LONDON--()--While we might not associate burgers with good health, an Italian fruit called Calabrian Citrus Bergamot could hold a natural solution for tackling cholesterol. New research, which has been submitted for publication in the International Journal of Cardiology, will show that not only can it reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, while improving ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, but also help patients on prescribed statins to reduce their dosage.
“The results are impressive. Few have witnessed any minor side effects and it is worth noting associated cardiac improvements, such as reduction in arterial stiffness and reductions in abdominal obesity”
The research, led by the University Magna Graecia in Italy, builds on a 2010 study which demonstrated the unique benefits of the citrus fruit in helping reduce cholesterol. In the prospective, open-label, parallel group, controlled study of 77 patients1 the following effects on cholesterol were observed:
- Patients given a 10mg dose of Rosuvastatin saw a 42% decrease in LDL cholesterol
- Patients given a 20mg dose of Rosuvastatin saw a 57% decrease in LDL cholesterol
- Patients given a 1000mg dose of Calabrian Citrus Bergamot extract saw a 31% decrease
- Patients who were given a 10mg dose of Rosuvastatin alongside a 1000mg dose of Calabrian Citrus Bergamot extract saw a 52% decrease
The study showed that when taken in conjunction with prescribed statins, the Calabrian Citrus Bergamot extract significantly enhanced the benefit to cholesterol suggesting a role for this nutrient in statin intolerant patients. Statins are the most prescribed medication in the world, but have faced criticism about their side effects (around 20 - 40% patients experience them2) and recently the FDA has issued new warnings on packs.
An earlier double blind placebo controlled clinical trial on 237 patients with high cholesterol3, led by the same Italian cardiology team, discovered the incredible effects of Calabrian Citrus Bergamot. It showed that after 30 days total cholesterol was reduced by 38%, ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol was reduced by 39% and incredibly an increase in ‘good’ HDL cholesterol was observed - around 41%. Patients on statins are likely to see only a 5-15% increase in HDL cholesterol by comparison.
The Calabrian Citrus Bergamot, is a bitter tasting fruit, but the extract is available in a supplement. Today BergaMet launches in the UK, although it has been available as a food supplement since 2010 down under and in other parts of Europe. BergaMet does not interfere with pharmaceutical medications, such as statins and warfarin, and has been used successfully in clinic by Australian Cardiologist Dr Ross Walker (MB, BS (Hons), FRACP, FCSANZ).
Dr Ross Walker believes the launch will dramatically alter the health landscape of statin use within the UK. He comments: “Since Citrus Calabrian Bergamot launched in Australia in late 2010 I have seen significant and consistent improvements in my patients either with or without statin therapy. Around 600 of my patients are now taking the natural supplement and have witnessed reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and increases in the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.”
Dr Ross Walker has recommended BergaMet in the following scenarios:
1) Low risk patients or in statin intolerant patients to lower cholesterol
2) In combination with statins to improve efficacy of statins, so a lower dose can be prescribed and side effects are reduced (e.g. muscle pain, weakness, altered cognition)
“The results are impressive. Few have witnessed any minor side effects and it is worth noting associated cardiac improvements, such as reduction in arterial stiffness and reductions in abdominal obesity,” he adds.
BergaMet, from Calabrian Citrus Bergamot, is a natural supplement and launches this week for UK consumers. BergaMet is used by experts as part of a management program to maintain healthy cholesterol. People with high cholesterol should not switch from prescribed medications such as statins or warfarin, but can consult with their GP or Cardiologist about introducing a natural supplement to work in complement. Take 1 tablet twice a day before a large meal – it is essential to take BergaMet before meals. Always read the label and use only as directed. BergaMet costs £42 for a month’s supply and is available to order direct from http://www.bergamet.co.uk/
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- Mollace et al, Bergamot Polyphenolic fraction potentiates rosuvastatin-induced effect on LDL-Cholesterol, Lox-1 expression and protein kinase B phosphorilation in patients (Department of pharmacobiological Sciences, University Magna Graecia, Italy) (Date tbc, International Journal of Cardiology, 2013)
- http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/06june/Pages/statin-pill-tiredness-fatigue-side-effects.aspx and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1280040/Statins-The-effects-worse-feared.html
- Mollace et al, Hypolipemic and hypoglycaemic activity of bergamoit polyphenols from animal model to human studies (Department of pharmacobiological Sciences, University Magna Graecia, Italy) (2010)