Drinking multiple cups of coffee a day can help cut the risk

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The research team, led by Ask Tybjaerg Nordestgaard of the university’s Department of Clinical Biochemistry, reported: “A coffee-induced increase in bile acid production could reduce the risk of cholesterol gallstones.”Moreover, coffee has been shown to induce UGT1A1, the enzyme responsible for conjugation of bilirubin. Elevated levels of unconjugated bilirubin in bile is a causal risk factor for gallstone formation.” Drinking six or more cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of gallstones, according to a study of more than 100,000 adults across 13 years.The high intake of caffeine was found to reduce the painful ailment by 23 per cent compared to those who did not drink any coffee at all.Researchers analysed official health and lifestyle data among 104,500 adults over a period of up to 13 years comparing how much coffee they drank with whether or not they ever suffered from symptomatic gallstone disease (GSD).The study was conducted by a team from the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark where coffee represents, by far, the most common source of caffeine intake.Drinking just one cup a day lowered the risk of GSD by three per cent but the protective properties of caffeine increased dramatically when gulping down several cups a day.The researchers told the Journal of Internal Medicine that several factors were likely to influence the healthy side benefits.Gallstones are formed in the bile duct when there is too much cholesterol and not enough of the bile acids that prevent them becoming stones.Caffeine is released via bile and contains chemical compounds called methylxanthines that stimulate production of acid and prevent the cholesterol forming gallstones.

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