The juice and peel of the Bergamot orange are high in special flavonoids called brutieridin and melitidin that are structurally similar to cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs called statins3. Like statins, these compounds are attributed to Bergamot extract’s effect of reducing the body’s biosynthesis of cholesterol. Bergamot Oranges contain up to ten times more beneficial polyphenols than any other fruit in the entire citrus family and only Bergamot oranges from the Calabria region of Southern Italy are known to contain the higher levels of polyphenols necessary to provide these cardiovascular benefits.
Many human and animal clinical studies have been conducted on the cholesterol modulation effects of Bergamot extract but one of the most significant is a breakthrough Italian study published in the leading medical journal Fitoterapia.1 This double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trial of 237 people using 500mg of Citrus Bergamot extract daily, demonstrated these results, on average:
SYNERGISTIC ANTIOXIDANT EFFECT
Because oxidized LDL cholesterol is formed in the body from the interaction of LDL cholesterol with free radicals, additional support from antioxidant phytonutrients can be expected to help optimize the effectiveness of Bergamot extract alone. A substantial literature basis supports that antioxidant supplementation30 and phytonutrients included in healthy diets31 are associated with reductions in oxidized LDL cholesterol. Ingredients rich in antioxidants include turmeric, green tea, mangosteen blueberries and red peppers.
Current clinical studies are examining the effect of combining Bergamot extract with supplemental antioxidant extracts with the hypothesis that a synergistic impact will result which actually exceeds that of Bergamot extract alone.