Fatty liver is a condition characterized by an accumulation of fat in the liver. It is estimated that it has an incidence of 30% in Western countries and that it is connected to an unbalanced diet and a sedentary lifestyle. To fatty liver are also connected other health problems such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. According to a very recent scientific study published in the prestigious journal Nature by an Italian team of Catanzaro University (Musolino et al, Nature, Feb 2020), bergamot orange seems able to counteract fatty liver, insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, a condition that, in the long run, may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and may promote the aging processes.
Bergamot orange, Citrus bergamia, is a fruit rich in antioxidants that, according to the researchers of the study, may help in case of liver steatosis, or fatty liver, not caused by alcoholic drink abuse. The analyzed sample ate for 16 weeks a typical Western diet rich in fats and sugar. Then, the sample was divided into two groups. For the next 11 weeks one group took, together with the Western diet, the bergamot orange juice. The second group, on the contrary, ate just the Western diet rich in fats and sugar without the bergamot juice. After this period, it was observed that the bergamot juice, in the first group, was able to lower the triglycerides and the levels of ALT in blood. ALT, or Alanine transaminase, is an enzyme that evaluates the functionality of the liver, high values may indicate indeed a damage of this organ. Moreover, the bergamot juice improved also the blood sugar levels and the insulin resistance and was useful to counteract chronic inflammation.
The study has important limitations and clearly should be deeper studied in the next months. In fact, the effects of bergamot juice found in the market should be evaluated, indeed, the study used a particular concentrated juice with a 47% flavonoids. However, beyond this limitation, the research is any case very interesting because it allows to understand how powerful is the bergamot orange to bring benefits to the body.