Citrus Bergamot: Health Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage

Citrus Bergamot: Health Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage

Get ready to be fascinated by the captivating world of citrus bergamot! Have you ever wondered about the special citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey tea its unique flavour? Or maybe you've noticed its lovely scent in perfumes and beauty products. But here's the exciting part: there's so much more to this ordinary-looking fruit than you might think. Recent scientific research has uncovered something extraordinary—it turns out that citrus bergamot is bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Join us on a journey of exploration as we find the fruit's origins, learn about its potential health benefits, and discover the many exciting ways it can be used. Prepare to be amazed by the incredible story of citrus bergamot and prepare to see this fruit in a whole new light.


Dr. Ayesha Tufail

Certified Medical Doctor, Researcher and Top-Rated Medical Writer on Upwork. Dr. Ayesha Tufail has more than 10 years of experience working as a General Practitioner. Her areas of research include Stem Cell Therapy, Herbal Health Supplements & Adult ADHD.

You can get in touch with Dr. Ayesha via her LinkedIn account linked at the end of this page.

What is Citrus Bergamot?

Citrus bergamot, scientifically known as Citrus Bergamia, is a small citrus fruit that belongs to the Rutaceae family. It is primarily grown in the Calabria region of southern Italy, although it is also cultivated in other parts of the world with suitable climate conditions.

Citrus bergamot is a small, pear-shaped fruit that resembles a lime or lemon in appearance. It has a yellow or greenish-yellow peel that is rich in essential oils, which are highly aromatic and have a distinct citrusy fragrance. The flesh of the fruit is acidic and is not typically consumed directly. Instead, it is primarily used for its flavorful and aromatic peel, which is utilized in various culinary applications, perfumes, cosmetics, and herbal remedies. One of the most well-known uses of citrus bergamot is its infusion in Earl Grey tea, where it imparts a unique and pleasant taste. Additionally, recent scientific research has shed light on the potential health benefits of citrus bergamot, particularly its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Health Benefits of Citrus Bergamot

Citrus bergamot is gaining attention for its potential health benefits. While more research is needed to fully understand its effects, here are some potential health benefits associated with citrus bergamot:

  1. Antioxidant Potential

Citrus bergamot contains several types of antioxidants, including flavonoids, phenolic compounds, and vitamin C. These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body. By doing so, they may help protect against chronic diseases, support overall health, and promote healthy aging.

The specific antioxidant compounds found in citrus bergamot, such as neoeriocitrin, naringin, and neohesperidin, have been the focus of scientific studies. These compounds have shown promising antioxidant activity in laboratory and animal studies, suggesting their potential health benefits.

However, it's important to note that while citrus bergamot has shown antioxidant properties in research settings, further studies are needed to determine the extent of its antioxidant effects in humans and its potential impact on health outcomes.

Incorporating citrus bergamot as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide a range of antioxidants, contributing to overall antioxidant intake and potential health benefits.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Potential

Citrus bergamot is also believed to possess potential anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural response by the body to protect itself from harmful stimuli, such as pathogens or injury. However, chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Research suggests that citrus bergamot may help modulate inflammatory pathways in the body, leading to a reduction in inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effects of citrus bergamot are thought to be attributed to its unique combination of bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, polyphenols, and other phytochemicals.

Several studies, including both in vitro (cell-based) and animal studies, have demonstrated the potential anti-inflammatory properties of citrus bergamot extract. These studies have shown a reduction in markers of inflammation, such as cytokines and inflammatory enzymes, when citrus bergamot extract is administered.

However, it's important to note that more research, particularly human clinical trials, is needed to further understand the anti-inflammatory effects of citrus bergamot and its potential applications in managing inflammatory conditions in humans.

  1. Anticancer Potential

Citrus bergamot exhibits significant potential as an anticancer agent. Studies conducted in vitro and in animal models have shown that various forms of bergamot, including extracts, juice, essential oil, and polyphenolic fraction, possess anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on cancer cells.

Bergamot extracts have been found to inhibit cancer cell growth and induce apoptosis in different types of cancer, such as colon cancer, neuroblastoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma. These effects are mediated through the modulation of molecular pathways involved in apoptosis, including the MAPK pathway and apoptotic protein regulation. In addition, bergamot extract has demonstrated inhibitory effects on cell adhesion and metastasis in both in vitro and in vivo models.

Furthermore, certain bergamot-derived substances, such as brutieridin and melitidin, have been shown to inhibit the metabolism of mevalonate and important enzymes involved in cancer development. These compounds have also demonstrated the ability to block stem cell-associated signalling pathways, offering a potential strategy for personalized therapy for certain types of cancer. Animal studies have provided further evidence of the anticancer potential of citrus bergamot, showing the downregulation of inflammation-related genes, increased apoptosis, and regulation of genes associated with tumor growth.

While these findings are promising, it is important to note that further research, including human clinical trials, is necessary to fully evaluate the effectiveness and safety of citrus bergamot as an anticancer agent. It should also be emphasized that citrus bergamot is not intended to replace standard cancer treatments but may have the potential as a complementary therapeutic approach.

  1. Improve Cardiovascular Health

Citrus bergamot has been recognized for its potential in improving cardiovascular health. Several studies have investigated the effects of citrus bergamot extracts and components on various cardiovascular risk factors and markers.

One notable benefit of citrus bergamot is its ability to lower cholesterol levels. Research has shown that bergamot extract can effectively reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (often referred to as "bad" cholesterol), and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL cholesterol (known as "good" cholesterol). These lipid-lowering effects are attributed to the presence of bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which inhibit cholesterol synthesis and promote its clearance.

Additionally, citrus bergamot has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Chronic inflammation is a contributing factor to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Bergamot extracts have been found to reduce inflammation markers and inhibit the expression of adhesion molecules involved in the recruitment of inflammatory cells to the arterial walls.

Furthermore, studies have indicated that citrus bergamot may have antioxidant effects. Oxidative stress plays a significant role in the progression of cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidant properties of bergamot compounds help neutralise free radicals and reduce oxidative damage, thereby protecting the cardiovascular system.

Another potential mechanism of action is the improvement of endothelial function. Endothelial dysfunction is a key event in the development of cardiovascular diseases, as it impairs the blood vessels' ability to dilate and constrict properly. Citrus bergamot has been shown to enhance endothelial function and promote vasodilation, which can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. 

While these findings are promising, it's important to note that further research, including well-designed clinical trials, is needed to establish the long-term effects and optimal dosages of citrus bergamot for cardiovascular health.

  1. Potential Role in Diabetes

Citrus bergamot shows potential in diabetes management by improving glucose metabolism, enhancing insulin sensitivity, and reducing diabetic complications. It has been found to lower fasting blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance, and increase insulin sensitivity. Additionally, bergamot extracts possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help mitigate oxidative stress and chronic inflammation associated with diabetes. These effects may contribute to the prevention or management of diabetic complications, such as neuropathy. However, further research, including clinical trials, is needed to fully establish the efficacy and safety of citrus bergamot in diabetes treatment. 

  1. May Improve Gut Health

Citrus bergamot may have a positive impact on gut health due to its rich composition of bioactive compounds. It has been suggested that bergamot extracts exhibit prebiotic properties by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and inhibiting the growth of harmful pathogens. These extracts have also been shown to reduce intestinal inflammation and oxidative stress, potentially contributing to the maintenance of a healthy gut environment. Moreover, bergamot's polyphenols, such as flavonoids, have demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may help protect against gut disorders. However, more research is needed to fully understand the specific mechanisms and potential benefits of citrus bergamot on gut health.

  1. Boost Skin Health

Citrus bergamot offers potential benefits for skin health due to its rich content of bioactive compounds. The antioxidant properties of bergamot, including flavonoids and vitamin C, help protect the skin against free radicals and oxidative stress, which can contribute to premature aging and damage. Bergamot extracts have been studied for their potential anti-inflammatory effects, which may help soothe and calm the skin, reducing redness and irritation. Additionally, bergamot oil is often used in skincare products for its refreshing aroma and potential antimicrobial properties. However, it's important to note that bergamot oil can be photosensitising, so caution should be exercised when using it on the skin.

  1. Potential Role in Depression and Anxiety

Citrus bergamot has been investigated for its potential role in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. The essential oil of bergamot is known for its pleasant aroma, which can have mood-lifting effects and promote relaxation. Inhalation or diffusion of bergamot oil may help reduce anxiety and induce a sense of calm. Some studies suggest that bergamot oil can modulate neurotransmitter activity in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in regulating mood. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and effectiveness of citrus bergamot in managing depression and anxiety.

Various Applications and Uses of Citrus Bergamot

Citrus bergamot can be used in various ways to harness its potential benefits. Here are some common ways in which citrus bergamot is utilised:

  • Culinary Use

The zest of citrus bergamot, with its unique aromatic flavour, is commonly used as a culinary ingredient. It is used to add a citrusy twist to dishes, desserts, salads, and beverages.

  • Essential Oil

Bergamot essential oil, extracted from the peel of the fruit, is widely used in aromatherapy. It is known for its uplifting and calming properties and is often used to reduce stress, anxiety, and promote relaxation.

  • Herbal Tea

Dried citrus bergamot peels can be used to make herbal tea. Bergamot tea is known for its pleasant aroma and is often consumed for its potential antioxidant properties and digestive benefits.

  • Supplements

Citrus bergamot extracts are available in supplement form, providing a concentrated dose of key bioactive compounds. These supplements are commonly used to support cardiovascular health, manage cholesterol levels, and promote overall well-being.

  • Skincare Products

Bergamot oil is a popular ingredient in skincare products such as soaps, lotions, and creams. It is believed to possess antibacterial, antifungal, and skin-rejuvenating properties.

Citrus Bergamot Supplements

Citrus bergamot supplements are available for those who may not have access to fresh fruit or prefer a more convenient form of consumption. While fresh fruit is generally the ideal way to obtain nutrients, including those found in citrus bergamot, it may not be readily available worldwide due to geographical limitations or seasonal variations. In such cases, supplements offer a convenient and consistent way to incorporate the beneficial compounds present in citrus bergamot into one's diet. These supplements are typically derived from concentrated extracts of the fruit, ensuring a standardized dosage of key bioactive compounds. However, it's important to choose high-quality supplements from reputable sources and consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.

Recommended Dose

The recommended dose of citrus bergamot supplements may vary depending on the specific product and its concentration. It is important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice. Generally, typical dosages range from 500 mg to 1000 mg per day, taken orally. However, it's crucial to note that individual responses and tolerances to supplements may vary, so it's best to start with a lower dose and gradually increase as needed.

Side Effects & Precautions

Citrus bergamot is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. However, like any supplement or natural product, it can have potential side effects and interact with certain medications.

Some individuals may experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach upset, heartburn, or diarrhea. Additionally, citrus bergamot contains compounds called bergamottin and bergapten, which can increase sensitivity to sunlight and may cause skin reactions in some individuals.

Citrus bergamot may also interact with medications, particularly those metabolised by cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver. This can affect the metabolism and effectiveness of these medications. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking citrus bergamot supplements, especially if you are taking medications such as statins, anticoagulants, immunosuppressants, or antihypertensive drugs.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, citrus bergamot is a natural supplement that holds promise for various health benefits, including its potential role in promoting cardiovascular health, managing diabetes, supporting gut health, enhancing skin health, and potentially alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety.

While the availability of fresh fruit may be limited worldwide, citrus bergamot supplements offer a convenient and concentrated form of this beneficial fruit extract. If you're interested in harnessing the potential benefits of citrus bergamot, we invite you to explore our store, where you can find high-quality citrus bergamot supplements that have been carefully formulated to provide optimal potency and purity. Take charge of your health today and discover the potential of citrus bergamot for yourself.


Medical Disclaimer: While we have delve into the research available on the health benefits of these awesome supplements we offer, this is for informative purposes only and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Those who have any health-related queries should reach out to a medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Dr. Ayesha Tufail's LinkedIn:


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