As many of you know, I’m very bullish on citrus bergamot. In fact, I had a meeting with bergamot researchers in December of 2014 at an antiaging conference and I wrote a paper about it for the American College of Nutrition. So I was thrilled to open the newspaper and see the recent press on its ability to support healthy cholesterol levels.
One of the biggest studies is the groundbreaking 2011 citrus bergamot trial conducted by a group of pharmacobiologists in Italy. In their trial, the researchers found that citrus bergamot reduced triglycerides while boosting “good” HDL cholesterol. As many of you know, the triglyceride to HDL ratio is the most important ratio to watch when it comes to heart health.
I’ve also seen impressive research on Bergamonte®, a patented bergamot extract from Italy that significantly improved cholesterol ratios in as little as 30 days. For that study of 237 men and women, the researchers divided the group into thirds: 69 people received 500 mg daily of Bergamonte, 70 subjects received 1,000 mg of Bergamonte, and 66 subjects received a placebo for 30 days.
At the end of the double-blinded, placebo controlled study, the Bergamonte groups had significant improvements compared to those who received the placebo. The Bergamonte groups experienced reductions in total cholesterol (22% reduction) and LDL cholesterol (24% reduction) —and more importantly, a 30% decrease in triglycerides and a 22% increase in HDL cholesterol. Now that’s impressive. Plus, it helped to reduce their blood glucose levels.
How Does Citrus Bergamot Work?
Citrus bergamot works by inhibiting the HMG-CoA enzyme which helps to reduce LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Citrus bergamot also enhances fecal excretion of cholesterol. Plus, the antioxidants in this powerful extract support healthy blood vessels by supporting the endothelial lining of the blood vessels.
Citrus bergamot has also shown great promise in antiaging medicine for its blood sugar supporting abilities. In fact, citrus bergamot, along with benfotiamine and Pycnogenol, may be the perfect trifecta for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels—and reducing harmful advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that contribute to aging.
I’m also following some recent case studies that are suggesting citrus bergamot may have a favorable impact on maintaining a healthy body weight—but that research is still in progress. As always, I will update you as new information emerges.
What’s the best way to take citrus bergamot? You want to look for an extract that gives you 500 mg daily—preferably one that’s standardized to polyphenols, flavanones, and flavones. After much research, the best bergamot extract I found is Bergamonte, which was used in the study that I mentioned earlier.
Now it’s your turn: Do you take citrus bergamot?