation are linked to its ability to improve the metabolism of lipoproteins at a hepatic level. Studies have shown effects of Bergamot on all blood lipid markers. Serum levels of cholesterol are primarily modulated by the liver enzyme HMG-CoA. The cholesterol lowering properties of Bergamot are due to its inhibitory effects on HMG-CoA. In mesenchymal stem cells, supplementation with Citrus Bergamia extract has been shown to decrease the accumulation and concentration of intracellular lipids present during adipogenic cell differentiation. This is due to the repression of adipogenic activity and the activation of lipolytic activity.

Bergamot extract has been shown to stimulate lipolysis, which leads to the breakdown of triacylglycerol stored in adipocytes (fat cells), and the eventual release of free fatty acids and glycerol. Inhibiting the differentiation and proliferation of adipose cells could be a potential strategy to help prevent and treat obesity and other related health concerns.

Excess adipose tissue is proven to elevate risk factors for health conditions including atherosclerosis, hypertension, insulin resistance, and cancer. Bioactives, like the flavonoids present in Bergamot Extract (BPF), help raise thermogenesis and energetic output, thereby decreasing inflammatory strain and oxidative stress exerted on the body.

Inflammation and inflammatory cytokines are largely unregulated in excess adipose tissue, particularly in obese subjects. Recent clinical studies have shown that Bergamot (BPF) supplementation has positive health benefits on plasma lipid levels, particularly in those with moderate hypercholesterolemia. In addition, high levels of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities from Bergamot (BPF) has been consistently demonstrated.

Other Clinical Implications:

Studies of BPF supplementation have shown results that demonstrate many possible health benefits. The clinical implications of BPF supplementation are significant, suggesting its potential in alternative methods of therapy targeting specific metabolic processes that, if dysfunctional, can be leading causes of many disease states—some of which include, diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, and even cardiac infarction.

BPF’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) makes it a likely candidate for pharmaceutical development as a nutrient-based neuro-protective agent. New opportunities for the advancement in care and treatment of Metabolic Syndrome X and Non-Alcohol Induced Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) to reduce cardiovascular risk factors.

Exogenous supply of BPF helps modulate various cellular biomarkers indicatory of cardiometabolic dysfunction while also showing effects such as, decreased fasting glucose levels and increased vasodilation which decreases arterial inflammation.

Studies have shown that the addition of BPF to traditional statin treatment methods for modulating healthy cholesterol levels significantly improved overall results. When BPF was used in conjunction with statin drugs, a lower daily statin dosage was shown to still maintain goal cholesterol levels.

Statin drugs continue to be the standard approach to maintaining healthy blood levels of cholesterol, however they pose a threat to healthy metabolic function. Statin use decreases the amounts of available metabolic nutrients in the body, which are essential for many biomechanisms to take place in the body.

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About David S Klein, MD 149 Articles
David S. Klein, MD, FACA, FACPM was born in Washington, DC, and was raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Maryland with degrees in Chemistry and Psychology. Medical School was completed at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, followed by Internship in General Surgery at the University of North Carolina and Residency in Anesthesiology at the Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Dr Klein has been practicing medicine since 1983, concentrating in Pain Medicine, Minimally Invasive Medicine and Surgery, and Neuroendocrinology. Earning Board Certification in Anesthesiology, Dr. Klein was elected Fellow in the American College of Anesthesiology, and he was elected Fellow in the American College of Pain Medicine. He is currently an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida, School of Medicine. He has focused his private practice on treating patients with hormone imbalance issues, nutritional deficiency related medical problems as well as pain related issues and impairment. With a highly-complex, CLIA licensed laboratory in-house, he has been able to provide rapid-turn around analysis efficiently and cost-effectively. Lecturing extensively nationally as well as internationally, Dr. Klein has authored many articles on topics relating to pain, injury and nutritionally modulated illness. His radio show, “Pain Free Living,” received top ratings during the 6 years it was on the air. Currently practicing in Longwood, Florida, Dr. Klein practices entirely in the office setting.