Gallstones are hard deposits in your gallbladder, the small organ that stores bile (a digestive fluid made in the liver). Gallstones may be made of cholesterol, salt, or bilirubin. Gallstones range in size, from a grain of sand to an apricot. They are formed when components in bile crystallize and harden in the gallbladder.1
Impact of coffee on gallstones
A sample of 46008 US men, between 40 and 75 years old, with no history of gallstone disease was used to look for an association between coffee and gallstones. By the end of the study, 1081 men had reported symptomatic gallstone disease. The study found that, compared to men who did not regularly consume coffee, the relative risk (once adjusting for other known or suspected risk factors) for those who consistently drank 2-3 cups of coffee per day was 0.60, and for those who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day the relative risk was 0.55. The study also found that all methods of brewing coffee was associated with a decreased risk of gallstones. However, decaffeinated coffee was not associated with a decreased risk of gallstones.
The researchers concluded that, in this sample of US men, coffee consumption may have helped to prevent symptomatic gallstone disease.2
SourcesPubMed.gov - A prospective study of coffee consumption and the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in men.