Planta Med 2020; 86(03): 180-189
DOI: 10.1055/a-1070-9325
Biological and Pharmacological Activity
Original Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Protective Effects of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso & Poiteau) Juice in Rats Fed with High-Fat Diet

Marinella De Leo
1  Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
2  Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “Nutraceutica e Alimentazione per la Salute”, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
,
Eugenia Piragine
1  Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
,
Andrea Pirone
3  Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
,
Alessandra Braca
1  Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
2  Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “Nutraceutica e Alimentazione per la Salute”, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
,
Luisa Pistelli
1  Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
2  Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “Nutraceutica e Alimentazione per la Salute”, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
,
Vincenzo Calderone
1  Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
2  Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “Nutraceutica e Alimentazione per la Salute”, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
,
Vincenzo Miragliotta
3  Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
,
Lara Testai
1  Dipartimento di Farmacia, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
2  Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “Nutraceutica e Alimentazione per la Salute”, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Supported by: Università di Pisa Grant no. PRA_2017_26
Further Information

Publication History

received 18 September 2019
revised 18 November 2019

accepted 21 November 2019

Publication Date:
11 December 2019 (online)

Abstract

The bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso & Poiteau), a small tree cultivated along the Ionian coast of the Calabria region in Southern Italy, is an ancient plant used for the production of essential oil from fruit peel, but recently evaluated also for the high content of phenolics in the fruit pulp. Indeed, the juice is rich in glycosylated flavone and flavanones, showing a wide range of pharmacological activities. Noteworthy preclinical and clinical studies reported that bergamot juice is effective in reducing plasma lipids. The aim of this study was to evaluate the beneficial effects of a C. bergamia juice using an experimental animal model of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk in vivo. A significant reduction of both triglyceride levels and cardiovascular risk was observed in animals fed with a high-fat diet and bergamot juice. Daily oral treatment with bergamot juice significantly limits a high-fat-induced increase in body, visceral adipose tissue, liver, and heart weight. In addition, C. bergamia juice showed protective effects on hepatic steatosis, probably due to the reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation. Chemical constituents of administered bergamot juice, investigated by means of liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) analyses were represented by a wide range of flavonoids, with neohesperidin, neoeriocitrin, and naringin being the most abundant flavonoids according to previous studies. Furthermore, a considerable amount of brutieridin, a flavanone O-glycoside having a 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl residue, was observed.