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Arsenic and my Mediterranean Diet

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Just when I thought my diet was the catís meow, I learn arsenic is found in Mediterranean Diet foods!
Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and while the EPA limits drinking water to 10 micrograms/litter, there are few limits for foods.

A new study conducted at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire
analyzed the toenails of 852 people who consumed 120 foods.

Four turned out to significantly raise people's arsenic levels: beer, white wine (and thankfully to a lesser extent, red wine), Brussels sprouts and dark-meat fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon, sardines, bluefish, and swordfish).

1. Beer. Men who had 2.5 beers per day had 30%+ higher level of arsenic than nonconsumers. (Women had a 4.9% higher level.)
2. Wine. Women who drank 5-6 glasses of white wine/week had levels 20% higher than nonconsumers. (Men 12% regardless of color and red wine women drinkers a 5.3% higher level).
The researchers werenít sure if the arsenic was related to the ingredients in beer and wine, the filtration process or the alcohol itself which impairs the body's ability to detoxify.

3. Brussels sprouts. Inorganic arsenic exists in soil, but is attracted to sulfur compounds in Brussels sprouts, along with other "super-veggies" in the cruciferous family, including kale, broccoli, and cauliflower. Regular sprout eatersí arsenic was 10.4% higher than people who never ate them or ate them less than once a month.
4. Dark-meat fish. Organic arsenic exists naturally in seawater and is presumed to be harmless, but inorganic forms of arsenic were 7.4% higher in people eating dark-meat fish once a week, compared to people who ate them less than once a month.
The question is can the body metabolize organic arsenic into the inorganic forms that cause health problems? Per Kathryn Cottingham, PhD, professor of biological sciences (lead researcher), "That's part of the reason the FDA has had such a hard time acting on arsenic in rice".

As an aside, the study didnít show a significant association between rice and arsenic, but her study participants weren't big rice eaters (1-3 cups of white rice/month). Still Consumer Reports suggests restricting your rice intake to two servings per week.

Also, chicken and poultry weren't consumed in measurable amounts, but the birds are regularly given feed containing with arsenic-based drugs, which the FDA recently banned.

While Cottingham noted, "We can't say much about the potential for harm because we don't know the health risks yet for the levels we found",
she recommends, "if there are foods that are high in arsenic, just don't eat them all the time."

Good advice as we become "AWAKE! ALIVE! AWARE! and Appreciative of ALL that IS".


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
TECH1960PS 1/6/2014 10:42AM


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JEWELY_ROADS 12/23/2013 2:53PM

    Yes it is frustrating beyond belief. Nothing is pure in this world anymore.

I used to have the worst time grocery shopping, really turned off from eating anything... Somehow I got over it (or else starve! LOL) by aiming for organic as much as possible etc... Yet I still have a feeling of helplessness as it has been stated, we are living in a poisoned world, so shameful... emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 12/18/2013 12:51PM

    Well, we are living on a poisoned planet, so it makes sense that we are inadvertently eating poison in our food. Rice apparently also has high levels of arsenic.


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UNSWEETMAMA 12/18/2013 11:37AM

    And here I thought all that tuna and broccoli I've been eating were good for me.

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ERNOINACTION 12/18/2013 10:40AM

    Moderation is key. Thanks for sharing! I always learn so much from your blogs.

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_LINDA 12/17/2013 8:11PM

    It figures! Once they tout something is great for you, they turn around and find something bad about it! I love kale but can't have it very often as its hard on my GI tract :( The other stuff on the list -I have no alcohol and rarely get fish :( So I guess not a huge concern for me at this time..
Thanks for the info!

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/17/2013 7:50PM

    YIKES! Love my sprouts... and I'm probably a once a week kind of sprout eater.

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PHOENIX1949 12/17/2013 2:52PM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing your findings.

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CRYSTALJEM 12/17/2013 10:47AM

    heavy sigh

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BUNNYCATS 12/17/2013 10:44AM

    I've heard that garlic can lower your arsenic levels. Plus, it helps keep away the vampires. emoticon

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HELEN_BRU 12/17/2013 10:20AM

    That was interesting. Thanks!

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