Gallstones are buildups or deposits that accumulate in the gallbladder (see image), the organ that is responsible for secreting bile that helps the body digest fats. These buildups or “stones” can produce sharp or discomforting pains, usually in the abdomen area, and primarily occur soon after eating.
Gallstones generally become present in middle age (ages 40 and over) and afflict women more than men by a margin of 3 to 1.
What Causes Gallstones?
The precise reason gallstones form is not known, but experts believe that elevated levels of cholesterol in the bile, being overweight, or consuming a diet low in fibre and high in fat are major contributing factors.
In addition, some people seem to be more genetically predisposed to developing gallstones than others.
Dietary and Lifestyle Steps for GallStones
- Consume a diet high in fibre, such as unprocessed whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and oats. Such foods may help break up existing gallstones.
- Drink plenty of water; i.e. eight 8 oz glasses daily.
- Avoid antacids.
Nutritional Supplement Protocol for GallStones
The most common medical treatment for gallstones is surgery, but many experts believe that such a drastic option should be reserved only for extreme cases –- and the overwhelming majority are not.
Nutritional supplements offer a promising non-invasive option for gallstones in less serious cases. Still, it’s important to consult with your physician before beginning supplementation or to make sure your condition isn’t one that does require immediate medical attention.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps reduce cholesterol levels in bile, which is one of the primary speculated causes of gallstones.
2. Any supplement that helps metabolize fat
World-famous Reader’s Digest, in their extensive tome “The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs” suggests a combination of choline, inositol, and methionine, all of which “bolsters liver function and promotes a healthy flow of fats and bile from the liver to the gallbladder, helping to dissolve gallstones and eliminate stones that may have formed.”
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that works synergistically with vitamin C, and should be taken together.
4. Alpha Lipoic Acid
Studies have shown this nutrient recycles both Vitamins C and E in the body and, therefore, keeps the levels of these two essential vitamins high.
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