Cholesterol and Bergacol

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a natural and essential component of the body’s cell membranes Its main function is, to maintain this cell barrier elastic and act as a contact point where different molecules are selected and then integrated into the cell. Cholesterol can be either produced internally by the body’s own cells – in this case mostly by the liver cells, or absorbed in the gut from the nutrients we take in.

Cholesterol carries out a vitally important function

Although cholesterol is often demonized in today’s society, its presence is vital for maintaining proper functioning of various body systems. In addition to being part of the cell membrane, cholesterol is also the base molecule necessary for creating other molecules. These are called steroid molecules, among which we find bile salts, female and male hormones i.e. progesterone, estradiol, testosterone, and certain vitamins such as vitamin D.

Cholesterol and Cardiovascular System.

Cholesterol – like triglycerides – is part of the lipids or fatty acids family and is transported by small proteins within the cardiovascular system. The transportation carried out by the proteins occurs by the formation of small vesicles that are classified according to their density. The density of these droplets depends on the proteins and in which direction the lipid transportation occurs. When lipids are transported from the liver to body tissues via Apo B transport proteins this is classified as a low density lipoprotein (LDL). Whereas, if transport occurs in the opposite direction – from body tissues to the liver via Apo A proteins – the density of vesicles will be higher i.e. (HDL) high density lipoproteins. high density lipoproteins or good cholesterol. Regardless, both types of transfer vesicles perform important transport functions in the body.

Cholesterol is also able to cause problems for the body.

Cholesterol is also able to generate problems for the body, including hypercholesterolemia. When a very relevant concentration of total cholesterol or LDL is detected in the blood, it is referred to as high cholesterol – hypercholesterolemia. It is vital to take remedial action, if there is this imbalance. An excess of lipid molecules can damage various organs, the first being the liver and cardiovascular system, causing serious diseases such as thrombosis and ischemia as well as gallstones.

Medical consultation in cases of excessive hypercholesterolemia

It is necessary to get medical advice for excessive hypercholesterolemia in order to get the appropriate treatment. Often statins are the first thing to be prescribed – molecules that intervene in blocking cholesterol production in the liver by blocking the enzymes responsible for producing it.

Preventing high cholesterol  

Preventing the onset of hypercholesterolemia is better than trying to treat it later. Adopting a healthy, balanced diet and a physically active lifestyle can help prevent serious health problems from occurring and help maintain a correct balance between LDL and HDL levels.

Natural statins known as as monacolin K

Natural statins, called monacolin K are often found in food supplements designed to prevent the onset of hypercholesterolemia. Probably the best known natural statin is monacolin K, a molecule isolated from red yeast rice – with a structure very similar to lovastatin. Although monacolin K is of plant origin, experts have debated the potential risks associated with consuming this molecule (Benito-Vicente et al., 2018; Younes et al. 2018). In fact, several side effects – which are often closely associated with the quantity of the substance’s dosage intake over time – have been connected with monacolin K consumption.

Side effects of statins

The side effects of statins should definitely be weighed up as they are of a certain magnitude.
It has been observed that people taking supplements containing monacolin K frequently suffer from side effects such as muscle pain, a feeling of tiredness and fatigue, headaches and abdominal pain, nausea, and intestinal discomfort (Younes et al., 2018)., 2018). Due to these side effects and also based on studies carried out in collaboration with the University of Bologna, the European body EFSA has upheld DG SANTE’s decision related to the proposed ban on the daily use of monacolin K doses greater than or equal to 3 mg in food supplements. A final decision was adopted in 2022.

A statin-free food supplement

CS1/BERGACOL is a plant-based statin-free food supplement designed to naturally lower cholesterol levels through the synergistic actions of Bergamot, Artichoke, Annurca Apple, and Olive tree leaves. Studies conducted at the University of Pisa have shown that Bergamot juice effectively reduces excess fat in the blood (De Leo et al., 2019). Other studies conducted at the University of Naples have shed light on to the beneficial cholesterol effects of Annurca Apple, a typical Campania product. This fruit, in fact, effectively reduces blood cholesterol. Artichoke leaf extract is a rich source of folic acid, biotin, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A, complex B, C and K. Olive leaf extract, rich in polyphenols, is able to improve blood pressure and reduce high cholesterol. These positive effects decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, strokes and heart attacks. This occurs by means of a reduction in (LDL) low-density lipoproteins i.e. bad cholesterol and an increase in (HDL) high-density lipoproteins i.e. good cholesterol. This effect is as a result of the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly “α-linoleic” acid, in the leaves.

Synergistically these ingredients give targeted and natural support to countering cholesterol and excess fats that could cause the risk of developing hypercholesterolemia.

CS1/BERGACOL also provides an antioxidant action able to protect against major cardiovascular risk factors.


Benito-Vicente, A. et al. (2018) ‘Familial hypercholesterolemia: The most frequent cholesterol metabolism disorder caused disease’, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(11), p.3426. doi: 10.3390/ijms19113426.

Marinella De Leo, Eugenia Piragine, Andrea Pirone, Alessandra Braca, Luisa Pistelli, Vincenzo Calderone, Vincenzo Miragliotta, L. T. (2019) ‘Protective Effects of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso & Poiteau) Juice in Rats Fed with High-Fat Diet’, Planta Medica.

Tenore, G. C. et al. (2016) ‘Annurca (Malus pumilamiller cv. Annurca) apple as a functional food for the contribution to a healthy balance of plasma cholesterol levels: Results of a randomized clinical trial’, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 97(7), pp. 2107-2115. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8016.

Younes, M. et al. (2018) ‘Safety of the proposed amendment of the specifications of the food additive steviol glycosides (E 960)’, EFSA Journal, 16(3). doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5236.

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