People who go on an extremely low calorie diet are more likely to develop gallstones than people on a moderately low calorie diet, according to a new study.
Dr. Michael Jensen, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, said dieters typically end up with similar weight loss in the long run whether they use extreme calorie restriction or more moderately restricted diets.
“You’re going to end up in the same place (weight-wise), so why take the risk of ending up in the hospital with a gall bladder problem just to lose weight faster?” said Jensen, who was not part of the study.
Gallstones affect as many as 20 million people in the U.S.
Dr. Kari Johansson, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said quick weight loss from very low calorie diets is thought to impact the salt and cholesterol contents of bile and the emptying of the gallbladder, both of which can contribute to gallstones.