Evaluation of lipid and cholesterol-lowering effect of bioflavonoids from bergamot extract

Several natural products have been reported to be involved in the suppression of adipogenesis. In this study, we reveal that a bergamot extract (BE) decreased the accumulation of intracellular lipids in murine pre-adipocytes 3T3-L1 cells during adipogenic differentiation. Both the inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase activity and the differentiation and proliferation of adipocytes could be used as a strategy for the treatment and prevention of obesity. The results of this study show a reduction of HMG-CoA activity and of lipid droplet accumulation in the presence of the BE, suggesting the potential of BE as an anti-adipogenic agent to lower the content of cholesterol and body fat and prevent a gain in body weight. Moreover, BE as the result of high percentages of flavonoid compounds such as neoriocitrin, naringin and neohesperidin, the main flavonoids contained in BE, led to significant inhibition of DPPH free radical, demonstrating a strong radical scavenging activity.