Citrus Bergamot may help lower bad cholesterol

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Bergamot is the common name of the fruit Citrus bergamia Risso, which grows only in the coastal region of the Ionian Sea in the southern Calabrian region of Italy. Bergamot essential oil is used widely in the cosmetic and perfumery industries.

In clinical studies, Citrus Bergamot delivered impressive cardiovascular benefits by positively affecting the amount of cholesterol the body produces naturally. The antioxidants compounds in Citrus Bergamot promote cardiovascular health by restoring the antioxidant status, protecting the cells from oxidative stress, and neutralizing free radicals.

This news comes on the heels of recent published research on “Journal of Natural Product” in July 2009, which showed bergamot fruit contains rare higher molecular weight flavonoids carrying the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaric acid (HMG) moiety. Professor G. Sindona from Calabria University had identified four flavonoids able to interfere with the natural synthesis of cholesterol in the human body.

A new human clinical trial published in 2009 involved 82 dyslipidemic patients, all with total cholesterol and triglyceride over 250. These patients were given either one or two 500 mg capsule of Citrus Bergamot Polyphenolic Extract for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, the research showed an average of 31.44 percent reduction in Total Cholesterol, 42.82 percent increase in HDL Cholesterol, 38.84 percent reduction in LDL Cholesterol, 41.54 percent reduction in Triglycerides, and 21.93 percent increase in Blood Glucose level.

Lead researcher, Vincenzo Mollace M.D., professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy at University Magna Graecia, in Catanzaro, Italy was encouraged by the result. “In just four weeks, we saw a significant reduction in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides among these dyslipidemic patients who had elevated cholesterol levels and high risk for CVD. In addition, we are seeing significant increase in HDL, the good cholesterol and reduction in blood glucose as well,” said Mollace.

Citrus Bergamot may present another option in the fight against high cholesterol and heart disease. It is natural products derived from fruit, but always check with your physician before taking a new supplement.

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