|Exercise 'can cut gallstone risk'|
|Tuesday, 09 February 2010 00:00|
Doing lots of exercise drastically cuts the risk of developing painful gallstones, UK researchers have found.
Gallstones are common but only 30% of cases have symptoms and complications.
A University of East Anglia study of 25,000 men and women found those who were the most active had a 70% reduced risk of those complaints.
The team, writing in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, said one reason might be reduced cholesterol levels in the bile.
They said exercise also raised levels of "good" cholesterol and help improves movement through the gut, all of which could contribute to the lowered risk.
Those taking part in the study were split into four groups depending on how much exercise they did and the researchers found that those who did moderate amounts of exercise also had a lower risk of painful symptoms from gallstones than those who were the most inactive.
They worked out that if everyone increased the amount of exercise they did by one category 17% of gallstones that need medical treatment could be prevented.