Why Exactly Is Apple Juice Recommended to Help Treat or Prevent Gallbladder Stones?

Apple juice is recommended for treatment of gallbladder stones partially due to a letter to the editor published in The Lancet in 1999. In the letter, R. Dekkers claims that his wife successfully treated herself for gallstones by drinking a liter of apple juice every day for a week.

At the end of the week of drinking the apple juice daily, the wife then drank 1 cup of olive oil, and in the morning, she passed fatty gallstones in her stool, claims Dekkers. He suggests that ingesting apple juice to treat gallstones is a gentler treatment than a chemical prescription.

However, Dekker's letter provides no scientific evidence to indicate that apple juice can alleviate gallstones, claims Quackwatch. An article by Peter Moran in Quackwatch states that apple juice, just like any other substance ingested by mouth, cannot possibly come into contact with stones in the gallbladder, thanks to an effective sphincter muscle that blocks the contents of the intestines from traveling into the gallbladder or the bile ducts. It is implausible that apple juice or any other substance consumed for a gallbladder flush could affect stones in the gallbladder.

Despite this, several sources promoting natural remedies, such as Rapid Home Remedies and The Health Wyze Report, continue to allege that apple juice treatments can eradicate gallstones and potentially eliminate the need for gallbladder surgery. The theory, according to Rapid Home remedies, is that the malic acid in apples dissolves gallstones, and if apple juice is combined with apple cider vinegar, the vinegar stops the liver from making the cholesterol that causes gallbladder stones to form.