Gluten-Free Foods May Contain More Toxic Metals

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) - Higher levels of arsenic and mercury have been identified in individuals consuming gluten-free diets, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in Epidemiology. This disease implies a unusual response to the protein that can be found in rye, wheat, and barley.

Could the gluten-free diet craze be exposing people to excessive levels of arsenic and mercury? The weighted geometric mean concentration of estimated urinary total arsenic, defined as total arsenic minus arsenobetaine and arsenocholine, was almost two-fold higher for those on a gluten-free diet (geometric mean ratio, 1.9), after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics and urinary creatinine.

They ranged from between six and 80 years old and had all reported eating gluten-free food over a period of five years.

Researchers at the University of Chicago Illinois examined blood and urine samples from 73 participants.

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Maria Argos, assistant professor of epidemiology at the UIC School of Public Health and one of the study authors, says, "In Europe, there are regulations for food-based arsenic exposure, and perhaps that is something we here in the United States need to consider". A gluten free diet might bring unsafe amounts of toxic metals, such as mercury or arsenic.

Arsenic and mercury occur, indeed, in a natural way in the environment, but high quantities in the bodies raise the risk of neurological problems, heart disease, or even cancer.

Many people believe that gluten free food reduces inflammation but no scientific proof shows that. Celiac disease is much more common today than it was 50 years ago, according to Dr. Joseph A. Murray, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic.

While only one percent of Americans have the disorder, almost 25 percent of Americans say they eat gluten-free.

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While the findings are preliminary, this study suggests that the possible risks of gluten-free diets may weigh more than the clinically unproven, yet much-hyped, benefits. Try also to eat more naturally gluten-free food like fruits, veggies, lean meats, cheese, yogurt, and nuts and seeds. A number of health conditions like bloating, gas, depression, and brain fog have been blamed on eating a gluten-filled diet.

While traces of mercury was nearly 70 per cent greater in those restricted to a gluten-free diet. Still, more research is needed before any conclusions can be made about the dangers of gluten-free eating.

But new research suggests those choosing to follow the trend are exposed to high levels of two toxic metals. Foods such as bread, pizza, and pasta, which contain the gluten protein, have gotten a bad rap.

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