Eating Your Vegetables Protects the Gallbladder

Women who get a lot of their dietary protein from vegetables are at reduced risk for having their gallbladder removed, which is usually performed for gallstones and related problems. It appears that vegetable protein can inhibit gallstone formation. This is an important point, as about 500,000 gallbladders are removed each year in the United States, typically due to gallstones like the ones in the picture (left). But what most people don't realize is that the gallbladder plays an important role in the body--if you don't have a gallbladder you will have an impaired ability to absorb high-quality fats. I have seen many hundreds of patients who have had their gallbladders removed and I don't recall anyone ever telling me that their surgeon advised them to do something to compensate for removing this important organ. If you've had your gallbladder removed I encourage you to read my past article on the topic to find out what you can do to compensate.

American Journal of Epidemiology July 1, 2004;160(1):11-8

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