Significant numbers of people take statin drugs every day to lower their cholesterol – many of them may be unnecessary – and sometimes users stop taking them without medical advice, primarily because of unwanted side effects. The most common statin side effects include headache, difficulty sleeping, flushing of the skin, muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia), drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping/pain, and so on.
Statin drugs are the most commonly prescribed drugs to reduce cardiac risk by reducing cholesterol levels. Besides the highly promoted efficacy of statin drugs, large numbers of patients experience statin-induced side effects.
Bergamot is a fragrant citrus fruit from the tropical, Citrus Bergamia plant and is common throughout the Mediterranean, specifically in the Calabria region of southern Italy. It is the size of an orange, yet similar in color to lime, or even yellowish, depending on the ripeness. Unlike other citrus fruits, Bergamot BPF has a distinctive, heady fragrance and flavor. Bergamot BPF is responsible for the distinctive flavor of Earl Grey tea. The local population in the Mediterranean has long believed that consuming Bergamot BPF juice is healthy. One study demonstrated that consuming 1,000mg of Bergamot extract, inflammation factors were lowered by over 35%. Reducing those factors is associated with lowered cholesterol levels and general improved heart health.
A 2013 study in Ireland (Gliozzi, et al)* evaluated the use of natural Bergamot Polyphenols Fraction (BPF) in patients undergoing statin treatment who were experiencing serious unwanted side effects from the statins. They studied a combination of BPF and a statin (rosuvastatin, trade name CRESTOR).
* PubMed 24239156
The researchers found that the combination of the statin drug and the natural Bergamot BPF reduced total cholesterol, LDL-C, and the LDL/HDL ratio when compared to a control group (using a placebo). They concluded that the addition of Bergamot to the statin drug regimen significantly enhanced the cholesterol-lowering effect without increasing concurrent side effects.
The same study also determined that Bergamot BPF substantially reduced the buildup of fatty substances in the liver (liver stenosis).
While it would be unwise to claim that Bergamot BPF itself lowers cholesterol levels, it can be safely concluded that using a Bergamot BPF supplement (1,000mg per day) might improve liver health and help control the factors responsible for high cholesterol levels. The same is often said of fish oils and omega 3 acids, such as Orthomega capsules.