A gallbladder cleanse is way of removing gallstones by eating or drinking a combination of olive oil, herbs and fruit juice for several hours in order to dissolve or break down gallstones, MayoClinic.com notes. Grapefruit juice is ideal for gallbladder cleansing because it contains limonoid, a substance that dissolves gallstones, Drugs.com explains. Grapefruit juice also increases the excretion of calcium just like orange and apple juice. This can help prevent gallstones from forming in the future.
Gallstones are small, rock-like substances that grow in your gallbladder, the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse says. Gallstones develop when the bile stored in your gallbladder hardens. Bile is made by your liver but is stored in your gallbladder. Your body uses bile to dissolve fat. Gallstones are not immediately fatal and can often be present without causing symptoms, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Gallstone symptoms include nausea, appetite loss and pain that is generally in your upper right abdominal area. The pain is occurs when gallstones block your gallbladder's passageways, preventing bile from passing freely.
Grapefruit Juice and Gallbladder Cleanse
Taking 8 oz. of grapefruit juice three times daily will help you reduce your weight in 12 weeks, Drugs.com notes. You will need to exceed that amount and drink more frequently when you are cleansing your gallbladder. There is no standard amount or frequency for grapefruit juice used in this manner, MayoClinic.com notes. Gallbladder cleansing causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain in some people and the herbs included in the treatment present uncertain degrees of risk. Consult your doctor before trying to cleanse your gallbladder in this manner.
Benefits of Grapefruit Juice
Grapefruit juice is generally healthy for you. The limonoids in grapefruit impair the development of tumors because they promote the formation of a detoxifying enzyme called glutathione-S-transferase, Drugs.com notes. Grapefruit juice also lowers cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing kidney stones. Grapefruit also contains a flavonoid called naringenin, a substance that repairs damaged DNA in prostate cancer cells. Grapefruit contains antioxidants that help lower your risk of developing cancer.
Other Gallbladder Treatments
Some conventional ways of treating gallstones involve medications that dissolve them, such as oral bile acid, methyl tert-buty ether and monooctanoin, the University of Maryland Medical Center says. Oral bile acid dissolves gallstones that are less than 15 mm in diameter and has been successful in 40 percent of patients. Methyl tert-buty ether and monooctanoin are infused into your bile duct or gallbladder to dissolve gallstones. Lithotripsy is a method that involves the use of shock waves to destroy gallstones. Surgery is another method used to remove gallstones.