History of Bergamot.
Bergamot is a small, fragrant citrus fruit similar to an orange but with yellow coloring like a lemon. Though it’s not easily edible because of its sour taste, its oil is often used by traditional herbalists and chefs for flavor and fragrance. It may be best known for giving Earl Grey tea its aromatic flavor. The fruit thrives in Italy along the coast of Calabria, where it has been cultivated since close to the end of the fifteenth century. Italian folk medicine has long used the oil of the fruit in remedies for fever, infections, sore throats, and skin conditions. The juice is still used today in folk remedies in this region for supporting healthy levels of cholesterol. Due to its long-standing popularity, researchers have begun to look more in depth at the health benefits of this small fruit.
Understanding components of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a necessary substance found throughout the entire body and required for various system processes such as building cells. To transport free cholesterol throughout the body, proteins called lipoproteins carry the substance through the bloodstream. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) transmit cholesterol to diverse structures and fleshy tissue in the system, but when there’s more cholesterol than the body needs, the excess remains in the blood. Over time, LDL cholesterol can move into blood vessel walls and build up there, causing blood vessels to narrow. When the blood vessels narrow, blood flow may be inhibited. Therefore, LDL is recognized as “bad” cholesterol. High-density lipoproteins (HDL), alternatively, are known as “good” cholesterol because they travel the body picking up excess free cholesterol in the bloodstream and returning this cholesterol to the liver. Liver is an organ that breaks the access of cholesterol down, fitting the total level of LDL and HDL within normal limits. Having high levels of HDL is important in order to keep free cholesterol in check. The bergamot fruit has been a focus of research for its effects on helping to maintain this careful balance.
Studies Show Potential for Bergamot Flavonoids
Among nutrition researchers and cardiologists, bergamot is gaining recognition for its flavonoid content, which includes naringin, neoeriocitrin, and neohesperidin. These flavonoids have shown promise as nutrients that will support cholesterol maintenance. In a study using an animal model, naringin supplementation was looked at for its effects on cholesterol. After 6 weeks of supplementation while on a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet, Sprague-Dawley rats showed a decrease in plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A similar study reinforced the belief that naringin, neoeriocitrin, and neohesperidin identified in bergamot may promote reduced serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein levels while promoting increased levels of high-density lipoprotein levels in rats. In this study, rats were chronically administered bergamot juice, which eventually showed not only support of healthier lipid amounts per oz. of blood nevertheless “radical scavenging activity,” or antioxidant activity. Though these studies used animal models, the findings show definite potential for bergamot flavonoids promoting better concentrations of whichever “good” and “bad” cholesterol. Next study also reinforces the strong antioxidant activity present in flavonoids, which have also been shown to have positive effects on heart health. Since heart health is closely linked to cholesterol levels, antioxidant protection is essential for both. When it comes to the heart, antioxidants provide crucial support for the blood vessels and the endothelium, the thin layer of cells lining the vessels. Because the endothelium is so closely related to the functions of the heart, having strong support for this vulnerable cell wall is important. A healthy balance of cholesterol levels and a healthy heart go hand in hand, making bergamot an intriguing option for multifaceted health support.
Significant Results of Bergamot consumption in Experimental Study
Bergamot has been shown to provide significant results in maintaining healthy cholesterol, and not just in animals. In an experimental study conducted by Mollace et al., active compounds in bergamot juice were studied in order to measure their effects on lipids in human blood. The study included 237 subjects who participated in the study for 30 days, receiving daily treatment with 500mg or 1000mg of bergamot juice extract. At the end of the study, subjects showed a decrease in their “bad lipid” concentrations (complete cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides) and an escalation in “good” levels (HDL). With such significant results in a human trial, bergamot extract appears to be a strong contender for cholesterol support.
Bergavit®: An Easy Way to Supplement Your Cholesterol Health with Bergamot
To support normal cholesterol ranks within the healthy limit, supplement your body with Swanson Superior Herbs Bergamot Extract. This daily capsule features Bergavit®, an ingredient developed by BIONAP, an Italian nutraceutical company with a focus on identifying and optimizing active substances from Mediterranean herbs and foods. Bergavit® is a powder produced by extracting the key flavonoids (naringin, neoeriocitrin, and neohesperidin) from the bergamot fruit. BIONAP oversees the entire production process, from raw material cultivation to advanced extraction, to ensure consistent quality and efficacy in each capsule. This supplement, standardized to 25% flavonoids for effective cholesterol support, is an effective addition to your daily health regimen.