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What Causes Gallstones?

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Updated July 21, 2009

Photo by A.D.A.M. Photo by A.D.A.M.
Question: What Causes Gallstones?
Answer: The bile stored in the gallbladder contains water, bile salts, cholesterol, fats, proteins and bilirubin. Bile salts break up the fat that is consumed in the food we eat.

Gallstones can form in the gallbladder when high concentrations of bile salts, cholesterol and/or bilirubin crystallize.

Sources:

"Common Gastrointestinal Problems - Gallstones." American College of Gastroenterology. 13 Jul 2009

"Gallstones." American College of Gastroenterology. 13 Jul 2009

"Gallstones." NIH Publication No. 07–2897 July 2007. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). 13 Jul 2009

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