Over the past several years, gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular. "But until we perform the studies 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, more research is needed before we can determine whether this diet poses a significant health risk".
Gluten is the name for a group of proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley that holds the plant together.
These metals, which include arsenic and mercury, get into the rice from fertilizers, soil and water. "Although we can only speculate, rice may be contributing to the observed higher concentrations of metal biomarkers among those on a gluten-free diet as the primary substitute grain in gluten-free products". The study might question the safety of a gluten free diet, but it shows no direct link between the diet and the high toxin levels.
The popularity of the gluten-free diet among non-celiacs has been on the rise in recent years, touted as a healthier way to eat.
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People have started to be more careful about what they eat in order to be healthy. Hence, keeping away from wheat or other sources of gluten draws gluten-free individuals closer to greater intake of toxic metals including mercury and arsenic, say researchers.
Compared to other survey participants who did not follow in their footsteps, those who relied on a gluten-free diet had 70 percent higher levels of mercury in their system and nearly twice the levels of arsenic in their urine, revealed the scientists. The toxic metals that are found in gluten-free food can increase the risk of heart disease, neurological problems, and cancer.
While Europe has regulations that monitor the level of arsenic in its food, the study points out that the United States has no such restrictions in place. A number of health conditions like bloating, gas, depression, and brain fog have been blamed on eating a gluten-filled diet. Do you think that gluten free food is risky? Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Gwyneth Paltrow have all sworn by these diets as tools for improving health and weight loss.
Published earlier this month in the medical journal Epidemiology, the study suggests a connection between gluten-free diets and toxic metal ingestion. And of course, that's fine; whatever anyone eats is their own business, whether they've received a diagnosis that makes eating gluten free a necessity or whether they simply choose to forgo gluten because they feel better doing so.