Reducing the risk of gallstones by eating a diet high in fibre, particularly the "insoluble" type found in whole-wheat products and corn bran, may help women avoid gallbladder surgery, new research from Harvard Medical School suggests.
These findings follow a recent report from the same research team showing that consumption of vegetable protein also seems to block gallstone formation.
The research group analyzed data from approximately 70,000 women who completed food-frequency questionnaires starting in 1984. The women were apparently free from gallbladder disease when the study began. By 2000, nearly 6000 of the women had undergone gallbladder removal, also called cholecystectomy.
Women who consumed the highest amounts of fibre were 13% less likely to undergo cholecystectomy than those who consumed the lowest amounts. The reduction in risk was even more pronounced for the highest levels of insoluble fibre intake
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