Jul 23, 2019 | Updated: 09:13 AM EDT

Gluten Free Foods Can Increase Risk Of Toxic Metal Exposures

Feb 20, 2017 02:55 PM EST

Bread Sales Plummet
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 21: A loaf of sliced wheat bread is seen on the shelf at the Noe Valley Bakery and Bread Co. November 21, 2003 in San Francisco, California. The popularity of Atkins-style, low carbohydrate diets has contributed to the drop in consumption of bread in the U.S. over the past year as 40 percent of Americans ate less than in 2002. While industry leaders said The popularity of Atkins-style low-carbohydrate diets hasnt significantly affected sales for most bakers and suppliers, they said the trend may mean new ways of doing business.

A gluten-free food or a food without wheat now has gained immense popularity in recent years. Physicians usually recommend Peoples with Celiac disease to consume gluten-free food because they can’t digest gluten. It is fact that less than one percent peoples in the Unites States have Celiac disease but in recent years, consumption of gluten-free food has become a trend throughout the US.

A research team from the University of Illinois at Chicago has reported that Gluten-free Food Can Increase The risk of exposure to toxic metals like arsenic and mercury. The main ingredient of the gluten-free diet is rice flour that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurological effects. Rice usually gets contaminated with Arsenic(As) and Mercury(Hg) through the soil, fertilizers, and water.

According to Fox News Health, researchers surveyed on 7,480 volunteers about their diet habits. The survey was conducted between the age range of 6 to 80. during the research, researchers found evidence of Arsenic and Mercury from the blood and urine of those 73 participants who regularly consume gluten-free foods. The level Mercury were at least 70 percent higher than the participants who keep glutens in their diets, and the arsenic level was nearly twice.

An assistant professor of epidemiology in the UIC School of Public Health and the lead researcher of the study, Dr. Maria Argos said in a statement,“In Europe, there are regulations for food-based arsenic exposure, and perhaps that is something we here in the United States need to consider. We regulate levels of arsenic in water, but if rice flour consumption increases the risk of exposure to arsenic, it would make sense to regulate the metal in foods as well”. I4U News has reported that that whole study was conducted between 2009 and 2014 and about one-quarter of all Americans have reported consuming the gluten-free diet, according to the survey report in 2015. Since 2013, the number of gluten-free food consumer has increased 67 percent.

Although, very few researches have been conducted to determine its impact on human body. Dr. Argos explained that more study needs to be done before drawing conclusions about whether going gluten-free itself poses a serious health danger.

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