Bergamot is a citrus plant found in Italy, the oil extracted from the peel of the fruit has many uses, including supporting balanced blood sugar, cholesterol, and providing support to an individual's weight loss efforts.
How Does Bergamot Essential Oil Work?
Essential oil of bergamot contains cleansing and astringent substances, this makes it beneficial for a wide range of conditions and situations. However, perhaps what draws the most attention to bergamot is that, especially when compared to other citrus varieties, bergamot contains extremely large amounts of polyphenols. Polyphenols are helpful compounds believed to halt production of blood fats, stimulate the metabolism, and prevent the absorption of cholesterol.
Bergamot Essential Oil and Weight Loss
Like lavender or peppermint, bergamot is one of a few essential oils that can stimulate the endocrine system to produce relaxed and calm feelings. This action can combat emotional stress, a symptom commonly linked to overeating or “comfort eating.” Typically, unhealthy foods are the most consumed during periods of emotional eating. The stress relieving action of bergamot essential oil promotes weight loss in that it helps combat the emotional stress that can lead to overeating and unhealthy food consumption.
Bergamot also stimulates hormone secretion and helps maintain proper metabolic rates. This stimulation increases digestive juices, bile, and insulin; all of which promote nutrient absorption, decomposition of sugar and fats, and the lowering of blood sugars. When a sluggish metabolism or digestive issues lead to malnutrition and/or excessive weight gain, bergamot may provide a boost.
Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
Triglyceride levels are measurements of the amount of fats in your blood. Higher levels indicate more fat. High blood sugar readings are an indication that the body is retaining more glucose than it is eliminating. In turn, accumulated glucose gets stored as fat.
Bergamot has the added advantage of lowering blood sugars and triglycerides. Bergamot inhibits an enzyme (HMG-CoA) linked to the liver’s production of cholesterol; this limits LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) production and reduces the bad LDL cholesterol in the blood.
HMG-CoA is also linked to blood sugar levels, being most active when blood sugar is high. By lowering blood sugar, bergamot affects HMG-CoA reductase activity.
Research on more than 200 patients with high cholesterol was performed by the University of Catanzaro in Italy. Researchers noted that, after a month of taking bergamot, subjects experienced reductions in LDL levels and blood sugar. HDL levels (good cholesterol) rose by over 40%.
Bergamot Essential Oil as Part of a Weight Loss Strategy
Extra body weight is often a concern with a number of contributing factors. Making a concerted effort to change lifestyle habits is a great step but when a sluggish metabolism, comfort eating, or high blood sugar hinder progress, evidence suggests the essential oil of bergamot may help.
- Mollace V, Sacco I, Janda E, Malara C, Ventrice D, Colica C, Visalli V, Muscoli S, Ragusa S, Muscoli C, Rotiroti D, Romeo F. Hypolipemic and hypoglycaemic activity of bergamot polyphenols: from animal models to human studies. Fitoterapia. 2011 Apr;82(3):309-16. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.10.014. Epub 2010 Nov 4.
- Fisher K, Phillips CA. The effect of lemon, orange and bergamot essential oils and their components on the survival of Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus in vitro and in food systems. J Appl Microbiol. 2006 Dec;101(6):1232-40.
- Bagetta G, Morrone LA, Rombolà L, Amantea D, Russo R, Berliocchi L, Sakurada S, Sakurada T, Rotiroti D, Corasaniti MT. Neuropharmacology of the essential oil of bergamot. Fitoterapia. 2010 Sep;81(6):453-61. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.01.013. Epub 2010 Jan 20. Review.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.