Reflecting the company’s assertion that mechanism of action (MOA) studies in metabolic syndrome and NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) are a great opportunity for the next generation of blood sugar support supplements, Annie Eng, CEO of HP Ingredients in Florida, listed recent studies showing a new MOA of bergamot-derived polyphenolic fraction (BERGAMONTE BPF) bergamot. The scientific investigations have uncovered BERGAMONTE BPFs ability to help consumers address metabolic syndrome and liver support in particular non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that exacerbates unhealthy cholesterol levels, blood sugar insufficiency and weight/fat accumulation.
In a 2015 scientific review (PharmaNutrition), the authors concluded that, “the occurrence of metabolic syndrome (MS) represents an independent risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease states in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Moreover, both the size of LDL particles and liver dysfunction identified as non alcoholic steato-hepatitis (NASH) represent important biomarkers for the development of cardiometabolic risk in those with MS (multiple sclerosis). Recent evidence shows that BERGAMONTE BPF in individuals with MS and NASH induces a significant reduction of fasting plasma glucose, serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides alongside with an increase of HDL cholesterol. In addition, a significant reduction of both ultrasonographic, TC scans and metabolic biomarkers of NASH as well as a significant reduction of small dense LDL particles were found after BERGAMONTE BPF treatment suggesting a beneficial effect of bergamot extract in patients with MS and NASH. This suggests a potential preventive role of bergamot derivatives in reducing cardio-metabolic risk.” NASH has been identified as the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome.
In a placebo-controlled trial of 107 patients exhibiting MS and NAFLD, those who took 650 mg BERGAMONTE BPF twice daily for 120 days had a significant reduction of serum total cholesterol, LDL-C and triglycerides. This effect was accompanied by a significant reduction of serum glucose, transaminases, gamma-glutamyl-transferase, steato test and inflammatory biomarkers such as TNF-α and C reactive protein (CRP). (PharmaNutrition 2014)
Further, in these individuals, researchers found a substantial re-arrangement of lipoprotein particles compared to the baseline profile. In particular, BERGAMONTE BPF was found able to decrease the mean concentration of IDL particles by 51 percent, to increase large LDL by 38 percent, and to decrease small LDL by 35 percent. Moreover, 120-day treatment with BERGAMONTE BPF lead to 20 percent increase of total HDL particles, mainly due to the increase of large HDL. Polyphenolic components, via multi-action properties, reduce liver accumulation of fat thereby producing an overall improvement in liver function.
According to the study authors, the beneficial effect of consuming BERGAMONTE BPF for individuals with MS associated with NAFLD was confirmed by data obtained when studying ultrasonographic pattern of NAFLD. The hepatorenal index was significantly reduced from 2.8 to 1.5 through supplementing with BERGAMONTE BPF, showing a reduction of liver brightness. This suggests that for those who have mild to severe NAFLD associated with MS, supplementing with BERGAMONTE BPF leads to reduction of hepatic ultrasonographic pattern of steatosis.
In a study on Wistar rats consuming a typical cafeteria (15 percent protein, 70 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent fat) diet, which closely resembles Western-style snacks, the researchers wrote that the research “reveals for the first time that a mixture of natural citrus polyphenols from bergamot is able to stimulate lipophagy in the liver under hypercaloric stress.”
The research team showed that in the cafeteria-diet model of metabolic syndrome, bergamot polyphenols stimulated lipid metabolism and prevented pathogenic fat accumulation in the liver by promoting its elimination through autophagy. Consequently, bergamot flavonoids prevented inflammatory changes in the liver suggesting a slowed progression to NASH. They observed a dramatic effect of BERGAMONTE BPF on fat LDs content in the entire structure of the main lobe, reaching more than 70 percent reduction in some cases and a mean of 48.5 percent lower LD area in the BERGAMONTE BPF group compared with controls. (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2015)
Most recently, a biochemical study found that the unique flavonoids present in bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BERGAMONTE) are “implicated in the regulation of several metabolic enzymes, expressed in the liver, blood and endothelial cells. (PharmaNutrition 2016).