According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2019, representing 32% of all global deaths.1 While many studies report bergamot as effective in reducing hypercholesterolemia, some people do not respond to it and the cause for this is not known.
A recent clinical study published in Nutrients (https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14010108) evaluated the potential effectiveness of a formulation consisting of dry extract from artichoke leaf and bergamot phospholipid as a hypocholesterolemic remedy for people with mild hypercholesterolemia who did not respond well to bergamot supplementation alone. The study took the form of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, clinical intervention starting in January 2020 and ending September 2021. Participants were divided between an intervention and placebo group. The 60 participants included both sexes, aged between 18-65 years with mild hypercholesterolemia (220–280 mg/dL), no history of cardiovascular disease, and a body mass index (BMI) between 25-35 Kg/m2.
Indena S.p.A. synthesised 600 mg of bergamot (Cytrus bergamia polyphenols) Phytosome® and 100 mg of artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L.) leaf standardised dry extract into film-coated tablets for the intervention supplement. Participants were instructed to take two tablets daily, one before lunch and one before dinner for two months.
The researchers discovered a significant decrease in total cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol fraction and total/HDL cholesterol ratio, in the intervention group. Furthermore, HDL cholesterol showed a statistically significant increase in the intervention group participants. No significant differences were shown in the placebo group.
The two-month supplementation with the artichoke and bergamot Phytosome also improved healthy fat storage by significantly reducing body weight and waist circumference compared to the placebo group. The supplemented group's successful weight loss was validated by a decrease in fat mass and visceral adipose tissue. The intervention supplement was also safe, well-tolerated, and with no relevant adverse effects.
The researchers conclude that “the synergism between bergamot Phytosome and artichoke dry extract may be a beneficial treatment in subjects who are poor responders to bergamot.”
1. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) [Internet]. Who.int. 2022 [cited 7 January 2022]. Available from: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds)