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We are currently sold out of Citrus, and expect to receive our next batch by July 30, 2019. We are still accepting orders, but they won't ship until we are back in stock.
Citrus Bergamot Extract is an extraction of several phytochemical compounds from the bergamot citrus fruit. These compounds include a wide array of flavonoids and have been found to offer a number of health benefits when taken as a supplement including a reduction in cholesterol and improvements in blood cell health and function.
Bergamot Extract is most promising due to its effects on cholesterol, in one human trial researchers found using supplementing Bergamot Extract caused a drop in total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and blood glucose coupled with a significant increase in HDL levels. All of these benefits were achieved with no adverse side effects.
When used as a supplement for managing cholesterol, 1000 mg of Bergamont Extract should be taken per day until cholesterol reaches optimal levels. After this, a 500 mg maitenence dose is recommended and can be taken indefinitely.
It is not recommended to take more than 1500 mg of Citrus Bergamont Extract per day.
Citrus Bergamot Extract is very well tolerated and rarely presents any adverse side effects, with mild heart burn being the most commonly reported side effect. That said, it's best to consult your physician before using Citrus Bergamot Extract if you're already on prescription medications for lowering cholesterol.
Citrus Bergamot Extract - $ 24.95 (60 x 500 mg capsules)
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Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a type of citrus plant that grows primarily in the Calabria region of southern Italy. Bergamot can also be found in other countries surrounding the Ionian Sea. These areas are prime for growing Bergamot for its sensitivity to weather and soil conditions. (2) Dating back to the 18th century, Bergamot was used in numerous perfumes and essential oils for its fragrance. (1) It has since become more well known as its oil extract from its peel is used to flavor, and add a fragrance, to Earl Grey tea. (1,3)
In more modern times, in addition to its use with Earl Grey tea, Bergamot extract has become popular in the supplement community for its ability to lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein, aka “bad cholesterol”) while raising HDL (high-density lipoprotein, aka “good cholesterol”) (3,15,16) and for its antioxidant effects. (1,2)
Supplementation with citrus bergamot extract is used for the primary benefit of lowering LDL, aka bad cholesterol. (1,2,3,4,15,16,17) The large number of flavonoids in bergamot also work as potent antioxidants and have strong antimicrobial properties. (1,9,13) Bergamot possess other benefits that will be discussed below in “Citrus Bergamot Research” that include:
Citrus Bergamot vs. Statins
Statins are a type of drug that need to be prescribed by a doctor that act to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Statins, like the flavonoids brutieridin and melitidin, act to inhibit HMG-CoA. Statins are also known for having many health concern related side-effects such as memory loss, confusion, and muscle weakness. (3) Bergamot, although less tested, has shown minimal side effects (discussed late on in “Side Effects”).
Bergamot used in the traditional method of flavoring and fragrance for Earl Grey tea does provide some health benefits. (1,9) Although there aren’t adequate levels of bergamot extract to impact cholesterol (3), the peel does offer some microbial activity. (9) One study indicated that the peel demonstrated the ability to kill bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella. (9)
For modern use, bergamot extract is most often found as a powder or an oil. The oil extract is more seen as an aromatherapeutic approach via a diffuser. (10) As on oil, bergamot produces a fragrant scent and has anxiety reducing properties. (10)
When used as a supplement for anti-inflammatory effects and cholesterol support, Citrus Extract is used in capsule form for consistent dosing. (10) It is recommended to take bergamot on an empty stomach.
Citrus Bergamot Dosage Instructions
When taking Citrus Bergamot for managing cholesterol, a dose of 500mg, twice per day, is recommended. This should be taken with food, no later than 20-30 minutes after eating and should be continued until your cholesterol reaches desired levels. Once cholesterol reaches optimal levels, the dosage should be reduced to 500mg, once a day, and can be continued indefinitely. It is not recommended to exceed more than 1,500mg of Bergamot a day.
Citrus Bergamot extract contains a large number of flavonoids, the largest family of polyphenolic compounds, which are potent antioxidants. What is unique about Bergamot compared to other citrus species, are the production of brutieridin and melitidin. (1) Bergamot also contains a large number of glycosides, specifically neoeriocitrin, neohesperidin, and naringin, which aid to prevent LDL oxidation. (2)
Brutieridin and melitidin act as a natural statin (a class of drug that function to reduce the levels of LDL) in the blood. (1,2) Brutieridin and melitidin act to inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA, which is the enzyme that’s involved in the production of cholesterol in the liver. (2) By blocking the liver’s ability to produce LDL, there is a reduction in cholesterol in liver cells which then utilize LDL receptors to break down the circulating cholesterol to meet cholesterol requirements in the cells. (2)
Bergamot flavonoids also intervene with lipid and glucose hemostasis via PDE4 and PDE3B modulation. (2,5) PDE4 (Phosphodiesterase 4) works to degrade cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate), which is the predominant anti-inflammatory enzyme in cells. PDE3B (Phosphodiesterase 3B), when activated, can decrease concentrations of cAMP and increase activation of lipase, the enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of fats. By bergamot flavonoids interjecting and disrupting these processes, it can help to keep adequate levels of anti-inflammatory enzymes and decrease levels of lipids (fats). (5,6,7)
The flavonoids in bergamot extract also work to activate AMPK (adenosine 5’ monophosphate-activated protein kinase). (2) AMPK acts as the body’s central regulator for metabolism and cell energy. (8) By activating AMPK, the body can prevent fat accumulation and regulate glucose tolerance. (8)
When taking citrus bergamot as a capsuled powder, it has shown to be very safe and non-toxic with almost no side effects. The only commonly reported side effect from supplementing Citrus Bergamot is heartburn.
Bergamot oil has been proven to have more side effects than the capsulized powder. (13,19) Bergamot oil used for an aromatherapeutic relief has caused irregular pigmentation, rashes, blisters, and sensitivity to the sun. (13,19)
Supports Blood Glucose Metabolism and Reduces Cholesterol (2,15,16,17)
As citrus bergamot is known for its cholesterol lowering benefits, there have been many studies examining these properties.
One such study was conducted on 107 patients with increased blood pressure, blood glucose, and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These individuals were split into two groups and were either administered a placebo or 650mg of bergamot, twice daily, for 120 days. The patients who were administered the bergamot saw a significant decrease in all their levels.
Some studies were conducted as a search for an alternative to statins due to their severe side effects. In one such example of this, 80 volunteers (42 men and 38 women) with moderately high levels of LDL were given 150mg of bergamot daily for 6 months. As this was one of the first studies conducted with bergamot, the dosage was kept comparatively small. At the conclusion of the 6 months, LDL levels dropped from an average of 177 to 142 (roughly 20%).
Since statins produce side effects, a hypothesis was formed to determine whether decreasing statin dosage and supplementing with bergamot on top of statins would be as effective. 77 patients with elevated LDL were assigned into four groups; a placebo group, a statin group, a bergamot group, and a statin with bergamot group. In all three non-control groups, LDL was decreased over 30-day period but the bergamot with the statin significantly enhanced the results compared to the statin by itself.
As lipid metabolism is typically associated with poor liver health, a study was conducted on rats to determine what role bergamot could play in liver health. Rats who had high blood lipid levels were administered 1mL of bergamot per day. Not only did LDL and triglyceride levels decrease, but utilizing histopathological observations showed protection of the liver tissue.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects (12,13,18)
Bergamot was utilized in a study with mice to determine its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory agent. The study was focused around inflammatory issues in the mice’s ileum as a result of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R – lack of blood, followed by the return of blood flow). The mice were split into different groups, some administered bergamot via surgical injection with the other mice receiving a sham surgery. The mice administered bergamot showed a reduction in histological damage, cytokine production, and oxidative stress; all of which lead to inflammation.
A separate study focused on a carrageenan (thickening agent) induced swelling of rats’ paws. Rats were injected in their right hind paw with carrageenan to induce swelling and fasted for 12 hours, so food or water did not play a further role in swelling. These rats were also injected with bergamot at dosages of .025, .05, and .10 mL/kg. Bergamot reduced the swelling in 95.7% of the rats with the most effective dosage being .10 mL/kg, which resulted in a 63.93% size reduction further demonstrating bergamot’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Antimicrobial Properties (9)
With most citrus fruits, there are increased anti-oxidative benefits brought on from high levels of Vitamin C. However, with bergamot a study showed that there are antimicrobial benefits from the peel. Bergamot peel was tested against Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. Bergamot fractions were found to be active against both with its potency even increasing and successfully killing both bacteria.
Another bacterium, Helicobacter pylori (commonly associated with stomach ulcers and inflammation) is typically treated with high strength antibiotics. However, Helicobacter pylori has become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and frequently flares up at the conclusion of the antibiotic cycle. A study was aimed at determining the effectiveness against Helicobacter pylori.
It was determined that bergamot inhibited 50% of the growth of Helicobacter pylori. Additionally, bergamot as a supplementation to traditional antibiotics inhibited 90% of the growth of Helicobacter pylori. This demonstrates a synergistic relationship to fight Helicobacter pylori between antibiotics and bergamot.
Cardiovascular Support (13,14)
In addition to its lipid-lowering benefits which aid in cardiovascular support, bergamot can also support vasorelaxation, a reduction of vascular tension. Introduction of bergamot to mice aortic rings saw the bergamot suppress CaCl2 (calcium chloride) induced contractions. This suggests that bergamot may induce vasorelaxation by regulating vascular tone.
Does citrus bergamot help with weight loss?
Although bergamot does support lipid metabolism, it is not intended to be used as a weight loss supplement.
Can you eat citrus bergamot?
A few drops of citrus bergamot oil can be used in food to enhance flavoring.
Can citrus bergamot lower blood pressure?
Although bergamot has been shown to reduce anxiety and have an auxiliary affect on reducing blood pressure, few scientific studies have been done and this and therefore is not proven.
Should I stop my statin and switch to bergamot?
You should always consult with a physician prior to making any changes to a supplementation regimen. Bergamot is not recommended as a direct replacement for a statin unless instructed by a physician.
When should I take bergamot?
You should take bergamot prior to a meal so that is can assist in blocking cholesterol absorption.
When can I expect to cholesterol to drop?
Results are typically noticed after 2-3 months of consistent usage.
* These reviews are the experiences of the individual customers that submitted them, results may differ from person to person.
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