Vegetable protein may protect the gallbladder

July 28, 2004 in Gastrointestinal Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Vegetable protein may protect the gallbladder

Women who get much of their dietary protein from vegetable sources are at reduced risk for having their gallbladder removed, a procedure which is usually performed for gallstones and related problems, new research from Harvard University suggests.

In animals, studies show that vegetable protein can inhibit gallstone formation. However, few studies have looked at this association in humans.

Researchers studied data from 121,000 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study. Over 20 years of follow-up, 7831 women underwent gallbladder removal, called cholecystectomy.

Total protein intake and animal protein intake had no effect on the risk of cholecystectomy. For vegetable protein, however, the risk of cholecystectomy dropped as intake increased.

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