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Moderate tea drinking tied to reduced risk of gallstones

20 Mar 2019

Adequate tea drinking (<240 ml/day or 19 cup-years) may help lower the risk of gallstones in both men and women, a recent Taiwan study has shown.

A total of 14,555 adults receiving health examinations were included, among whom 1,040 (7.1 percent) had gallstones. Multivariate analysis revealed a significant inverse association between tea drinking habit and gallstones (odds ratio [OR], 0.807; 95 percent CI, 0.685–0.951; p=0.010).

Daily consumption of 1–240 ml (OR, 0.741; 0.584–0.941; p=0.014), but not ≥240 ml, correlated with a lower risk of gallstones. Moreover, the associated risk of gallstones was significantly lower in the 1–19 cup-year group but not in the ≥19 cup-year group.

Analysis by gender showed that tea drinking of 1–19 cup-year correlated with a low risk of gallstones in both males (OR, 0.678; 0.504–0.913; p=0.010) and females (OR, 0.671; 0.453–0.994; p=0047), but not tea intake of ≥19 cup-years.

In this study, the investigators examined the association between tea drinking and gallstones, particularly assessing the amount and time of tea consumption by gender. Eligible participants were divided into three subgroups of tea consumption: none, <240/day and ≥240 ml/day.

A “cup” was defined as 120 ml for each traditional Chinese teapot, and the variable “cup-year” was obtained by multiplying the cups per day by the years of tea consumption. Gallstone was defined by the presence of movable or gravity-dependent intraluminal hyperechoic foci that attenuated ultrasound (US) transmission based on findings of abdominal US examination.

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