A new study finds Bergamet can enhance cholesterol effect of statins and could help reduce patient dose of Statins
While earlier studies have shown the Italian export to have cholesterol reducing effects, a new study – published in the International Journal of Cardiology – showed that when taken in conjunction with prescribed statins, BergaMet significantly enhances the effect on cholesterol.
Statins are the most prescribed medication in the world with well-documented efficacy in both preventing and treating cardio-metabolic disorders, but have faced criticism about their side effects (around 20 - 40% patients experience them). The study concluded that the addition of BergaMet significantly enhanced the effect of Rosuvastatin on cholesterol profile, when compared to patients taking Rosuvastatin alone. For UK statin patients this could mean a reduction in daily statin dose, alleviating or eliminating side effects.
The new prospective, open-label, parallel group, controlled study from the University Magna Graecia found that a similar decrease in LDL cholesterol was observed in the Rosuvastatin 20mg dose group as those taking the Calabrian Citrus Bergamot extract with a 10mg dose.
A recent study revealed 34% of over 50s in the UK have received a high cholesterol reading and of these 29% have taken statins. The study found that those on statins, compared with the same age group not on statins, were around twice as likely to suffer nausea, sickness, diarrhoea, dizziness and muscle aches. “Cramping, liver function and memory loss are also serious side effects to be aware of,” comments GP Dr Sarah Jarvis.
The research also found 1 in 25 UK patients were still being prescribed simvastatin 80mg, which is a real concern to Dr Jarvis: “This dose has effectively been banned because of the high incidence of side effects. Cost is an issue here. It can cost 10 times more to switch a patient to a more effective statin – rather than doubling their dose on a cheap one.”
Professor Andrew J Stewart Coates, Consultant Cardiologist and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Cardiology comments on the study: “The UK is a potential time bomb of ill-health and the cost in terms of disease burden is that 34% have had a high cholesterol result. There is a serious underuse of recommended treatments to control risk factors such as additional changes to diet and lifestyle.”
Dr Sarah Jarvis believed that patients should consider how diet and lifestyle will impact cholesterol – rather than relying on statins: “Latest statistics suggest that a third of people with high cholesterol manage with medication alone despite suffering unpleasant side effects. I always explain to patients statins should be used to complement a healthy diet.
To put this into perspective, doubling the dose of any statin reduces the LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol by about 6%, while losing 10kg drops it by about 15%. Likewise, regular exercise increases HDL (‘good’) cholesterol so improves the ratio of total cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.”
The researchers also reported significant reductions of biomarkers used for detecting vascular damage, suggesting a multi-action enhanced potential for BergaMet in patients on statin therapy. Private Cardiologist Dr Ross Walker, who has thousands of patients taking BergaMet from his Australian clinic, comments: “Since BergaMet launched in Australia in late 2010 I have seen significant and consistent improvements in my patients alongside statin therapy. Thousands of my patients are now taking BergaMet and the results are impressive. Few have witnessed any side effects and it is worth noting associated cardiac improvements, such as reduction in arterial stiffness and reductions in abdominal obesity,”
While current trials are small compared to large-scale pharmaceutical drug trials the results have sparked the interest of the Italian Government, who has recently invested £33 million in further research. The fruit is unique to Southern Calabria in Italy and while farmers have tried to grow it in other regions, the unique polyphenol profile has not been replicated. While copy-cat products do exist, BergaMet is the ONLY product made from the BPF extract used in the published clinical trials (BergaMet has the worldwide rights to the BPF) and is the only product guaranteed from this region. As such, it has been granted the insignia from the Accademia del Bergamotto. BergaMet uses a patented formulation which guarantees the unique polyphenols, at the minimum 38% potency, that is linked to the clinical benefits observed in trials. Any percentage below this will not have any significant effects.
See published paper below