Coffee Protects against Gallstones
Women who consume four cups of caffienated coffee a day have a lower risk of gallstone disease than those who do not drink coffee, according to the information from the Harvard Nurses’ Health study.
Women are twice as likely to suffer from gallstones than men. Overweight women and women who have experienced rapid weight loss are especially at risk. Previous studies have found that men who drink coffee have a lower risk of gallstone disease than those who do not drink coffee. These new findings for women are comparable to the previous studies on men.
“Women should not start drinking coffee just to prevent gallstone disease. However, if a woman already happens to be a coffee drinker, our study suggests that it is okay for her to continue drinking coffee in terms of her risk of gallstone disease.
The Harvard Nurses’ Health study tracked 80,898 women for two decades, and compared their coffee consumption to whether they had their gallbladder removed. Researchers found 7,811 women had their gallbladders removed. The number of gallbladder removals for coffee drinkers was 25-percent less than the rate for those women who did not drink coffee.
It appears that caffeine may be the protective ingredient in coffee that is responsible for the decreased risk of gallstone disease among coffee drinkers. There is experimental evidence from other studies showing that caffeine leads to gallbladder contractions, which could theoretically help prevent the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder.