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Higher Blood Levels of Vitamin E Linked to Lower Risk of Gallstones

Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can be extremely painful. A recent study suggests that having higher blood levels of vitamin E may lower the risk of gallstone disease.


Participants in the study included 582 people with a median age of 62. Gallstone disease was diagnosed via visible gallbladder stone, as detected by an ultrasound examination. The researchers took blood samples from all of the participants. They then measured total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and two forms of vitamin E: alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol.


The researchers found that people with gallstone disease had a lower alpha-tocopherol vitamin E to cholesterol ratio than the participants who did not have gallstone disease. They found a similar association with gamma-tocopherol, but the results were not statistically significant.


Researchers from the University of Kiel led the study. It was published on January 27, 2018, in the journal Nutrients.


Vitamin E has eight different forms: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and has been shown to help many aspects of the body. Tocopherol is the most common form in both the American diet and European diets. Tocotrienols are less prominent in the Western diet.


Previous studies have shown that vitamin E intake is associated with lower cholesterol, healthier skin, and maintaining a proper hormonal balance.

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