The role of diet and nutrition related indicators in biliary diseases: an umbrella review of systematic review and meta-analysis

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2022 Jul 30;19(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s12986-022-00677-1.


Background: Diet and nutrition, as a modifiable risk factor, have been demonstrated to play a significant role in the etiology of biliary diseases, whereas few comprehensive studies have been able to evaluate the strength and quality of these evidence. This umbrella review aims to evaluate the evidence pertaining risk factors for biliary diseases in terms of diet and nutrition-related indicators.

Methods: An umbrella review method was adopted: evidence from observational studies up to 22 November 2021 were identified using PubMed, Web of Science, the Cochrane database, as well as manual screening. Eligible systematic reviews and meta-analyses were screened according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. The inclusion criteria were: (1) meta analysis or systematic review; (2) The theme of the study is the relationship between diet or nutrition and biliary tract diseases; (3) Summarized and reported OR, RR or HR values and corresponding 95% CI; (4) No restrictions on the use of participants and languages; (5) Only extract the data of biliary tract diseases from multiple health outcomes; (6) Only the most recent studies on the same subject were included. This study had been registered at PROSPERO (CRD42021293908). For each eligible systematic review and meta-analysis, we extracted the data of general characteristics and the main findings. The methodological quality of the meta-analyses included in our study were assessed by AMSTAR2 and the quality of evidence was evaluated by the GRADE.

Results: A total of 323 articles were searched, among which 24 articles with 83 unique outcomes were identified as eligible. 35 of these outcomes were downgraded in GRADE evaluation as they reported heterogeneity. In short, among 83 unique outcomes, 5 were rated as moderate, 16 as low, and the rest as very low. For the prevention of biliary tract diseases, emphasis should be placed on appropriately increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, coffee and tea, and reducing the intake of alcohol, raw fish and foods with high nitrate. Meanwhile, weight, blood sugar and lipid levels should be controlled, and diabetes should be actively prevented and treated. Drinking is not recommended to prevent gallstones, although studies have shown that it may reduce the risk of cholecystolithiasis.

Conclusions: Our study summarizes the current multifaceted evidence on the relationship between dietary and nutritional indicators and biliary diseases, but the quality of all evidence was not high. Evidence from additional high-quality prospective studies are needed in the future.

Keywords: Biliary diseases; Diet; Meta-analysis; Systematic review; Umbrella review.

Publication types

  • Review