Benefits, side effects and dosage

Bergamot is a citrus fruit found mainly in southern Italy. Supplementing with bergamot may help reduce inflammation, lower blood glucose, and help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Citrus fruits such as bergamot are rich in flavonoids that promote immune response and heart health. Bergamot may also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help lower cholesterol levels.

This article looks at bergamot supplements, their benefits and possible side effects, and how to take them.

Bergamot or citrus bergamia, is a yellow citrus fruit about the size of an orange. It grows mainly in Calabria, in southern Italy. Bergamot peel and juice are common ingredients in Italian traditional medicine. Bergamot is also found in Earl Gray tea.

According to 2019 reviewfruits contain various phytochemicals, flavonoids, and other health-promoting compounds.

Bergamot accessible in supplement form or as an essential oil, juice or extract. You can also buy incense sticks to inhale the scent of bergamot.

Bergamot may have several health benefits, including the following:

Cholesterol Reduction

BUT 2019 overview cites several studies that suggest that bergamot may help lower body lipid levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Studies have shown that daily intake of bergamot-derived polyphenol fraction (BPF) lowers total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol.

FFT is a powder with high concentrations polyphenols and is made from the juice and heart of bergamot.

BUT 2021 research notes that the combination of bergamot phytosome, or phyto, with artichoke leaf extract results in a similar reduction in cholesterol levels and reduction in waist circumference and adipose tissue in overweight adults. This may be more effective than adding bergamot alone.

However, this was a small, short-term study with only 60 participants. Larger studies are needed to test these findings.

Learn about the difference between HDL and LDL cholesterol here.

Blood glucose management

Various studies studied the effect of bergamot supplementation on blood glucose control in people with metabolic syndrome, which causes symptoms such as high:

The 2019 study included 60 people with type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia. The researchers assigned the participants to one of three groups:

  • Group 1 took a BPF supplement.
  • Group 2 took the BPF phyto-supplement, a compound rich in polyphenols with increased bioavailability, which means the body can more easily absorb and distribute it.
  • Group 3 took a placebo.

People in groups 1 and 2 experienced significant decreases in fasting plasma glucose, serum LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and an increase in HDL cholesterol.

However, BPF phyto may be more beneficial than standard BPF. People of the 2nd group who took phyto FFT absorbed 2.5 times more naringin than those who took standard FFT. Naringin is the main component of BPF.

These results indicate that the specific formulation of the BPF can affect the benefit an individual receives.

However, this was a small study and more research is needed to verify its results.

Learn how to lower your blood sugar here.

Reducing inflammation

Bergamot can help reduce inflammation in the body.

The authors 2015 study studied the effect of bergamot on reducing inflammation in mice. The mice had fewer markers of inflammation after taking bergamot juice daily.

The researchers concluded that the anti-inflammatory properties of bergamot may be useful for treating conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease in humans.

However, there is currently insufficient evidence that bergamot can have similar anti-inflammatory effects in humans.

Here you will learn about eight natural supplements to fight inflammation.

Anxiety Relief

Bergamot is a common ingredient in many aromatherapy oils and preparations.

One 2020 study tested people’s anxiety levels before gallbladder surgery. The researchers asked 30 participants to inhale bergamot and orange essence, and another 30 to inhale unscented grape seed oil.

The group that inhaled bergamot orange essence experienced lower levels of anxiety.

Researchers suggest that people can use bergamot and orange aromatherapy to reduce anxiety before other surgical procedures.

Bergamot is generally safe to use. There have been several reports of adverse side effects, which are mostly associated with the application of bergamot essential oil to the skin.

Excessive consumption of bergamot can be harmful. In a 2015 case study, a man experienced a range of symptoms after drinking up to 4 liters of Earl Gray tea every day for 5 weeks. Earl Gray tea contains bergamot extract oil, which acted as a potassium channel blocker in large amounts.

A 2021 report notes that there are no studies on the effects of bergamot supplements on children, the elderly, pregnant or breastfeeding individuals. Thus, people in these groups should be careful before taking bergamot supplements or avoiding them altogether.

Bergamot-derived products are available in many forms, including:

  • a liquid extract that people can add to tea or use as a cooking ingredient
  • tablets or capsules 500 to 1200 milligrams (mg) per serving
  • a powder that a person can add to juices or smoothies
  • juice that people can dilute with water or drink as is

A person should read product labels carefully to make sure they do not exceed the recommended dosage.

If a person is taking other medications, they should check with their doctor before taking bergamot supplements to avoid drug interactions.

AT clinical researchesthe addition of bergamot in various forms has had a beneficial effect on health.

Researchers are still investigating exactly how bergamot helps and whether the results of animal studies can be replicated in human studies.

Bergamot probably affects different people in different ways. As long as taking bergamot fits into a person’s lifestyle, feels good taking it, and doesn’t exceed the recommended dose, it should be a safe supplement to take.

Bergamot is a citrus fruit found mainly in southern Italy. People have used it in traditional Italian medicine to treat symptoms such as sore throats and fevers. Bergamot is also found in Earl Gray tea.

Studies show that bergamot may be beneficial in reducing inflammation as well as cholesterol and may help prevent cardiovascular disease.

A person can supplement with bergamot by taking tablets or capsules, by adding the powder to drinks, or by adding the extract to baked goods.

Bergamot is generally safe, but excessive amounts can have adverse health effects. Children, the elderly, and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should take bergamot supplements with caution or avoid them altogether.

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