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Effect of Polyunsaturated and Saturated Fatty Acids on the Cholesterol Holding Capacity of Human Bile

Arch Surg. 1962;85(1):136-141. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01310010140019.
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The key to the prevention of gallstones or to the dissolution of stones already in existence probably lies in rendering hepatic bile unsaturated with respect to cholesterol. Cholesterol comprises 80%-100% of the commonly encountered gallstones. Comparative vertebrate biochemistry has shown that the bile of most animals can carry in solution considerably more cholesterol than is normally present; in man, however, the bile is practically saturated with cholesterol. For example, human bile can normally carry 15 to 25 mg.% additional cholesterol in solution, while the cholesterol-holding capacity (CHC) of dog bile is 120 mg.%. Not only are most animals free of stones, but human stones placed in their gallbladders undergo dissolution.1,2 Also, some cases of spontaneous disappearance of gallstones in man have been reported.3,4

In theory, CHC might be increased either by lowering the cholesterol content of bile, while keeping its other constituents unchanged, or by increasing the concentrations


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