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Obesity is a multifactorial disease triggered mainly by dietary imbalance. Among the several comorbidities associated with it, there is hypertension. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a fruit with bioactive compounds and antioxidant action. The aim of this study was to quantify, in bergamot leaf extract (BFE), the bioactive compounds and the antioxidant capacity by different methods of analysis and to evaluate the impact of its supplementation on the development of hypertension in rats fed a diet rich in sugar and fat (HSF). The total phenolic compounds, total flavonoids, total carotenoids, and total antioxidant capacity by DPPH, FRAP and ABTS of BFE (Endo@berg®, Italy) were evaluated by spectrophotometry. 48 Wistar rats were distributed in four groups (G). G1: control diet (C); G2: C+BPE (C + B); G3: HSF diet; and G4: HSF diet and BPE (HSF+B). The BPE was administered daily by gavage (250mg/Kg) for 20 weeks. Body weight (BW); the adiposity index (AI) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) by tail‐cuff plethysmography were measured and compared by Two-way ANOVA with Tukey's post hoc (p<5%). The total phenolic compounds content of BPE was 15 ± 2 µg EAG/mg; total flavonoids: 5,1 ± 0,2 µg EQ/mg; total carotenoids: 72 ± 6 µg/g; and total antioxidant capacity by DPPH: 5,4 ± 0,1 µg TE/mg; FRAP: 2,5 ± 0,3 mM FeSO/mg; and ABTS: 1,3 ± 0,1 µg TE/mg. HSF diet groups compared to the ones receiving control diet, had increased BW (G1: 474.4 g and G2: 473.5 g vs G3: 531.9 g and G4: 512.0 g; p <0,001), AI (G1: 3.7 % and G2: 3.2 %; vs G3: 8.7 % and G4: 7.7 % p <0,001) and SBP (G1: 120.8 mmHg and G2: 122.0 mmHg vs G3: 145.0 mmHg and G4: 135.4 mmHg; p <0,001), characterizing obesity and hypertension. Supplementation with BFE did not change BW and AI, but controlled SBP values in the HSF+BFE (135.4 mmHg; p = 0,012). The increase in BW and AI are mechanisms that lead to an increase in blood pressure. We did not observe an effect of the BFE on these parameters, however, the HSF+BFE group presented lower values in the SBP. This may be related to the bioactive compounds measured in BFE and its antioxidant capacity, which may have antihypertensive effects through increasing nitric oxide bioavailability, reducing endothelial cell oxidative stress or modulating vascular ion channel activity. Bergamot fruit extract has a good content of total phenolic compounds, total flavonoids, total carotenoids, and total antioxidant capacity by DPPH, FRAP and ABTS. Bergamot fruit extract controlled hypertension in animals submitted to the HSF diet. And so, this extract has great potential as a complementary therapy against hypertension.

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  • 1 Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho”
  • 2 Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho” - Campus Botucatu
  • 3 University of Milan State
  • Food and health (AS)
phenolic compounds
Antioxidant capacity