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Effect of long-term intake of cis unsaturated fats on the risk for gallstone disease

A prospective cohort study published in October's issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, finds that long term intake of cis unsaturated fats reduces the risk of gallstone disease.

News image

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Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats act as inhibitors of cholesterol cholelithiasis in animal experiments.

Researchers from Boston, Massachusetts carried out a prospective population-based cohort study to examine the association between long-term intake of cis unsaturated fats and the incidence of gallstone disease in humans.

The researchers included 45, 756 male participantsin total, age 40 to 75 years in 1986, who were free of gallstone disease.

A high intake of poly- and mono-unsaturated fats in the context of an energy-balanced diet reduces the risk for gallstone disease in men
Annals of Internal Medicine

The research group assessed consumption of cis unsaturated fats starting in 1986 as part of the 131-item semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaires.

The researchers mailed questionnaires to participants every 2 years.

The main outcome measure was self-reported newly diagnosed symptomatic gallstone disease.

During 14 years of follow-up, the researchers documented 2, 323 new cases of gallstone disease.

After adjustment for age and other potential risk factors, the research group found that the relative risk for gallstone disease among men in the highest quintile of dietary intake of cis unsaturated fats compared with men in the lowest quintile was 0.82.

In addition, the research group found that the relative risk among men in the highest quintile of polyunsaturated fat consumption compared with men in the lowest quintile was 0.84.

The relative risk among men in the highest quintile of monounsaturated fat consumption compared with men in the lowest quintile was 0.83.

Outcomes were restricted to men with cholecystectomy or diagnostically confirmed but unremoved symptomatic gallstones.

Dr Giovannucci concluded, "A high intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in the context of an energy-balanced diet is associated with a reduced risk for gallstone disease in men."

Annals of Internal Medicine; 2004: 141(7): 514-522
06 October 2004

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