Affiliations: [a] Diabetes Unit, “S. Camillo-Forlanini” Hospital, Rome, Italy
“A. Meyer” Children’s Hospital, University of Florence, Italy
| [c] Pharmacist Manager at Hospital of Alatri, Frosinone
Corresponding author: Ugo Di Folco, via Giovenale 28, 03030 Castrocielo (Fr), Italy. Tel.: +39 3286618753; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:The role of lipid-lowering and hypoglycemic nutraceuticals in cardiovascular disease prevention is the focus in recent years. The most studied compounds and plants are sterols, soy, red fermented rice, policosanols, artichoke, berberine. Epidemiological and experimental evidences suggest that dietary polyphenols, especially flavonoids, might play a role in preventing atherosclerosis, owing to their pleiotropic metabolic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Recent studies have shown that bergamot juice and albedo (Citrus Bergamia Risso et Poiteau), an endemic plant growing in a limited part of the Ionian coast of Calabria (Italy) has a unique content of flavonoids and glycosides, such as neoeriocytrine, neoesperidine, naringenine, routine, neodesmine, polyphenol and poncirine. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a phytocomplex from bergamot fruit (EP3116520A1) as dietary supplement to a Mediterranean diet on body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, plasmatic lipid fractions, glucose and C – reactive protein (CRP) in subjects with the metabolic syndrome (MetS; according to NCEP-ATP III criteria) without pharmacological treatment, exept for basic treatment. METHODS:80 overweight adults (54% females, 46% males) with the diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), aged 45 ± 5 years, were enrolled and randomized to 2 groups: group A) followed a personalized low calorie Mediterranean diet (control group) and group B) enriched the same diet therapy with 1 tablet of a phytocomplex from bergamot fruit per day for 6 months (intervention group). RESULTS:After 6 months patients in the intervention group showed a significant reduction of total cholesterol (–15% ), LDL-Cholesterol (–22% ), triglycerides (–23% ), blood glucose (–15% ), CRP (–40% ) and a significant increase in the HDL-Cholesterol (+ 14% ) levels compared to the control group (diet alone) where the changes were not significant, with not much significance in reduced body weight. CONCLUSION:Our findings suggest that bergamot supplementation improves significantly all aspects of metabolic profile in patients with MetS and is superior to diet alone.