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Dietary Intake and Cholelithiasis: A Review

A Kotrotsios et al, 2019.
Journal of Long Term Effects of Medical Implants, Volume 29 (4).
August 6, 2020


Gallbladder disease (GBD) is one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal disorders in western societies. Etiology is multifactorial and may follow complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Dietary intake has been considered as a potentially modifiable risk factor for GBD, because a number of dietary factors have been involved in cholelithiasis pathogenesis. In our aim to evaluate potential usefulness of diet pattern modification for GBD prevention, we perform a systematic review of related epidemiological studies. We define GBD as a disorder in which a patient bears gallstones and/or undergoes surgery for gallstones. We review English-language studies found in the Med-line database that occurred from 1973 to 2018. We searched for epidemiological evidence of the role of diet as a potential risk factor for gallstone formation. In particular, we thoroughly inspected intake of fatty acid, cholesterol, carbohydrate, protein, fiber, alcohol, nuts, and coffee and vegetarian eating-pattern effects. Our results show that simple sugar (simple carbohydrate) and saturated fat consumption suggests a positive association with the risk for gallstone formation. Protein, fiber, nuts, coffee, and moderate alcohol intake consistently reduces that probability. Different studies found that fat and cholesterol intake are variable risk factors for GBD; therefore, additional analyses are necessary to clarify their relevance in gallstone formation pathogenesis. GBD is a multifactorial disorder that can be affected both positively and negatively by diet. Although no specific dietary recommendations can be addressed to reduce risk for gallstone formation, healthy diet patterns can be expected to improve prospects for healthy gallbladder function.

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