Vitamin C Supplementers Found to Have Reduced Risk of Gallstones

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Vitamin C Supplementers Found to Have Reduced Risk of Gallstones

Nutritionally oriented doctors sometimes have gallstone patients supplement vitamin C because of its biochemical role in the breakdown of cholesterol -- an idea supported by the fact that scorbutic guinea pigs frequently develop gallstones. A recent report in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology compares 629 postmenopausal women with a history of both heart disease and gallstones with a much larger group of postmenopausal women with a history of heart disease but no gallstones.(1) After analyzing the data on the basis of alcohol intake, it was found that vitamin C supplementation was associated with a dramatic risk reduction for both gallstones (OR = 0.50; 95% CI, 0.31-0.81) and cholecystectomy (OR = 0.38; 95% CI, 0.21-0.67) in drinkers. The relationship between supplementation among nondrinkers was not significant.

(1) Simon JA, Grady D, Snabes MC, et al. Ascorbic acid supplement use and the prevalence of gallbladder disease. J Clin Epidemiol 1998; 51:257-65.

Natural Product Research Consultants, Inc.

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By Steve Austin

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