Listed below are frequently asked questions that have been answered by our BergaMet Medical Team.* Please feel free to contact us on 1855 556 2131 if you have any questions or concerns.
How does Bergamot work, and what specific areas does it address?
Bergamot reduces the amount of lipid (cholesterol and triglycerides) consumed through meals. In addition, it reduces the internal formation of cholesterol. Finally, Bergamot helps glucose to entry the cells thereby producing benefit in patients suffering from metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
How many patients have taken part in clinical trials to date?
In many countries (Italy, Australia and USA) more than 2,000 patients are currently taking BergaMet.
Have there been any side effects for patients taking BergaMet?
To date, we have not found any significant side effects, clearly correlating with the use of BergaMet.
Can patients take BergaMet while on statins and blood pressure medication?
Many patients taking BergaMet, are also taking statins or drugs acting on cardiovascular system. No significant changes in their therapeutic response have been found to date.
How does BergaMet compare to other natural products such as red yeast rice, policosanol and others?
Bergamot is the only natural compound working simultaneously on cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose. It may be taken together with other natural compounds because of a peculiar mechanism of action.
What qualities does Bergamot possess that other citrus fruits do not?
Bergamot contains extremely large amounts of polyphenols, as compared to other Citrus species. Two of these Brutelidin and Melitidin, directly inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis in a way similar to statins, and they are not found in any other citrus derivatives.
Does BergaMet have any effect on neuroprotection?
Experimental studies have recently revealed, that bergamot extract may have protective effect on brain tissues.
Does Bergamot have any anti-inflammatory qualities?
Recent studies have also shown that antioxidant molecules contained in Bergamot may produce relevant effects on chronic inflammatory disorders and enhances the effect of drugs such as morphine acting on pain sensitivity.
When should I expect to get results from BergaMet and what about other medications I am on?
The best time to measure cholesterol is about 5-6 months after initiating BergaMet and certainly after weight appears to be stable. During active weight loss, cholesterol levels often temporarily rise and give the impression of no improvements. Waiting 5-6 months appears to be ideal for testing.
Does BergaMet improve overall vessel health?
In studies to date, BergaMet appears to have a beneficial effect on both arterial stiffness and endothelial function, the most important measures of vessel health and function. This occurs regardless of any effects on blood cholesterol levels.
Any suggestions on whether one should take statins, BergaMet or both?
This is a decision that should be made in consultation with a physician. Dr. Ehrlich believes that statins have been proven to be beneficial for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, diabetes and those who have evidence of atherosclerosis (plaque) by noninvasive tests like a coronary heart scan (CT calcium) or carotid ultrasound test. It has been shown that adding BergaMet enhances the lipid-lowering effects of statins and sometimes can be used to lower the dose of statins. In low risk individuals (normal scans and no history of cardiovascular disease), many physicians will choose non-drug options to lower cholesterol. BergaMet is ideal for this purpose. Dr. Ehrlich has a history of metabolic syndrome and his coronary calcium CT heartscan was abnormal – he now takes statins twice/week, and BergaMet twice per day, to achieve his ideal cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Can people stop taking statins or niacin immediately after starting to take BergaMet?
If you are on a cholesterol lowering medication, you should never stop this without your doctor’s permission and supervision. If you have been taking such drugs for any length of time, sudden cessation may lead to a marked rise in cholesterol over the initial levels. This is because statins block the last step in cholesterol production and when these are stopped, there is often an over- reaction of the blocked enzyme system lasting for a 6-8 week period. A natural product such as bergamot is not strong enough to overcome this effect initially, and would not be expected to reduce cholesterol for at least 2-3 months under these circumstances.
Can people take BergaMet while also taking Warfarin?
There is no known interaction between Warfarin and BergaMet, and therefore – from the studies to date – this appears a perfectly safe thing to do.
Are there any individuals who should only take BergaMet under the very careful supervision of a physician?
Patients with diabetes who are on medications (especially insulin) should never take BergaMet without careful monitoring and advice of a physician. Since BergaMet often lowers blood sugar, these individuals may experience hypoglycemia necessitating an alteration of their medications and lifestyle. Even if you do not have diabetes, we believe that your physician should be aware of all supplements that are being taken by you. It will often allow a reduction in dose of medications and will help the physician understand why there have been improvements in your health.
How does Bergamot differ from grapefruit, and does it have some of the side effects that people experience with grapefruit?
Although Bergamot has some similar antioxidants to grapefruit, grapefruit has a profound effect on the metabolic pathways within the liver thus blocking many drugs, whereas Bergamot does not appear to have the same effect and therefore appears safe to take with all medications.
Why is it important to take BergaMet prior to meals? Also, is it still a benefit to take after meals, if you forget to take it prior, to eating?
BergaMet has three main modes of action. Firstly, it works to block the rate limiting step in cholesterol production known as the HMG CoA Reductase Enzyme, which is the enzyme that is blocked by statin drugs. BergaMet works at a different site on this enzyme, and therefore does not appear to affect the muscles and the liver in the same way that statin drugs may do. It does, however, have a significant reduction in cholesterol through this first mode of action.
Secondly, BergaMet works directly on the insulin receptor, thus affecting the metabolic syndrome, i.e., the combination of the tendency to diabetes, high blood pressure, specific cholesterol abnormalities and abdominal obesity. All of these factors contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Thirdly, BergaMet blocks cholesterol absorption in the gut similar to the plant sterols found in some types of margarine and avocado. This is the major reason it is important to take BergaMet before meals, i.e. to block the absorption of cholesterol and other fats following the ingestion of a meal. Bergamot will still have an action though not as strong as if it is taken after meals, but certainly if you forget to take it before, you should still take BergaMet later.
Does it help to lower cholesterol after it has passed through the liver?
It does, but not as much, as it mainly works in the liver and that is precisely how it acts on affecting the cholesterol pathways in the liver, mentioned in A3. It also has some peripheral metabolic effects but they are not as profound as what happens in the liver.
How does BergaMet help lower blood glucose?
It has an effect on blood glucose because of the direct effect on the “energy receptor” on the cell surface. Apart from the brain, for glucose to enter the cells and in particular the muscles, it has to enter via a receptor which I term the “energy receptor”. Insulin is the doorman that opens the door, to facilitate the entry of glucose and other nutrients into the cells. In people with metabolic syndrome characterized by a tendency to diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, abdominal obesity and cardiovascular disease, the energy receptor is partially jammed and the only way the body can respond to this is by making more insulin to enter into the cell. BergaMet acts directly on this receptor to facilitate it opening, and thus allow more sugar to enter the cell. This is probably why it also helps to reduce blood pressure and increase HDL.
Is it okay to take BergaMet for patients recovering from cancer treatment?
There are no problems in this regard, and in fact there is some evidence to show some support for BergaMet in patients with various types of cancer, although this is certainly not a proven benefit as yet.
Does BergaMet have any additional benefits than those mentioned above?
In studies to date, BergaMet appears to have a beneficial effect on improving arterial stiffness, a non invasive estimate of atherosclerosis. This occurs regardless of any effects on blood cholesterol levels.
How does BergaMet help weight loss?
BergaMet activates AMPK which is the metabolic trigger for the breakdown of fat and sugar in the body. AMPK is considered to be a key therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity, Type II diabetics and metabolic syndrome.
Correct Dosage & Strength?
Other bergamot extract products on the market are significantly weaker (lower dosage and lower concentration of polyphenols) – BergaMet contains the proper dosage and strength to aid in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, as Nathealthsolutions has worldwide exclusivity (other than Italy) and no other company is permitted to purchase Calabrian citrus extract (since early 2012), only products from Nathealthsolutions (including BergaMet Mega) are FRESH.
Competitive companies cannot guarantee you future supplies.
All Natural & Allergen-Free?
BergaMet is an all-natural extract supplement, with no added colors, flavors or preservatives. It is free of wheat, gluten, fish, egg, dairy and lactose.
* Results may vary from person to person. Always consult your Doctor if unsure.
This product does not claim to treat, diagnose or cure any diseases. BergaMet is a supplement and has not been approved by the FDA.