Drinking coffee may help prevent gallstone disease, study finds

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In a study from the University of Copenhagen and elsewhere, scientists found that drinking coffee may help reduce gallstone disease.

A gallstone is a hardened deposit within the fluid in the gallbladder, a small organ under the liver.

Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid. They can vary in size and number and may or may not cause symptoms.

People who experience symptoms usually require gallbladder removal surgery. Gallstones that don’t cause symptoms usually don’t need treatment.

In the current study, researchers examined if drinking coffee is linked to a low risk of gallstone disease.

First, they tested whether high coffee intake was linked to a low risk of gallstone disease in 104,493 people from the general population in 8 years.

Then the team tested whether two genetic variants near CYP1A1/A2 (rs2472297) and AHR (rs4410790) were linked to higher coffee intake.

In the third step, the researchers tested whether the genetic score was linked to a lower risk of gallstone disease in 114,220 people including 7294 gallstone events. The follow-up was 38 years.

The researchers found that people who drank more than 6 cups of coffee daily had a 23% lower risk of gallstone disease compared to people who did not drink coffee.

A one-cup per day higher coffee intake was linked to 3% lower risk of gallstone disease. The corresponding genetic odds ratio was 0.89, equal to 11% lower risk.

Based on the findings, the team concludes that high coffee intake is linked to a low risk of gallstone disease, and with genetic evidence to support a causal effect.

This means drinking coffee may help reduce the risk of gallstone disease. These findings are in line with other research, which showed that drinking coffee frequently is linked to a reduced risk of developing gallbladder disease.

The team says that caffeine is largely responsible for the effect of coffee since consumption of decaffeinated coffee is not linked to a reduced risk of developing gallbladder disease.

Previous studies also have found that coffee may have different effects depending on the stage of gallbladder disease.

Increased gallbladder contraction may prevent small crystals from becoming large gallstones in early disease, but if large gallstones are present, gallbladder contraction may cause pain.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies that whole grain foods could help increase longevity, and vitamin D supplements strongly reduce cancer death.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about plant nutrient that could help reduce high blood pressure, and how tea and coffee influence your risk of high blood pressure.

The research was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine and conducted by A T Nordestgaard et al.

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