MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY ELIZABETH A. SWICK, MS, RDN

What are the Other Benefits of Taking Bergamot Supplements Besides Helping to Lower Cholesterol?

What are the Other Benefits of Taking Bergamot Supplements Besides Helping to Lower Cholesterol?

Bergamot (known more formally as Citrus bergamia) is a citrus fruit native to southern Italy. Many people have already tasted bergamot as a key ingredient in Earl Grey tea. However, in addition to its delicious and highly recognizable flavor, bergamot extract also has quite a few health benefits. The most well-known of these benefits is bergamot’s positive effects on cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health.

Those already aware of the benefits of bergamot for cholesterol level management may realize that citrus bergamot extract offers several additional health benefits and supports other organs and body systems as well as the heart. The benefits of bergamot supplements extend beyond cholesterol management and having antioxidant properties, such as helping with anti-inflammatory effects, blood sugar regulation, digestive health improvements, and more. 

Benefits for Cholesterol Management and LDL Reduction

Numerous high-quality scientific studies have shown that supplementing with bergamot to lower cholesterol is likely effective. For instance, in a study on rats, bergamot juice lowered total cholesterol by about 29 percent and LDL (i.e., “bad cholesterol”) by 52 percent while increasing HDL (“good cholesterol”) by 28 percent. Similarly, both animal and human studies of the relationship between taking citrus bergamot and cholesterol levels show that the extract’s potent flavonoids can not only help to reduce cholesterol but can also lower lipid levels, including triglyceride levels.

Since bergamot contains potent polyphenols such as bruteridine and melitidine, taking it in supplement form can help to block free radical damage to blood vessels and may reverse atherosclerosis (otherwise known as arterial plaque buildup), possibly improving overall cardiovascular health. For example, in a study of 80 subjects with mild atherosclerosis and moderately elevated cholesterol, six months of supplementation with bergamot led to a significant reduction in the severity of their arterial plaque buildup.

Other Bergamot Supplement Benefits

Besides the benefits of citrus bergamot supplements for lipid levels and cardiovascular health, it also has many other positive effects, some of which have more scientific data supporting the findings than others:

Antioxidant Properties and Free Radical Reduction

Bergamot extract is exceptionally high in antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acid. In a study conducted on mouse hearts, for example, bergamot helped to measurably increase the activity of the genes involved in antioxidant and anti-aging responses. Antioxidants are highly beneficial to overall health, as these molecules are thought to scavenge and reduce levels of free radicals, thereby minimizing the oxidation-related damage, aging, and disease that free radicals are thought to cause.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Joint Health

Another notable benefit of bergamot may be its anti-inflammatory effect. This benefit is commonly attributable to the fact that bergamot contains carvacrol and linalool, two compounds that may reduce inflammation throughout the body, according to several studies

Bergamot’s anti-inflammatory effects also extend to its potential benefits for joint health and reduced joint pain. More specifically, one study has found that bergamot supplements may help to protect cancer patients who are being treated with aromatase inhibitors from these drugs’ highly common side effect of joint pain.

Blood Sugar Regulation and Diabetes Management

In a high-quality and rigorous (i.e., double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled) study of bergamot health benefits in humans, a form of bergamot extract called bergamot-derived polyphenol fraction (BPF) was found to lower fasting blood glucose levels significantly. Fasting glucose is an essential metric for overall blood sugar control, illustrating that one of the benefits of bergamot oil is improved blood sugar regulation and perhaps even diabetes management (although further studies are needed to confirm this effect).

Potential Digestive Health Improvements

Another effect that may soon be added to the growing list of confirmed bergamot benefits is possibly improved digestive health. For example, one study of mice with inflammatory bowel disease showed that bergamot juice reduced the severity of diarrhea and malnutrition-related weight loss while reducing levels of inflammation-causing proteins. Another study demonstrated that bergamot juice can reduce intestinal inflammation, while a third study suggested that bergamot can kill H. pylori bacteria, which is thought to cause stomach ulcers.

Possible Mental Health Benefits

Taking a citrus bergamot supplement regularly may also help to improve one’s mental health. In several studies, using bergamot essential oil for aromatherapy was shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even to lower heart rate and blood pressure (both of which may be effective proxies for measuring short-term stress levels).

Bergamot may even reduce the symptoms of more severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. In a 2017 study, researchers had 20 patients with schizophrenia take bergamot supplements for eight weeks. By week eight, extensive testing showed that their cognitive function had improved significantly. Although it may be likely that bergamot could also have cognitive benefits for those without serious mental illness, confirming that this is the case will require additional clinical trials using larger groups of subjects as well as a more rigorous study design (such as a randomized, double-blind trial).

What Is the Best Bergamot Supplement?

Bergamot is likely to have many health benefits, of which have not yet been confirmed in scientific studies. 

At this point, those who are interested in the positive effects of bergamot supplementation may wonder which bergamot supplement to take to maximize their cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive, psychological, and full-body health benefits. 

InnerThera’s Bergamot Heart

Taking just two capsules of InnerThera’s Bergamot Heart on a daily basis makes it easy to enjoy all the positive effects of bergamot supplementation. These capsules don’t simply contain just any form of bergamot; they contain 1,000 mg of patented Calabrian Bergamonte®, a highly pure and potent form of full spectrum bergamot extract with research demonstrating its efficacy. A university-based human study of Calabrian Bergamonte® found that the extract can reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol by 36 percent, lower triglycerides by 41 percent, raise healthy HDL cholesterol by 40 percent, lower total cholesterol by 29 percent, and lower blood sugar by 22 percent. These health benefits are in addition to those already described above.

Bergamot Heart contains more than Calabrian Bergamonte®. It also contains 50 mg of vitamin C to reduce cellular breakdown and lipid oxidation (both of which may contribute to aging and disease). In addition, Bergamot Heart provides 100 mg of highly concentrated and standardized artichoke extract, guaranteed to contain 5 percent cynarin, a compound that helps to balance lipid and blood pressure levels. The combination of Bergamonte®, vitamin C, and artichoke extract makes Bergamot Heart the ideal supplement to support heart health and full-body health and wellness.

All InnerThera supplements are produced in an FDA-regulated facility in the United States, and all InnerThera products undergo rigorous third-party testing for potency and purity. Those with dietary restrictions can also rest assured that Bergamot Heart is gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, vegan, and has been confirmed as free from harmful contaminants.

Before starting to take Bergamot Heart daily, remember that everyone has different medical issues, and even the safest natural supplements have the potential to interact with existing medications or cause side effects. That’s why speaking to a qualified medical professional is essential to confirm that supplementing with Bergamot Heart is an appropriate choice for your health situation and medical needs.