Gallstones

Also indexed as:Cholelithiasis, Gallbladder Attacks
Although small in size, gallstones can cause big discomfort. What can you do to keep your gall bladder healthy? According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Betaine Hydrochloride
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
People with gallstones may have insufficient stomach acid and may benefit from supplementing with betaine HCI.
Lecithin (Phosphatidyl Choline)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Phosphatidylcholine (PC)—a purified extract from lecithin—is a component of bile that helps protect against gallstones. Supplementing with it may help dissolve gallstones
Milk Thistle
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Milk thistle extracts in capsules or tablets may be beneficial in preventing gallstones.
Peppermint
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one study, a mixture of essential oils successfully dissolved gallstones. The most effective herb in that mixture is available only by prescription, but peppermint oil is similar to it.
Vitamin C
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C is needed for the body to convert cholesterol to bile acids and may help reduce symptoms of gallstones.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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