- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A new study finds adherents to a gluten-free diet are at risk for elevated levels of toxic elements in their bodies, Ars Technica reported Monday.

“During a nationally representative health survey, researchers found that the urine and blood samples from 73 gluten-free participants had elevated levels of mercury and arsenic,” the website reported, noting the culprit is likely the rice products often used in gluten-free items available in the marketplace.

“Rice is known to be an efficient accumulator of arsenic and mercury, pulling the naturally occurring toxic substances up from soil and storing them,” explains Ars Technica. “Researchers have estimated that rice plants are at least ten times better at sucking up arsenic than other grain plants.”

Of course, as with most every study involving diet, the results are preliminary.

Lead researcher Maria Argos of the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health says she wants to conduct further investigations “to determine if there are corresponding health consequences that could be related to higher levels of exposure to arsenic and mercury by eating gluten-free,” reported Ars Technica.

Ms. Argos’ study was published on Feb. 3 in the medical journal Epidemiology. 

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