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The majority of the studies reviewed points to a beneficial effect of coffee in gallbladder disease. There is some evidence that coffee exerts its effect via caffeine, which stimulates gallbladder contractions. However further studies are needed to elucidate the exact effects of coffee on gallbladder function.
A 3×3 intervention trial – gallstone-free, non-symptomatic gallstones and symptomatic gallstones versus no coffee, decaffeinated coffee and regular coffee – testing for at least cholecystokinin** levels, gallbladder contraction and general symptoms, might help to further clarify the role of coffee and caffeine in gallbladder disease.
**Cholecystokinin is a gastrointestinal hormone produced in the duodenum in response to the ingestion of fats and other food substances. It stimulates the release of bile from the gallbladder and digestive enzymes from the pancreas, facilitating the digestive process.
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