Atherogenic Index Reduction and Weight Loss in Metabolic Syndrome Patients Treated with A Novel Pectin-Enriched Formulation of
Bergamot Polyphenols

Nutrients 2019, 11, 1271 Antonio Soccorso Capomolla, Elzbieta Janda, Sara Paone, Maddalena Parafati, Tomasz Sawicki, Rocco Mollace, Salvatore Ragusa and Vincenzo Mollace

Bergamot flavonoids counteract dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia but fail to induce a significant weight loss. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of bergamot polyphenol extract complex (BPE-C), a novel bergamot juice-derived formulation enriched with flavonoids and pectins, on several metabolic syndrome parameters. Obese patients with atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) over 0.34 and mild hyperglycemia were recruited to a double-blind randomized trial comparing two doses of BPE-C (650 and 1300 mg daily) with placebo. Fifty-two subjects met the inclusion criteria and were assigned to three experimental groups. Fifteen subjects per group completed 90 days-trial. BPE-C reduced significantly fasting glucose by 18.1%, triglycerides by 32% and cholesterol parameters by up to 41.4%, leading to a powerful reduction of AIP (below 0.2) in the high dose group. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and insulin levels were also reduced. Moreover, BPE-C decreased body weight by 14.8% and body mass index by 15.9% in BPE-C high group. This correlated with a significant reduction of circulating hormones balancing caloric intake, including leptin, ghrelin and upregulation of adiponectin. All effects showed a dose-dependent tendency. This study suggests that food supplements, containing full spectrum of bergamot juice components, such as BPE-C efficiently induce a combination of weight loss and insulin sensitivity effects together with a robust reduction of atherosclerosis risk.

Oxidative Imbalance and Kidney Damage in Cafeteria Diet-Induced Rat Model of Metabolic Syndrome: Effect of Bergamot Polyphenolic Fraction

Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Mar; 8(3): 66. Daniele La Russa, Francesca Giordano, Alessandro Marrone, Maddalena Parafati, Elzbieta Janda and Daniela Pellegrino

Obesity is a potent risk factor for kidney disease as it increases the possibility of developing diabetes and hypertension, and it has a direct impact on the development of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. In this study, we tested the effect of bergamot polyphenolic fraction in a cafeteria with diet-fed rats, an excellent experimental model for studying human metabolic syndrome, as it is able to induce severe obesity with insulin resistance and high plasma triglyceride levels more efficiently than a traditional lard-based high-fat diet used in rodent models. We analyzed the plasmatic oxidative balance by photometric tests, and the expression of cytoplasmic antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase 1 and glutatione S-tranferasi P1) and apoptotic markers (Caspase 8 and 9) in kidney tissues by Western blot analysis. Our results clearly showed that the cafeteria diet induces a marked pro-oxidant effect: significant reduction of plasmatic antioxidant capacity; downregulation of cytoplasmic antioxidant enzymes expression; and activation of apoptotic pathways. All these hallmarks of redox disequilibrium were mitigated by treatment with polyphenolic fraction of bergamot, highlighting its antioxidant effect in the metabolic syndrome. Our data show that the link between obesity and renal damage could be represented by oxidative stress.

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