Rome, Italy—A new study has suggested that bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF) may be able to reduce small dense LDL cholesterol particles, particularly in people suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and metabolic syndrome.

The study included 107 people enrolled at either the San Raffaele Interregional Research Centre for Food Safety & Health in Rome or the Ambulatory of Alimentary Toxicology at the University of Catanzaro, Italy, all of which had at least three out of five of the criteria for diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and showed evidence of NAFLD. One group took 650 mg of BPF, derived from the bergamot fruit, twice a day for 120 consecutive days, while the other took a placebo.

At the conclusion of the study, it was noted that the group that took BPF experienced significant reduction in serum total cholesterol, LDL-C and triglycerides, affirming previous studies that showed it to reduce cholesterol, glucose, and triglycerides in patients suffering from metabolic syndrome. The BPF group also experienced significant reduction in fatty liver, with no noticeable negative side effects in the non-placebo group.  The authors concluded that the main application of “this study is to shed new light on the potential use of bergamot-extract for reducingcardiometabolic risk in patients with MS (metabolic syndrome).” Currently, metabolic syndrome is believed to double cardiometabolic risk and heavily increase risk of type-2 diabetes.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2014