Bergamot


Article Outline
  1. 1. Biological Properties
    1. 1.1. Antiinflammatory
    2. 1.2. Appetite Control
    3. 1.3. Cytoprotective
    4. 1.4. Neuroprotective
      1. 1.4.1. Neurotransmitters
    5. 1.5. Memory
    6. 1.6. Weight Loss
    7. 1.7. Blood Sugar
    8. 1.8. Bone Health
    9. 1.9. Skin Health
    10. 1.10. Hair Health
    11. 1.11. Lipid‐lowering
    12. 1.12. Metabolism
    13. 1.13. Cardioprotective
    14. 1.14. Endothelial Health
    15. 1.15. Wound Healing
  2. 2. Disease / Symptom Treatment
    1. 2.1. Cognitive Impairment
    2. 2.2. Schizophrenia
      1. 2.2.1. Executive Cognition Functioning
      2. 2.2.2. Attention
    3. 2.3. Cystic fibrosis
    4. 2.4. Antiinflammatory
    5. 2.5. Obesity
    6. 2.6. Hypercholesterolemia
    7. 2.7. Triglyceridemia
    8. 2.8. Hyperlipidemia
    9. 2.9. Plaque psoriasis

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow or green color similar to a lime, depending on ripeness. Although native to South‐East Asia, 80% of bergamot is produced in Calabria, southern Italy, where it grows extensively. Bergamot is known to have a high amount of flavonoids and flavonoid glycosides such as: neoeriocitrin, neohesperidin, naringin, rutin, neodesmin, rhoifolin, and poncirin (with particularly high concentrations of naringin and neohesperidin).

Biological Properties

Antiinflammatory

Bergamot flavonoid reduces lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response in THP-1 monocytes, through SIRT1-mediated nuclear factor-κB inhibition.[1]

Appetite Control

Bergamot contains polysaccharides and a fibrous‐woody fraction that can be used in food integrators and in dietary products in order to reduce the sensation of hunger.[2]

  • The flavonoid fraction is able to reduce protein levels of pro‐inflammatory cytokines.[2:1]

Cytoprotective

Bergamot Juice extract has cytoprotective ability against oxidants, such as hydrogen peroxide and Iron(III) sulfate, that cause oxidative cell damage.[2:2]

Neuroprotective

The mechanisms by which the flavonoids in Bergamot exert their neuroprotective activities are associated with the modulation of specific antioxidant enzymes (antioxidant capacity), antiapoptotic activity, induction of neurotrophic factors, and modulation of different signaling pathways that influence neuronal survival, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis.[1:1]

Neurotransmitters

Bergamot Essential Oil (BEO) contains unidentified monoterpene hydrocarbons able to enhance the levels of amino acid neurotransmitters (glycine, aspartate, GABA, taurine, and glutamate) in the hippocampus (of rats).[3]

  • Bergamot Essential Oil increases extracellular aspartate, glycine, and taurine in the hippocampus.[2:3]
  • The phytocomplex of Bergamot Essential Oil interferes with the exocytotic release of amino acid neurotransmitters.[2:4]

Memory

Bergamot contains a high amount of the flavonoids naringin and neohesperidin. Naringin and neohesperidin have been reported to improve learning and memory.[1:2]

Weight Loss

Bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF) administration resulted in a statistically significant reduction of body weight and in a trend for body mass index decrease.[4]

Blood Sugar

500/1000 mg/day of Bergamot Extract shows promising data for glucose control.[2:5]

  • Daily supplementation of 500 mg for 30 days, BPF resulted in a significant reduction on blood glucose levels compared to baseline.[2:6]

Bone Health

Bergamot essential oil (BEO, 10 mg/kg or 20 mg/kg daily for 20 weeks) increases bone volume.[2:7]

Skin Health

Bergamot essential oil increases skin collagen content.[2:8]

Hair Health

Bergamot essential oil promotes hair growth.[2:9]

Lipid‐lowering

The lipid‐lowering effect was associated with significant reductions in biomarkers used to detect vascular oxidative damage (such as malondialdehyde, oxyLDL receptor LOX‐1, and protein kinase B (PKB)), suggesting a multi‐action improved potential for bergamot in patients taking statins.[2:10]

Metabolism

Bergamot initiates adenosine monophosphate (AMP)‐activated PK (AMPK), a central regulator of energy, and thus is involved in glucose and fatty acid metabolism.[2:11]

Cardioprotective

The lipid and glycemic lowering effects of bergamot may result in a reduction of Cardiovascular Disease risk.[2:12]

  • Studies suggest a cardioprotective effect of a single daily dose for 6 months of BE (150 mg of flavonoids, with 16% of neoeriocitrin, 47% of neohesperidin, and 37% of naringin).[2:13]

Endothelial Health

Bergamot protects against free radical damage in the body, including the vascular endothelium, an important determinant of Cardiovascular health.[2:14]

Wound Healing

Bergamot oil and its major active components, namely limonene, linalyl acetate, and linalool, have demonstrated anti‐inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and wound healing activities.[2:15]

Disease / Symptom Treatment

Cognitive Impairment

Bergamot is characterized by a high amount of flavonoids and flavonoid glycosides, particularly naringin and neohesperidin. Naringin and neohesperidin have been reported to attenuate cognitive impairment and behavioral deficits.[1:3]

Schizophrenia

Bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF) supplementation significantly improved cognitive outcome in schizophrenia. Bergamot polyphenolic fraction may be proposed as a potential supplementation strategy to address cognitive dysfunctions in schizophrenia.[1:4]

Executive Cognition Functioning

Bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF) administration was associated with a substantial improvement of cognitive executive functioning.[1:5]

Attention

Bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF) administration was associated with a positive trend toward improvement in attentional resistance to interference stimuli.[1:6]

Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a disease characterized by extensive lung inflammation. The extracts obtained from bergamot epicarps (the outermost layer of the fruit) contain components displaying strong inhibitory activity on lung inflammation.[5]

Antiinflammatory

The most active molecules identified from the extract of bergamot skin were bergapten and citropten. They are most likely responsible for the strong inhibitory effect on pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.[5:1]

Obesity

Bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF), at the daily dose of 1000 mg for 30 days, could be an effective and safe agent to prevent weight gain.[4:1]

Hypercholesterolemia

Triglyceridemia

Hyperlipidemia

Bergamot‐derived extract (BE) exerts positive effects on hyperlipidemia with an oral dose from 150 mg to 1000 mg/day of flavonoids administered from 30 to 180 days, demonstrating an effect on body weight and in modulating total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and HDL.[2:16]

Plaque psoriasis

Bergamot essential oil decreases psoriatic plaques (Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. These patches or plaques most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back).[2:17]


  1. Title: Bergamot Polyphenolic Fraction Supplementation Improves Cognitive Functioning in Schizophrenia: Data From an 8-Week, Open-Label Pilot Study
    Institution(s): University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
    Publication: Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  2. Title: Efficacy of bergamot: From anti‐inflammatory and anti‐oxidative mechanisms to clinical applications as preventive agent for cardiovascular morbidity, skin diseases, and mood alterations
    Institution(s): Mycology and Plant Pathology Laboratory, Pavia, Italy; University of Bahrain, Zallaq, Bahrain; Research and Development Unit, Indena, Milan, Italy
    Publication: Food Science & Nutrition ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  3. Title: The essential oil of bergamot enhances the levels of amino acid neurotransmitters in the hippocampus of rat: Implication of monoterpene hydrocarbons
    Institution(s): University of Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy; University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia”, Catanzaro, Italy; University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; University of Genoa, Italy
    Publication: Pharmacological Research ↩︎

  4. Title: Metabolic outcomes of bergamot polyphenolic fraction administration in patients treated with second-generation antipsychotics: a pilot study
    Institution(s): University of Messina, Italy
    Publication: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry ↩︎ ↩︎

  5. Title: Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) fruit extracts and identified components alter expression of interleukin 8 gene in cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelial cell lines
    Institution(s): University of Ferrara, Italy
    Publication: BMC Biochemistry ↩︎ ↩︎