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U of I study: exercise to avoid gallstones!
Date:2/13/2008

A new University of Illinois study shows that exercise-trained mice get far fewer gallstones than sedentary mice and identifies potential mechanisms to explain why this occurs.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, can be viewed online at: http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/reprint/01292.2007v1.

For the first time, we have direct evidence that physical activity reduces gallstone formation, adding to the ever-increasing number of reasons that people should get more exercise,?said Kenneth Wilund, a faculty member in the U of I Division of Nutritional Sciences and an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Community Health.

Gallbladder disease affects 10 to 25 percent of adults in the United States, although some persons who are affected may not have symptoms. It has the second highest cost of any digestive disease at $5.8 billion annually and results in over 800,000 hospitalizations each year.

Gallstones form when bile cholesterol levels become high enough to precipitate, fall out of solution, and solidify, Wilund said.

In the study, 50 mice from a gallstone-susceptible strain were fed a high-fat diet containing cholic acid, which helps increase cholesterol absorption. They were then divided into two groups. One group of mice ran on treadmills 45 minutes per day five days a week; the other group did not exercise.

After 12 weeks, the scientists removed the animals?gallbladders, pooling the stones from each group and weighing them. The gallstones in the sedentary group weighed two and a half times more than the stones in the exercised group.

You could see through the gallbladders in the exercise-trained group, whereas the gallbladders in the sedentary group were full of stones,?Wilund said.

To understand more about why this happened, the scientists then measured the expression of selected genes in the li
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Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
p-pickle@uiuc.edu
217-244-2827
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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