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What is the Best Bergamot Supplement?

Recent studies have shown that citrus bergamot, a unique fruit native to the Calabrian region of Italy, contains powerful compounds that can help support heart health and manage cholesterol levels. With a growing body of scientific evidence backing its efficacy, citrus bergamot has become a popular natural supplement for those seeking to improve their cardiovascular well-being. This article explores the potential health benefits of citrus bergamot, the various forms of supplements available, and the key factors to consider when choosing the best bergamot supplement for optimal results.

What Is Citrus Bergamot?

Citrus bergamot, scientifically known as Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau, is a small citrus fruit native to the coastal regions of southern Italy, mainly Calabria. Bergamot is a hybrid between a sour orange and a lemon or citron. The fruit appears similar to a round yellow lemon.

The bergamot fruit is usually too sour and bitter to eat on its own. However, its peel contains an essential oil with a distinctive aroma widely used in perfumery, aromatherapy, and flavoring. More recently, extracts derived from the juice and peel of bergamot fruits have been used in dietary supplements for their potential health benefits.

Bergamot is rich in several phenolic compounds – flavonoid glycosides thought to be responsible for many of the fruit's therapeutic properties. Bergamot juice and extracts also contain vitamin C, citric acid, and other beneficial organic compounds.

Potential Health Benefits of Bergamot

1. Cholesterol Reduction

Bergamot contains natural compounds called flavonoids that help lower harmful cholesterol levels in the body. Regular consumption of bergamot extracts combined with a healthy diet can significantly reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing "good" HDL cholesterol.

In support of these claims, multiple studies have found that bergamot extracts can help reduce total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while boosting HDL "good" cholesterol. The flavonoids in bergamot seem to inhibit cholesterol synthesis in the liver and increase excretion of cholesterol in the feces. A 2019 review concluded that bergamot-derived polyphenolic fractions show promising hypocholesterolemic effects, especially when combined with a healthy diet.

In one placebo-controlled trial, 80 patients with mild hypercholesterolemia took 150 mg of flavonoids from bergamot daily for six months. The bergamot group had significant reductions in total cholesterol (-31%), LDL (-39%), and triglycerides (-45%), as well as a 45% increase in HDL, compared to baseline. These changes were superior to the placebo group.

2. Cardiovascular Health

Bergamot supports cardiovascular health at several levels. Extracts from the fruit have contributed to decreased plaque in the arteries, improved cholesterol levels, reduced inflammation, and more. Its efficacy is best when used in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

By improving cholesterol profiles, bergamot reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of bergamot polyphenols also help protect the cardiovascular system.

Animal and test tube studies indicate that bergamot extracts can inhibit LDL oxidation—a key step in the development of atherosclerotic plaques. Bergamot also helps maintain the elasticity and integrity of blood vessels by increasing nitric oxide availability.

In a trial of 98 patients with metabolic syndrome, taking 1500 mg of bergamot polyphenol fraction daily for 16 weeks improved endothelial function and reduced carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), a marker of atherosclerosis progression. Blood pressure and lipid profile also improved compared to baseline.

3. Blood Sugar Regulation

Some research suggests bergamot can help improve blood sugar control, especially in people with metabolic disorders. In a study of 98 patients with metabolic syndrome, those who took 1000 mg of bergamot polyphenol fraction (BPF) daily for sixteen weeks experienced 18% lower fasting glucose and 16% lower HbA1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar).

A 2019 study randomized 60 patients with type 2 diabetes into three groups: one group received a placebo, another received 650 mg BPF twice daily, and the third group received 500 mg of a special BPF phytosome formulation twice daily for twelve weeks. Both bergamot treatments significantly lowered fasting glucose, HbA1c, and lipid parameters compared to placebo. The phytosome group saw greater improvements, likely due to enhanced absorption of the flavonoids.

Animal studies indicate that naringin, a key bergamot flavonoid, may stimulate uptake of glucose into skeletal muscle cells and reduce glucose absorption in the gut, helping lower blood sugar. More human research is needed, but bergamot could be a helpful addition to a regimen for managing diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

4. Neuropsychological Health

Preliminary research points to bergamot’s potential neuroprotective properties. In animal models, bergamot essential oil and juice were found to reduce neuronal damage and improve behavioral symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.

In a study of schizophrenic patients, supplementing with 1000 mg of bergamot polyphenol fraction daily for eight weeks led to improvements in cognitive function as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions of bergamot polyphenols may help counter age-related cognitive decline.

Bergamot essential oil is also commonly used in aromatherapy to relieve stress and anxiety. Inhalation of bergamot oil has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and blood pressure while increasing parasympathetic nervous system activity, promoting relaxation.

5. Antimicrobial Properties

Bergamot essential oil has been the subject of several studies investigating its potential antimicrobial properties. Research suggests that the oil, derived from the peel of the bergamot fruit, may possess both antibacterial and antifungal qualities.

These properties are attributed to the presence of various compounds, such as limonene, linalool, and citropten, which are believed to interact with microbial cell membranes, disrupting their structure and function. As a result, bergamot essential oil may prove useful in the treatment of certain skin conditions caused by bacterial or fungal infections, as well as in the prevention of such infections in susceptible individuals. However, further research is needed to fully understand the extent and mechanisms of bergamot's antimicrobial effects and to determine its potential applications in clinical settings.

6. Antioxidant Properties

Bergamot is a rich source of polyphenols and flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants known for their ability to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

One 2016 study investigated the antioxidant properties of bergamot juice and found that it exhibited a strong capacity to scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in human endothelial cells. The researchers attributed these effects to the high content of flavonoids, particularly naringin and neohesperidin, in bergamot juice.

Another 2014 study focused on the antioxidant activity of bergamot essential oil and its major components, such as limonene and linalyl acetate. The results showed that bergamot essential oil and its constituents demonstrated significant antioxidant effects, suggesting their potential use in protecting against oxidative stress-related diseases. These findings highlight the antioxidant properties of bergamot and its potential benefits for overall health.

7. Digestive Health

Bergamot has been used in traditional medicine to support digestive health and alleviate various gastrointestinal discomforts. One 2011 study investigated the effects of bergamot essential oil on the digestive system in an animal model. The researchers found that bergamot essential oil exhibited a protective effect on the gastric mucosa, potentially reducing the risk of ulcers and other gastrointestinal lesions. Additionally, the study suggested that bergamot may help regulate the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, which could aid in alleviating symptoms such as bloating and indigestion.

While these findings are promising, more human studies are needed to fully understand the extent of bergamot's benefits for digestive health and to determine safe and effective dosages for therapeutic use.

Advantages of Bergamot Supplementation

While consuming fresh bergamot fruit or its juice may provide some of the beneficial compounds, there are several reasons why bergamot supplements may be a more practical and effective option for many people:

  1. 1. Standardized dosage: Supplements contain a concentrated and standardized amount of the active polyphenols and flavonoids found in bergamot. This allows for a consistent and clinically relevant dose, which is difficult to achieve through consuming the fruit or juice alone.
  1. 2. Convenience: Bergamot supplements are easy to incorporate into a daily routine, requiring only one or two capsules or tablets per day. In contrast, obtaining fresh bergamot fruit or juice can be challenging, as it is not widely available in many regions.
  1. 3. Taste: Bergamot fruit and juice are known for their sour and bitter taste, which may not be palatable for everyone. Supplements eliminate this issue, making it easier for individuals to consume the beneficial compounds without the strong taste.
  1. 4. Synergistic ingredients: Some bergamot supplements are formulated with additional ingredients that work synergistically to support heart health, blood sugar regulation, and overall wellness. These ingredients, such as olive leaf extract, alpha-lipoic acid, or chromium, may not be present in the fresh fruit or juice.
  1. 5. Quality control: Reputable supplement manufacturers follow strict quality control measures, ensuring that their products are pure, potent, and free from contaminants. This level of quality assurance is not always possible when relying on fresh fruit or juice.
  1. 6. Research-backed benefits: Most of the research on the health benefits of bergamot has been conducted using standardized extracts, similar to those found in supplements. While consuming the fruit or juice may offer some benefits, the evidence is more robust for the use of concentrated supplements.

How Much Bergamot Should I Take for Cholesterol?

Clinical studies demonstrating the cholesterol-lowering effects of bergamot have used daily doses ranging from 500–1500 mg of bergamot polyphenol fractions (BPF), taken for at least thirty days and up to six months.

The one previously noted trial, 150 mg of BPF flavonoids taken once daily for six months improved lipid profiles in adults with mild hypercholesterolemia. Another 30-day trial used 500-1000 mg doses of BPF and reported dose-dependent benefits on total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides.

For general support of healthy cholesterol levels, a daily bergamot supplement providing 250–500 mg of flavonoids is a good start. Those with elevated lipids may benefit from higher doses around 1000 mg flavonoids per day. However, it is best to start low, assess your response and labs, and increase dosage if needed under medical supervision.

How to Take Bergamot

1. Capsules or Tablets

Bergamot supplements are most commonly available as capsules or tablets containing citrus bergamot fruit extract standardized for polyphenol/flavonoid content. This allows for convenient oral dosing that aligns with the amounts used in cholesterol-lowering studies.

2. Juice

Some people prefer consuming bergamot juice for its health benefits and pleasant tart flavor. However, it is difficult to find pure bergamot juice, and controlling polyphenol intake is not easy. Bergamot juice is very sour and is usually mixed with other citrus juices.

3. Essential Oil

Bergamot essential oil is not commonly taken internally, but used aromatically or topically. The oil has a fresh citrusy scent and is a popular component of fragrances and aromatherapy blends. A few drops of essential oil can be added to a diffuser to provide a stress-relieving atmosphere. The oil can also be diluted in a carrier oil and applied to the skin.

What Is the Best Citrus Bergamot Supplement?


When comparing bergamot supplements, consider:

  • • Polyphenol/flavonoid content: Is the bergamot extract standardized to provide a specific amount of active flavonoids? Look for brands that guarantee a flavonoid content of at least 30%.
  • • Serving size: How many capsules provide a clinically supported dose of 500-1000 mg flavonoids? Taking multiple pills per day can get inconvenient.
  • • Brand quality: Choose bergamot products from reputable brands that follow good manufacturing practices and ideally conduct third-party testing to ensure purity and potency.
  • • Synergistic ingredients: Some supplements combine bergamot with other heart-healthy and glucose-modulating ingredients like olive leaf, alpha-lipoic acid, or artichoke leaf. This can enhance the benefits.
  • • Form: Decide if you want a capsule, tablet, powder, or essential oil preparation of bergamot. Capsules/tablets are best for cholesterol-lowering benefits, while essential oils are used aromatically.

Professional Picks

Bergamot (Natural Healthy Concepts)

Bergamot by Natural Healthy Concepts is a unique polyphenol supplement derived from the bergamot citrus plant, native to Southern Italy. This powerful supplement contains phenolic compounds such as Neohesperidin, Naringin, and Neoeriocitrin, which work together to support healthy cholesterol levels, promote cardiovascular health, and maintain a healthy inflammation response in the body. Bergamot by Natural Healthy Concepts is free from artificial ingredients, gluten, yeast, and corn, making it a natural choice for those seeking to support their overall wellness.

  • • Form: Capsules
  • • Dosage: 2 capsules per day or as recommended by your healthcare professional
  • • Servings Per Container: 60 servings

Pro+ Heart Health Citrus Bergamot (BergaMet)

Pro+ Heart Health Citrus Bergamot by BergaMet is a premium supplement designed to support cardiovascular health and promote healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. This powerful formula combines the antioxidant properties of vitamin C, the metabolic benefits of chromium, and the heart-protective effects of citrus bergamot extract, olive leaf extract, and alpha-lipoic acid. With natural ingredients and a potent blend of antioxidants, BergaMet Pro+ Heart Health Citrus Bergamot offers a comprehensive approach to supporting overall wellness and heart health.

  • • Form: Tablets
  • • Dosage: Take three tablets per day
  • • Servings Per Container: 30 servings

Bergamot Essential Oil (Wyndmere Essential Oils)

Bergamot Essential Oil by Wyndmere Essential Oils is a pure, cold-pressed essential oil derived from the peel of the bergamot citrus fruit, native to Southern Italy. With its refreshing, fruity, and floral scent, this essential oil is a popular choice for aromatherapy, known for its potential to promote relaxation, relieve stress, and support healthy skin. Bergamot Essential Oil can be used in diffusers, misters, or diluted for topical application, making it a versatile addition to any aromatherapy collection.

  • • Form: Liquid essential oil
  • • Dosage: Use with care by the drop in diffusers or misters. Dilute properly for use on skin.
  • • Size: 0.33 oz (10 mL) bottle

Citrus Bergamot 500 Mg (Jarrow Formulas)

Citrus Bergamot 500 Mg by Jarrow Formulas is a high-quality supplement designed to support healthy blood glucose metabolism and cholesterol levels. Each vegetarian capsule contains a clinically documented extract derived from the Citrus bergamia fruit, grown along the Ionic coast of Southern Calabria, Italy. This extract is rich in polyphenolic antioxidants, including flavanones such as neohesperidin, naringin, and neoeriocitrin, which have been found to influence glucose and cholesterol metabolism. Jarrow Formulas Citrus Bergamot is non-GMO and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

  • • Form: Vegetarian capsules
  • • Dosage: Take 1 capsule 1 to 2 times per day prior to a meal or as directed by your qualified healthcare professional
  • • Servings Per Container: 120 servings

Side Effects of Bergamot

Bergamot is generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile. Clinical trials using bergamot extracts for up to six months have not reported any serious adverse effects.

Potential side effects of bergamot may include:

  • • Digestive discomfort: Some people experience mild nausea, heartburn, or stomach upset, especially at higher doses of bergamot extract.
  • • Sun sensitivity: Bergamot essential oil applied topically can increase sensitivity to sunlight, raising the risk of sunburn. Avoid direct sun exposure after applying the oil to skin.
  • • Blood sugar lowering: There is a potential for bergamot to enhance the blood glucose-lowering effect of insulin or diabetes drugs. Monitor blood sugar closely if combining bergamot with hypoglycemic medications.
  • • Surgery interactions: Stop using bergamot at least two weeks before scheduled surgery, as it may interfere with blood sugar control during and after the procedure.

Because the long-term safety of bergamot supplements is unknown, they should be used cautiously or avoided by pregnant and nursing women. There is also insufficient safety data regarding use of bergamot in young children.

If you have any medical conditions or take medications, consult your healthcare provider before starting bergamot supplements. They may interact with certain drugs metabolized by the liver or that affect cholesterol and blood sugar.


Citrus bergamot has gained attention for its potential health benefits. The fruit is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, which are responsible for its therapeutic properties. Regular consumption of bergamot extracts, combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, may help reduce harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol.

In addition to its cholesterol-lowering effects, bergamot has been found to support cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation, improving blood vessel function, and protecting against oxidative stress. Some studies also suggest that bergamot may help regulate blood sugar levels, making it a potential aid in managing metabolic disorders like diabetes.

Bergamot has also been studied for its neuropsychological benefits, antimicrobial properties, antioxidant effects, and potential to support digestive health. While more human studies are needed to fully understand the extent of these benefits, the available research is promising.

When choosing a bergamot supplement, it is essential to consider factors such as polyphenol/flavonoid content, serving size, brand quality, and synergistic ingredients. Bergamot supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, and essential oils, each with their own specific uses and benefits.

While the body generally receives bergamot with no adverse effects, it may cause mild side effects such as digestive discomfort or sun sensitivity when used topically. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before starting bergamot supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions or take medications.

In conclusion, citrus bergamot has emerged as a promising natural supplement for supporting heart health, managing cholesterol levels, and promoting overall wellness. With a growing body of scientific evidence backing its efficacy and safety, bergamot may offer a valuable addition to a comprehensive approach to maintaining optimal health.

When selecting a bergamot supplement, choose a quality product that provides a standardized dose of flavonoids to match the research. Reputable brands like those noted in this article offer clinically relevant potencies in easy-to-take capsules or tablets. However, as with any supplement, it is crucial to use bergamot responsibly and under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional.