Bergamot fiber has shown potential in the treatment of neurodegenerative illnesses.

Researchers analyze the composition, antioxidant activity, flavonoid and polyphenol content, and other aspects of bergamot fiber powder in a recent study published in the journal Plants. The researchers also looked into how bergamot fiber affected an in vitro neurotoxicity model generated by amyloid beta protein.

Recent nutrition research encourages the intake of vegetables and fruits as part of a well-balanced diet to lower the risk of a variety of chronic illnesses. However, the widespread consumption of vegetables and fruits in many forms results in the generation of vast amounts of garbage.

The projected yearly production of citrus waste products globally is close to 15 million tons. The bioactive component of these waste products needs an eco-friendly and ethical disposal strategy, which raises disposal costs.

New food waste management standards have given rise to the notion of byproducts, from which more beneficial substances may be obtained. Notably, citrus waste includes anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-infective, antioxidant, and neuroprotective chemicals, all of which have uses in the treatment of hypertension, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and neurological illnesses.

Citrus bergamia, sometimes known as bergamot, is grown in many parts of the world, including Italy, the Antilles, Greece, and the Canary Islands. It’s popular in the Mediterranean diet, as well as in cosmetics and fragrances. It is thought that the solid waste created by the manufacture of bergamot oil and juice contains a number of bioactive chemicals with medicinal qualities.

Concerning the research
Researchers got bergamot oil, juice, and solid waste or “palazzo” from bergamot picked in February 2022 from Italy’s Bianco area. After that, the solid waste was crushed, rinsed, and centrifuged to produce a solid phase, which was then dried and pulverized. To measure the bioactive content of this bergamot fiber powder, a piece of it was submitted to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

The antioxidant activity of bergamot fiber powder was determined by measuring its oxygen radical absorption capability. The total phenolic content of bergamot fiber was estimated using the Folin-Ciocalteu technique.

In addition, the flavonoid concentration of the bergamot extract was determined using an aluminum chloride-based colorimetric approach. Bergamot fiber’s antioxidant activity was also assessed using the 2,20-diphenyl-1 picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) test.

The researchers obtained and cultivated human neurons and oligodendrocytes to test the neuroprotective qualities of the bergamot fiber powder. Following that, the cells were treated with bergamot fiber powder and amyloid beta protein. Colorimetric tests were utilized to assess cell growth, whereas the Trypan blue exclusion assay was employed to assess cytotoxicity.

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The concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in treated cells was determined using 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCF-DA), in which cleaved H2DCF binds to ROS and generates the fluorescent dichlorofluorescein (DCF). The number of proteins in the extract was also determined, and the kind of cell death was determined using the annexin V staining technique. To identify individual proteins, immunoblot tests, and immunofluorescence methods using antibodies against the amyloid beta protein were utilized.

The study’s results
Flavonoids and polyphenols with antioxidant characteristics were found in the bergamot fiber powder. In fact, the bergamot fiber protein was found to be neuroprotective against amyloid beta protein damage, as well as protecting cell viability and inhibiting ROS generation, caspase-3 production and activation, and apoptotic or necrotic death. Notably, oligodendrocytes proved to be more delicate and sensitive than neurons.

The effects of increasing doses of bergamot fiber powder on neurons and oligodendrocytes were studied. At the measured amounts, bergamot fiber fractions were not particularly harmful. Notably, even 10 g/mL of bergamot fiber powder reduced cell death in amyloid beta-treated cells significantly.

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The chromatographic methods also indicated the presence of polyphenols such as meperidine, brutieridine, neoeriocitrine, naringin, neo hesperidin, and others, which have been proven to protect against Alzheimer’s disease-related neurodegenerative pathology.

The present study’s researchers investigated the bioactive components and protein content of bergamot fiber powder, as well as its antioxidant characteristics and concentration-dependent impact in an in vitro neurological model. According to the findings, bergamot fiber powder significantly protected neurons and oligodendrocytes against amyloid beta protein-induced death.

Bergamot fiber’s antioxidant capabilities must be investigated further to discover its possible medicinal uses against neurological diseases.

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