Given that we are rather partial to a spot of Earl Grey tea, we were delighted to come across some scientific research claiming that a up of that very beverage could help fight heart disease. As keen tea-lovers we probably don't need to tell you that the distinctive and much-loved flavour of Earl Grey comes from bergamot, and it is this key ingredient that scientists believe can help lower cholesterol. In case you aren't aware, bergamots are orange-sized yellow citrus fruits from the Mediterranean and are prized for their distinctive flavour.
Statins, a group of drugs that are used to control and lower cholesterol, are already widely used in western medicenen to lower cholesterol in patients at risk from heart diseas but it has also caused some sinister side effects in some people, including memory loss and muscle damage. According to this resarch, bergamot can help lower cholesterol without these risks - and it comes in a tasty cup of tea! The researchers believe that bergamot contains enzymes known as HMGF (hydroxy methyl glutaryl flavonones) which can attack proteins in the body known to cause heart disease, lowering bad cholesterol and raising levels of beneficial cholesterol.
Given that heart disease remains one of the biggest killers in the Western world, this is rather good news - after all, even if you aren't keen on tea you can take an extract of bergamot pill for the same effects. But why anyone would turn their nose up at a pot of Earl Grey is quite beyond us!