On July 15, surgeons in China removed more than 200 stones from a woman's gallbladder and liver.
Dr. Quan Xuwei, one of the surgeons who performed the operation, says the stones are a result of the woman, known as Ms. Chen, skipping breakfast for more than 10 years, reports the Daily Mail. She also frequently ate leftovers, the hospital added.
Quan said many of his gallstone patients are guilty of skipping or rushing their breakfasts. He contends that not eating breakfast causes bile to build up in the gallbladder, leading to high cholesterol and calcium levels. His opinion on the effects of skipping lunch or dinner was not reported.
According to Dr. George Webster, the vice president of the British Society of Gastroenterology, what time a person eats has no known effect on the existence of gallstones or liver stones, and to claim otherwise is "pure speculation, with no scientific evidence base to support it."
Webster explained that gall stones and liver stones are a common problem worldwide, but it is most common in China and eastern Asia.
There are two types of gallstones, explains the Mayo Clinic. Cholesterol gallstones, composed mainly of undissolved cholesterol and yellow in appearance, are the most common. The other type, known as Pigment gallstones, are dark brown or black, and form when there is too much bilirubin present in the body's bile.
As explained by the University of Michigan's Division of Gastroenterology, gallstones and liver stones are the same, just located in different areas of the body.
The details are summarized:
Bile duct stones are gallstones in the bile duct. They can start in the gallbladder and migrate into the bile duct or they can form in the bile duct itself. The stones can become lodged in the bile duct, causing a blockage. ... Stones may pass spontaneously out of the bile duct on their own. However, when a stone gets stuck in the bile duct, medical intervention is necessary, otherwise inflammation, bacterial infection, and even severe organ damage can occur.
As for Chen, it took six and a half hours of surgery to remove the 200-plus stones from her body, some of which were described by the hospital as being as large as eggs. However, if Quan's theory is correct, regularly eating a big breakfast with eggs might have prevented her from ever having egg-sized stones in the first place.
Sources: Daily Mail, Mayo Clinic, University of Michigan / Photo credit: Pixabay, Hezhou Guangji Hospital General Surgery via Daily Mail