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Bergamot: How It Supports Heart Health and More

Bergamot is a highly nutritious citrus fruit commonly found in the Mediterranean. Learn about the additional benefits of bergamot for heart health.

By 1MD Nutrition Editorial Staff

5 minute read

Last Updated April 26, 2023

What Is Bergamot: How It Supports Heart Health

If you drink Earl Grey tea, then you are already familiar with the citrusy scent and taste of bergamot. Bergamot is a citrus fruit most commonly found in the Mediterranean. 

Bergamot looks like a lime but is similar in size to an orange, and it possesses the same healthy nutrients that other citrus fruits have, like vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, antioxidant compounds, and potassium. The only difference from other citrus fruits is that bergamot cannot be eaten fresh. 

These fruits are actually very sour to taste, but the zest and oils are perfect for flavoring teas, syrups, and sauces and are found in naturally derived supplements. This means it can be easily added to your daily routine for heart health benefits and more. 

Bergamot Benefits for Your Heart

Bergamot is rich with antioxidant properties that help protect cells and is known for its particular heart health benefits. Although further research is needed about bergamot's potential benefits, it may be a valuable addition to a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle. These are some of the specific heart-healthy benefits.

Promotes Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Bergamot contains many beneficial flavonoids that support heart health by helping maintain healthy blood lipid levels. For example, a recent study with bergamot extract showed that daily supplementation for thirty days helped support healthy cholesterol levels. Specifically, bergamot helped to support healthy LDL cholesterol and promoted healthy levels of HDL cholesterol. 

black tea with bergamot

Supplements with bergamot extract can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels that support arterial and circulatory health and heart function. Along with maintaining normal blood lipid levels, the flavonoids in bergamot promote vascular endothelium health, which is essential for proper vasoconstriction. As a result, arterial responsiveness and circulatory health are maintained. 

Manage Blood Glucose Levels

Bergamot extract can support healthy blood glucose levels and metabolic health. This, combined with healthy cholesterol maintenance, can support a healthy weight management plan. As part of a healthful routine with balanced nutrition and regular exercise, weight management also supports overall cardiovascular health.

Additional Health Benefits of Bergamot

In addition to promoting heart and circulatory health, bergamot also helps to maintain overall health in a number of ways.

Supports Healthy Digestion

Bergamot oil can be consumed or directly applied to the stomach to help stimulate digestion, promoting healthy nutrient absorption and regular bowel movements. 

Reduces Stress and Promotes a Healthy Mood

Aromatherapy with bergamot helps the body manage everyday stress to promote a sense of calm and focus.

Reduces Common Joint Discomfort

Bergamot extract taken orally may help with bone density and volume, while bergamot oil can be applied directly to joints and muscles to help reduce occasional discomfort associated with exercise.

Supports Immune System Function 

Bergamot extract helps support immune cell activity to help your body fight occasional environmental threats.

A woman enjoying a cup of earl grey tea at home in the afternoon

Dosage Information and How to Take Bergamot

Bergamot can be made into tea, consumed as an oil through foods, or in supplement form. Doses between 500 to 1000mg per day are recommended to get the most from your bergamot extract, but always consult your doctor before adding any new supplements to your routine.

Risks and Side Effects

Bergamot extract, when taken orally, is considered safe for adult use. 

Bergamot should not be taken by anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding and is not considered safe for children in large amounts. If you have a planned surgery coming up, you should stop taking any bergamot at least two weeks prior. 

When taken in high doses, potential side effects of bergamot extract can include dizziness and heartburn. Bergamot can affect blood glucose levels, so consult your doctor if you are taking blood sugar medications before adding a new supplement to your diet.

Bergavit™ Bergamot Extract

Bergavit™ is a trademarked, clinically-studied, standardized extract containing the main active flavonoids of bergamot juice. Sustainably sourced from the Calabria region in Italy, this potent ingredient promotes circulatory and cardiovascular health by helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels. 

Prolonged use of Bergavit™ is clinically shown in a 6-month trial to support the equalization of blood lipid levels in the body. The quality of a supplement is important if you are looking to promote healthy cholesterol levels and heart health. A supplement that contains Bergavit™ is a good way to ensure you are getting high-quality, clinically-studied bergamot extract.

The Bottom Line

Bergamot has been used for centuries to help support heart health. Despite its sour taste, there are ways to reap the health benefits of these citrus fruits. As an extract or oil, bergamot can help maintain healthy blood lipid levels to promote healthy circulation and heart health. Nature has so many things to offer us, and bergamot is just the beginning.