Protect against gallstones with vitamin E, new study suggests
03/07/2018 // Jessica Dolores // Views

You're on your way to work or school when you feel this stabbing pain in your abdomen. You stop cold in your tracks, and clutch the painful part of your body, wishing the agony would end. It doesn't. You miss work and school and head to the doctor's clinic instead.

He administers tests, then gives you the grim verdict soon after. You have gallstones -- or hardened deposits of digestive fluid, or bile.

Chances are, your doctor will tell you he saw a high level of cholesterol in your bile, which is found in your gallbladder. Hardened bile leads to gallstones.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases points to high cholesterol as the culprit behind a whopping 80 percent of gallstones. These gallstones, in turn, cause gallbladder inflammation, which your body reacts to by telling you it feels pain and nausea. Other patients throw up.

Your doctor will tell you what kind of stones are in your gallbladder. The most common are cholesterol gallstones, which are made up mostly of undissolved cholesterol from a diet rich in saturated fat. Pigment gallstones, on the other hand, form when the bile has excess bilirubin, a compound formed in the liver, which can lead to jaundice.

All these have to be corrected, fast, before it does more damage. But some gallstone sufferers turn to synthetic drugs, which could hurt some of the body's vital organs and do more harm than good.

Natural is best

There's a more natural way of preventing and treating gallstones. And that's through vitamin E.

A new study on 582 people with a median age of 62, 38.5 percent of whom are women, proved this. Scientists took blood samples from the population. They then measured total lipoprotein (LDL) and two types of vtamin E: alpha and gamma-tocopherol. Then, they measured the link between the presence of gallstone ailments and vitamin E blood levels. They did the same for vitamin E/cholesterol levels and gallstone disease.


Researchers found that oxidative stress -- or the imbalance between free radicals and body's ability to deal with its harmful effects -- contributes to gall bladder disease. The study further showed that vitamin E helped shield the body from oxidative stress by lowering the risk of gallstone disease. It proved that reduced levels of vitamin E can lead to oxidative stress in people with gallstone disease.

Supporting these findings is previous research that established the link between lower vitamin E absorption and gallstone disease. Earlier research also found a link between the disturbed secretion of bile -- which helps digest and absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins in the small intestine -- and gallbladder disease arising from inadequate fat-soluble vitamins.

The next question is, to what extent does vitamin E prevent gallstone formation? This is for scientists to find out in upcoming studies.

For now, knowing that vitamin E helps prevent and reduce gallstone disease is enough. It will help a lot of people with gallstone disease or a family history of the said illness. It will also encourage them to look for natural sources of healing instead of counting on more costly, and harmful synthetic drugs.

Recommended food

Speaking of natural sources, vitamin E rich food that keep you healthy and strong, include almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, palm oil, butternut squash, trout, and olive oil. You just have to visit your favorite grocer or your friendly farm food supply.

The key is a healthy diet free from bad cholesterol and rich in natural sources of vitamin E.

Our gallbladder may be small (around three inches long and 1.5 inches wide) compared to other parts of the body, but its role in keeping us healthy is huge. Without it, we can't digest fatty foot in the small intestine. Gallstones can block the gallbladder and cause life-threatening liver damage and pancreatitis.

Let's take care of this small but vital part of our body, because it can make life miserable when we neglect and abuse it. Treat it well, and the gallbladder will repay us immensely. It will give us years and years of health and happy times with friends and loved ones.

Read more ways on how to naturally improve your health at

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