Because nuts are an energy dense food with a high fat content, there is a widespread perception that eating nuts…
Do nuts cause gallstones of kidney stones?
No. In fact there is evidence to suggest that nuts can help reduce the risk of gallstone disease [1-3]. There is less evidence for the role of nuts in reducing the risk of kidney stones, other than dietary pattern research, which indicates that a healthy diet including nuts is associated with a 40% reduced risk of kidney stones .
There have been two population-based studies investigating the relation of frequent nut consumption and the risk of gallstones, both of which have found that nuts may help reduce the risk.
The Health Professionals Follow-up study showed men consuming five or more 30g serves of nuts per week had a significantly lower risk of gallstone disease (30% risk reduction) than men who never ate or who ate less than one serve per month .
Data from the Nurses’ Health Study showed that for women, frequent nut consumers (≥5 times/week) had a 25% reduced risk of needing a cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder) than women who never ate nuts or who ate less than one serve/month .
These outcomes remained true despite the type or content of fat in the diet. Thus, it appears that the frequency of nut consumption is equally protective of gallstone disease in both sexes.
There is very little evidence for the role of nuts in reducing the risk of kidney stones. However, dietary pattern research, such as the DASH style diet – which is rich in fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and wholegrains; moderate in low fat dairy products; and low in sweetened beverages, salt and processed meat is associated with a 40% reduced risk of kidney stones .
- Shaffer, E.A., Gallstone disease: Epidemiology of gallbladder stone disease. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol, 2006. 20(6): p. 981-96.
- Tsai, C.J., et al., A prospective cohort study of nut consumption and the risk of gallstone disease in men. Am J Epidemiol, 2004. 160(10): p. 961-8.
- Tsai, C.J., et al., Frequent nut consumption and decreased risk of cholecystectomy in women. Am J Clin Nutr, 2004. 80(1): p. 76-81.
- Taylor, E.N., T.T. Fung, and G.C. Curhan, DASH-style diet associates with reduced risk for kidney stones. J Am Soc Nephrol, 2009. 20(10): p. 2253-9.