Many people have heard about bergamot and perhaps have used it as a sweet-smelling oil for its scent, but it has many more uses, and health benefits, than just providing a great smell in your home or office. Bergamot comes from the Citrus bergamia, an orange that is cultivated in southern Italy. It is used in one of the most popular herbal teas in the world—Earl Grey—and its distinct aroma and subtle flavor make it a favorite for perfumes and aromatherapy.
Health Benefits of Citrus Bergamot
Bergamot has also been studied as a potentially beneficial health compound, particularly because of the presence of polyphenols in this extract. Polyphenols have been shown to have significant antioxidant benefits, and appear in a variety of “super foods” such as tea, berries, cocoa, and more. The antioxidants are effective in preventing and protecting against a variety of ailments, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Bone loss
- Degenerative disorders
In juice form, bergamot contains many unique polyphenols, which are concentrated and standardized in a tablet form as an effective way to combat some of the most deadly and wide-ranging health issues that impact people in the U.S. today.
More than 600,000 people die of cardiovascular disease each year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it’s the number one killer of both men and women. Sadly the CDC also indicates that about half of these deaths could be prevented by reducing the top risk factors that cause the disease, including high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking.
While a healthy diet and exercise are two important factors that can help reduce the prevalence of these conditions, they may not be the only thing you could do to improve your overall health. Bergamot has been shown to be almost as effective as prescription statin drugs at lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is the “bad” cholesterol that puts you at risk for clogged arteries and heart attacks. In addition, it can raise your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol, which is something statin drugs do not accomplish. HDL helps move cholesterol out of the arteries and into the liver, where it can be broken down and doesn’t pose as risk of clogs.
Reduce Your Risk of Disease
Another benefit that bergamot can offer is its ability to protect against damage from free radicals in tissues throughout the body by controlling blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and providing critical protections against some of the precursors to diabetes—all things that can reduce your risk of developing some of the most common chronic diseases.
To get the maximum benefit from this amazing supplement, take the recommended dose of 500 to 1,000 mg of a standardized extract one or two times each day before meals.