The Unique Citrus Fruit That Can Help Lower Your High Cholesterol – Health Digest

The Unique Citrus Fruit That Can Help Lower Your High Cholesterol - Health Digest

Talk about stumbling on a fruit that has the internet talking about it — apparently, lots of people have ended up confusing another citrus fruit called the “kaffir lime,” native to Southeast Asia, with the bergamot, even though the former is green in color with a bumpy surface. Bergamot, on the other hand (not to be confused with the bergamot mint herb or bergamot pear), comes from the Citrus bergamia plant and tastes extremely sour. It resembles a round lemon. Because of its unusually sour flavor, it is best enjoyed in tea or as a cooking ingredient. In fact, Earl Grey tea uses bergamot extract for flavoring. 

According to clinical trials published in 2019 in Integrative Food, Nutrition and Metabolism, bergamot was found to be effective in reducing total cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. A 2021 study published in Nutrients found that bergamot fruit extract reduced overall cholesterol levels by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and absorption. A 2019 systematic review of several studies published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that bergamot supplementation was linked with a reduction in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Triglycerides are a kind of fat found in your body. Too much of this type of lipid is associated with heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks.

Some of the research on bergamot seems to indicate that the fruit’s beneficial polyphenols and phytochemicals might be what influence cholesterol levels. The flavanones neohesperidin and naringin, in particular, could be responsible for binding with a cholesterol-producing enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase and interrupting its function.

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