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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/1/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Scientists say bergamot found in the tea could be effective in controlling cholesterol

Many drink it for its taste and the enjoyment it brings, without thought of it being "good for them." Scientists now say that Earl Grey tea can lower cholesterol and reduce the chances of heart disease.

Bergamot is a Mediterranean citrus fruit which gives Earl Grey its distinct taste and smell. It has enjoyed popularity among the upper and middle classes.

Bergamot is a Mediterranean citrus fruit which gives Earl Grey its distinct taste and smell. It has enjoyed popularity among the upper and middle classes.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/1/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Bergamot, Earl Grey tea, cholesterol


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A popular beverage favored in the hit TV series "Downtown Abbey" contains extracts of a fruit called bergamot which scientists believe is a "super-food" for the heart. Bergamot could even be as effective as statins, the controversial wonder drugs used to control cholesterol - but can lead to side effects in patients.

Bergamot is a Mediterranean citrus fruit which gives Earl Grey its distinct taste and smell. It has enjoyed popularity among the upper and middle classes.

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New research now claims it contains enzymes known as HMGF, which stands for hydroxy methyl glutaryl flavonones which can treat heart diseases as effectively as statins.

Researchers from Italy's University of Calabria for the Journal of Functional Foods used concentrations of HMGF on the proteins which cause heart disease and "bad" cholesterol. Researchers then compared the effects with that of statins used to treat the same proteins and found the bergamot extract with HMGF worked just as well.

Not only did it reduce levels of LDL, "bad cholesterol" which leads to heart disease but also increased HDL, which doctors call "good cholesterol."

Citrus foods have long been part of the famed "Mediterranean diet" which has been hailed as one of the best ways to avoid heart disease - the biggest killer in the Western world.
 
"High cholesterol is a common health concern for us all and often statins are given to help treat the condition," the report says.

"Extract from bergamot - most commonly used in Earl Grey tea - reduced total cholesterol, and LDL levels but there was an increase in HDL levels (good cholesterol). "Therefore a daily supplement of bergamot fruit extract could be very effective for the treatment of high cholesterol."

Bergamot has long been used in traditional "folk" medicines in the Mediterranean not only as a protection for the heart but also to treat wounds, inflammation and as an antiseptic.

Bergamot is found in jams, ice cream and perfumes in the region, said the researchers.

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