A diet rich in magnesium appears to reduce the risk developing painful gallstones, according to a recent US study.
In this study, 42,705 men were surveyed every two years to see if they would develop gallstones in the bladder or other diseases. Magnesium intake was determined with food frequency questionnaires sent to the participants every four years.
Men with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk of gallstones by 33 percent as compared with those who ate least amount of magnesium-rich foods.
Good food sources of magnesium include black beans, sunflower seeds, tofu and soybeans, dried figs and almonds.
Magnesium intake has been declining over the years, due in part to the overprocessing of foods, say researchers. A deficiency of this nutrient is known to raise blood fat levels and decrease "good" HDL cholesterol levels. These effects appear to increase the risk of developing gallstones.
The effect of magnesium on gallstones is still unclear but following a diet pattern that's high in magnesium has been shown to prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases.
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