Elevated serum cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL levels are often
associated with an increased incidence of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.
The most effective therapeutic strategy against these diseases is based on statins
administration, nevertheless some patients, especially those with metabolic syndrome
fail to achieve their recommended LDL targets with statin therapy, moreover, it may
induce many serious side effects. Several scientific studies have highlighted a strong
correlation between diets rich in flavonoids and cardiovascular risk reduction. In
particular, Citrus bergamia Risso, also known as bergamot, has shown a significant degree of hypocholesterolemic and
antioxidant/radical scavenging activities. In addition, this fruit has attracted considerable attention due to its peculiar
flavonoid composition, since it contains some flavanones that can act as natural statins. Hence, the study of bergamot
flavonoids as metabolic regulators offers a great opportunity for screening and discovery of new therapeutic agents.
Cholesterol metabolism, flavonoid composition and potential therapeutic use of C. bergamia Risso will be discussed in
the following review.