The bergamot is a citrus fruit native to southern Italy with traditional uses that include improving immune response and cardiovascular function. There are a variety of phytochemicals that have been found in the bergamot including brutieridin and melitidin as well as other flavonoids, flavones O-glucosides and C-glucosides. Multiple clinical trials have provided evidence that different forms of orally administered bergamot can reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. In vitro mechanistic studies have provided evidence that polyphenols from the bergamot can alter the function of AMPK and pancreatic cholesterol ester hydrolase (pCEH). The use of bergamot in multiple clinical trials has consistently shown that it is well tolerated in studies ranging from 30 days to 12 weeks. This mini-review reports on the clinical studies performed with different forms of bergamot along with their effectiveness in reducing total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in patients with hypercholesterolemia.
Keywords: Bergamot; Citrus bergamia; antioxidant; brutieridin; cholesterol; melitidin.