The use of calabrian bergamot juice for cholesterol gained attention after two studies showed it lowered total cholesterol levels, along with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. LDL, often called bad cholesterol, represents a major risk factor for heart disease. It might cause fats to accumulate in arteries and reduce blood flow carrying oxygen to the heart and brain. The research also showed bergamot for cholesterol raised the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), considered good cholesterol with protective benefits.
Triglyceride levels also fell in study participants using bergamot juice for cholesterol. Triglycerides represent the amount of fat stored in the human body for use as energy. In both studies, researchers found substantial decreases in triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol levels.
A published 2009 study conducted by Italian scientists showed bergamot for cholesterol lowed total cholesterol levels by about 31 percent after one month. LDL levels fell about 39 percent, and triglycerides dropped 41.5 percent. The report also states HDL levels rose approximately 43 percent in participants who took bergamot once or twice a day for four weeks. Another effect discovered by researchers occurred in blood glucose levels, which decreased an average of 22 percent.
Bergamot might work by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver. This action might force the liver to seek cholesterol stored in the bloodstream when production falls too low. Substances found in the fruit have been compared to commercial drugs in their ability to lower cholesterol.