Preventing Gallstone Formation During Weight Loss
the MPR take:
Both obesity and rapid weight loss are associated with an increased risk of gallstones, but ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and/or high-fat weight loss diets could reduce the risk of gallstones during weight loss. A study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology analyzed 13 randomized controlled trials of 1,836 participants undergoing weight loss via dieting or bariatric surgery comparing UDCA or high-fat weight loss diets in reducing gallstone risk. Compared to control interventions, UDCA reduced gallstone risk and trials of diet alone had significantly larger effects compared to bariatric surgery. UDCA lowered the risk of cholecystectomy for symptomatic stones (risk ratio, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.07–0.53), as did diets high in fat content compared with low fat content (risk ratio, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.01–0.61). The authors conclude that based on these results, UDCA and/or high-fat weight loss diets appear to prevent gallstone formation.
The prevalence of gallstones is increasing in association with the obesity epidemic, but rapid weight loss also increases the risk of stone formation. They report in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology that, on the basis of a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, during weight loss, ursodeoxycholic acid and/or higher dietary fat content appear to prevent formation of gallstones.
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