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Unsaturated fats cut gallstones risk

A diet high in poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats may reduce the risk of gallstones in men.

Unsaturated fats cut gallstones risk

A diet high in unsaturated fats may reduce the risk of gallstones in men.Previous animal studies have shown that unsaturated fats inhibit the development of cholesterol related gallstones. However, it was unclear if a diet high in unsaturated fats could also reduce the risk of gallstone in humans.Researchers from the University of Kentucky Medical Centre in Lexington, analysed the data from 45,756 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
These men were free from gallstones when the study began in 1986. Food-frequency questionnaires were administered at the beginning of the study and every 2 years thereafter. During the follow-up, a total of 2323 new cases of gallstone disease were recorded. Investigators found that the risk of gallstones among men who had the highest levels unsaturated fat in their diets was 18 per cent lower than those who had the lowest levels of unsaturated fats in their diet. The risk reductions seen with the highest levels of poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats were 16 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively. The optimal amount of unsaturated fat intake is still unknown, but these findings support that in dietary practice, a higher intake of unsaturated fats can confer health benefits.
Annals of Internal Medicine,
October 2004
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