The formation of gall stones is one of the most common diseases in industrialised countries. About 10-15% of all adults living in industrialised countries suffer from gall stones. This complaint is significantly more likely to affect women than men, so that it is estimated that about every fifth woman and every tenth man aged 40 years or older is suffering from gall stones. The frequency increases with increasing age.
When a person suffers from gall stones, removal of the gall bladder often is the only remedy. However, this particular intervention can be prevented by consuming more nuts, according to a study published in 2004.
Over a period of 20 years, a group of researchers monitored over 80,000 women. It was found that women consuming more than five portions of nuts (with one portion corresponding to 28.6 g) per week had a significantly lower risk of gall bladder removal than women who ate no nuts or less than one portion of nuts per month.
The study thus showed that a balanced diet, and especially supplementing the diet with nuts, tended to prevent the formation of gall stones.
Chung-Jyi Tsai, Michael F Leitzmann, Frank B Hu, Walter C Willett and Edward L Giovannucci (2004): Frequent nut consumption and decreased risk of cholecystectomy in women. In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 1, 76-81, July 2004.