Gallstones in Weight Loss

You may not know this, but you can develop gallstones while you are trying to lose weight. If you don’t keep your gallbladder functioning normally allowing it to expel bile and emulsify fats, you could develop gallstones in your weight loss journey.

While nobody is absolutely sure about why these form, there are some factors which make you more prone to developing them including:

• being older
• female
• high estrogen levels
• overweight
• statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs)
• gut dysbiosis
• low fat diet
These are some factors which cause gallstones – and these stones can take decades to form. Unfortunately because they are composed mostly of cholesterol, doctors blame cholesterol for their formation – but this is completely wrong. They will also tell you to have a low fat diet – this can spell disaster.


Fat digestion needs bile to emulsify it and reducing fat and subsequently bile output you could be causing gallstone formation. Reducing fat intake can cause more rapid formation of gallstones. Think about it – your liver is making bile that is not used to emulsify fat so it ‘stagnates’ and hardens into crystals or stones. So don’t ever stop eating healthy fats and oils. It’s that simple!

The digestion of fats and oils triggers the release of cholecystokinin (CCK). A hormone which stimulates the gallbladder to contract and release the bile it’s stored. The absolute worst thing you can do while losing weight is go low fat or fat free. That would be a recipe for gallstones. Not to mention of course that cutting fats (healthy ones) is extremely unhealthy. It leads to higher blood sugar levels, increased triglyceride levels, fatty liver and insulin resistance.

Maintain a healthy fat intake to provide protection against formation of gallstones during weight loss. Choose fatty cuts of meat and eat the fat. Add more butter, olive oil and coconut oil to your diet to keep your gallbladder busy so it doesn’t form stones.


It’s very likely that wheat and other grains significantly contribute to gallstones: the lectin, wheat germ agglutinin, has been proved to block the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) as explained earlier. When food gets to the duodenum, CCK is secreted which in turn stimulates the gallbladder to contract and expel bile. This then emulsifies the fats and provokes the pancreas to secrete pancreatic enzymes for the digestion of protein, fats and carbs. The presence of wheat germ agglutinin (from bread, cereal, cake etc) blocks CCK, preventing adequate release of bile – and regular ingestion of wheat then causes bile stasis. This means the bile accumulates in the gallbladder encouraging crystal formation leading to gallstones.

Wheat germ agglutinin is found in wheat, rye, barley and rice – all with identical structures. It is inflammatory causing changes in bowel flora as a result of faulty digestion from lack of bile and pancreatic enzymes. Interestingly

Some tips if you want to avoid gallstones while losing weight:

• Eliminate all wheat and grains – it will also ramp your health up a few notches
• Do not limit healthy dietary fats as outlined above – you do need to eliminate seed oils, vegetable oils and margarine though.

Look after your gallbladder, and it will look after you!



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Originally published on in 2020.

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