German and romanian scientists from the university hospital in Bonn and the university hospital in Cluj-Napoca now found a gene (ABCG8) that increases the risk of getting a biliary colic disease threefold. An estimated ten percent of the european population is carrier of this gene. The gene is causing an increased activity of a molecular pump which is a transporter of cholesterin from the liver into the biliary tract. Gallstones consist primarily of cristalin cholesterin. The study was conducted in 178 individual which are suffering from biliary colics. It revealed that 21% of the participants have the gene ABCG8 compared to a control group with only 8%.


With a better understanding of the origin of gallstones the researcher hope to that better pharmaceuticals can be developed in the future that prevent surgery to neccessary.
But still people without this gene cannot relax now and go on with business as usual: The reasons of gallstones are some 20% the genes but 80% are caused by unhealthy food. Thus to prevent gallstones eating less meat and fatty fast food is still the better choice.




- Hepatology Nr. 46, 11. Juli 2007