The role of vitamin E in gallbladder health

What are gallstones?

Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid (bile) in the gallbladder, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball, often forming with no symptoms. Causes include the gallbladder not emptying completely, excess cholesterol in bile or red blood-cell waste from the liver forming into bile crystals and eventually into stones, among other reasons. 

Link to absorbing fat-soluble vitamins

Earlier studies found people with gallstones were less able to absorb vitamin E, and that gallbladder problems had a link to fat-soluble vitamin deficiency.

In this study, doctors measured vitamin E levels in 582 men and women, average age 62, then used ultrasound to detect gallstones. Eight percent of participants had gallstones, were older, had lower circulating levels of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, and lower alpha-tocopherol-to-cholesterol ratios than those without gallstones. Discussing the findings, doctors said the results suggest higher levels of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E may protect against gallstones, and that supplementing with vitamin E may prevent gallstone formation.






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