Hypolipidemic effects of Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau juice in rats fed a hypercholesterolemic diet.
J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Dec 26 ;55(26):10671-7. Epub 2007 Nov 27. PMID: 18038978
Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau fruits have been traditionally utilized, in Calabria (Italy), as a popular remedy for their hypolipidemic properties. C. bergamia juice total phenol content (2474.35+/-38 microg/mL) was evaluated by the Folin-Ciocalteu method; moreover, HPLC analysis led to the identification of naringin (520 ppm), neoeriocitrin (370 ppm), and neohesperidin (310 ppm). The present study was designed to investigate the hypolipidemic effects of C. bergamia juice and its protective effect on liver of hyperlipidemic rats. Chronic administration of C. bergamia (1 mL/rat/day) provoked a significant reduction in serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels; moreover, histopathological observations showed, in rats submitted to C. bergamia treatment, a protection of hepatic parenchyma. In addition, fecal neutral sterols and fecal bile acid excretion was found to be increased after C. bergamia treatment. These results suggest that the hypocholesterolemic effect of C. bergamia may be mediated by the increase in fecal neutral sterols and total bile acids excretion. In addition to the hypolipidemic effect, the juice shows radical scavenging activity in the diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) test; probably the two effects are related. These observations suggest that the positive intake of C. bergamia may reduce the risk of some cardiovascular diseases through its radical scavenging function and hypocholesterolemic action.