Your liver and gallbladder work in synchronized fashion, as your liver is responsible for producing a digestive enzyme known as bile and your gallbladder is responsible for storing this enzyme. As you consume food, the gallbladder begins to gradually release bile to help breakdown food items.
If your bile contains a high level of cholesterol, then gallstones may form. Although there are two types of gallstones, pigment and cholesterol, either stone type can hinder the flow of bile from the gallbladder, which may cause a gallbladder attack.
While gallbladder attacks can be painful and require medical attention, you may prevent gallstones from forming by avoiding certain dietary sources and enhancing your consumption of other foods can help prevent gallstone formations. Below I have outlined the top dietary sources known by researchers to prevent gallstone formation and gallbladder attacks.
High Fiber Foods:
Fiber is one of the most vital nutrients for the human body as it plays a direct role in monitoring and supporting numerous bodily functions. One of the most important roles of fiber is its ability to reduce cholesterol and aid in digestion. The American Journal of Surgery published an article in its April 1999 issue where researchers fed a total of 30 prairie dogs with a cholesterol-rich litogenic diet.
Within the study, researchers fed 10 dogs cellulose fiber and 10 dogs psyllium fiber. After six weeks, the study found that the animals who were fed psyllium fiber experienced a substantial reduction in overall cholesterol saturation. Cellulose fed dogs experienced no reduction in cholesterol saturation. Although further studies are required to determine the true value of fiber on cholesterol formation, initial studies are promising regarding the effectiveness of fiber on cholesterol gallstone formation.
Antioxidants are some of the most talked about dietary sources in popular media. While some advertising hype is false, the University of Maryland Medical Center states that antioxidant rich foods can actually prevent gallstone formation, and gallbladder disease.
Preliminary research suggests a lack of antioxidant consumption and gallstone development are directly related. The International Journal of Clinical Chemistry reported in its November 2004 issue that participants who had cholesterol gallstones had a lower-than-normal a micronutrient antioxidant count. Another study published in “Nutrition” found those with a lack of antioxidants had a higher chance of developing gallstones.
International Journal of Clinical Chemistry: Dietary Antioxidants Lack, Impaired Hepatic Glutathione Reserve, and Cholesterol Gallstones
American Journal of Surgery: Soluble Dietary Fiber Protects Against Cholesterol Gallstone Formation
Nutrition Journal: A Pilot Study of Antioxidant Intake in Patients With Cholesterol Gallstones
University of Maryland Medical Center: Gallbladder Disease