concerns about arsenic The rice content led to recommendations to reduce rice consumption in favor of other whole grains. What are some strategies to reduce exposure to arsenic from rice?
What is arsenic?
Arsenic, a natural element, is classified as a first category A carcinogen, the highest level.
Food sources of arsenic
Most of the arsenic in the American diet may be comes from Meat. Arsenic-containing drugs are often fed farm animals To kill intestinal parasites. During the cooking process, the arsenic residue in its flesh can turn into Inorganic arsenic Then we consume it when we eat meat.
Arsenic accumulates with a lot Other prohibited chemicalsSlaughterhouse by-products can be recycled as animal feed. Fthe nest It may also contain high levels of arsenic. In fact, arsenic is used as a biomarker for total fish And the Eat seafood.
one kind of seaweed, hikki (also known as hiziki), it absorbs so much arsenic from sea water that it is not safe to eat it.
The health effects of arsenic
Symptoms of high arsenic levels include:
- abnormal taste
- Poor short-term memory and concentration
How much arsenic is in rice?
rice accumulate 10 times more arsenic than other grains, which helps explain why arsenic levels in urine samples of those who eat rice are consistently higher than those who don’t, as you can. see below And it’s 2:18 in my country video.
When the Food and Drug Administration tested A few dozen quinoa samples, for example, most had arsenic levels below the detection level or just trace amounts, including my family’s favorite red quinoa. However, a few of them still contain about half of the arsenic content in rice. But, in general, the average toxicity of quinoa was ten times less than that of arsenic in rice.
Which rice has the least arsenic?
Brown rice may contain more arsenic than white rice, but does our body absorb it the same way regardless of the source?
For arsenic to pass from the rice to the bladder, it must be absorbed through our intestines into the bloodstream. To check the absorption, the researchers measured arsenic levels in the urine of participants who ate white rice compared to those who ate brown rice.
Arsenic is found in the air, in water, and in nearly all foods, so even those who don’t eat rice at all still get rid of about eight micrograms of the toxic and carcinogenic arsenic in their urine each day. But eating just one or more cups of white rice a day increases your exposure to arsenic by 65 percent.
what about brown Rice, which technically contains even more Arsenic from white rice? Eating that daily cup or more of brown rice increases your exposure by 65 percent. In fact, the researchers found no difference between the urine arsenic levels of the participants who ate white or brown rice.
Now, this wasn’t an interventional study, where people are fed the same amount of rice to see what happened, which would have been ideal. This was a population study. So, perhaps the reason the arsenic levels are the same is that people eat more white rice than brown rice.
Check out my video Which rice has less arsenic: black, brown, red, white, or wild To obtain data on all types of rice.
Who is most at risk?
Those who are open Those with the most arsenic in rice are those who are exposed to the most rice, such as people who eat vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free. So, the population at risk is not just children and pregnant women, but everyone who may be inclined to Eat More rice.
It’s a hard fact that some who might try to be health conscious to avoid Dairy products and eating a lot of whole foods, such as brown rice, may not only face some theoretical lifelong increased cancer risks, but actually Suffers Arsenic poisoning. A 39-year-old woman, for example, had celiac disease, so she avoided wheat, barley, and rye. She included so much rice in her diet that she ended up with high levels of arsenic and was experiencing some typical symptoms, including diarrhea, insomnia, abnormal taste, loss of appetite, headaches, poor short-term memory and focus. As I discuss in my video How much arsenic in rice is too muchWe should watch for signs of arsenic exposure in those who eat a lot of rice day in and day out.
How much rice should you consume?
as you can see in table below And it’s 1:08 in my country videoat the 2012 exhibition of arsenic in rice, Consumer Reports recommended Adults eat no more than an average of two servings of rice per week or three servings per week of rice cereal or rice pasta. In his subsequent analysis, however, it seem Like “rice cereal and rice noodles can contain inorganic arsenic – a carcinogen – more than [its] 2012 data showed Consumer Reports Projection She lowered her recommendation from three servings a week to just two servings a week max – and that’s only if you don’t get arsenic from other rice sources.
In the chart below and at 1:29 in my videoyou can see the points system that Consumer Reports came With people allowed to add all of their rice products each week to make sure they stay below seven points on average per week. If rice is the only source of rice, for example, he recommends no more than one or two servings throughout the week. I recommend at least 21 servings of whole grains per week on Daily Dozen, so what should I do? Learn about sorghum, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, barley, or any of the whole grains other than rice out there. They tend to contain trace levels of toxic arsenic.
How to reduce exposure to arsenic in rice
diversification Our diet is the number one strategy for reducing exposure to arsenic in rice. We can also consider alternatives to rice, especially for babies, and reduce our exposure to rice by cooking the rice like pasta, with plenty of extra water poured in after cooking. We found that a 10:1 water-to-rice ratio sounds better.. We can also avoid processed foods sweetened with brown rice syrup.
What else can we do while we wait for federal agencies to put in place some regulatory restrictions?
What if you Eat Lots of fiber foods with rice? Could this help bind some arsenic? apparently not. In one study, the presence of fat seemed to have an effect, but in the wrong direction: Fat increased estimates of arsenic absorption, likely due to the extra bile we release when we eat fatty foods.
We know that the tannic acid in coffee, especially in tea, can happen scale down Iron absorption, so I recommend not drinking tea with meals, but maybe that could happen too discount Arsenic absorption? Yes, maybe at 40 percent or more. The researchers suggested that tannic acid might be beneficial, but they used huge doses – the amount found in 17 cups of tea or 34 cups of coffee – so it’s not really practical.
What do the experts do Suggest? Well, arsenic levels are lower in rice from certain regions, like California and parts of India, so why not mix that up with some higher arsenic rice to make things equal for all? What or what?! How is this a reasonable suggestion?
Another shaky idea, thinking outside the rice area, involves algae Discover In hot springs in Yellowstone National Park contains an enzyme that can volatilize arsenic and turn it into a gas. genetics researchers Engineer This gene is in a rice plant and I’ve managed to remove a little arsenic from it, but the rice industry is reluctant. “subtracted with a choice between [genetically engineered] Rice and rice containing arsenic, consumers may decide that they will not eat Which rice” at all.
A better option? Boiling and drying rice, as with pasta, may lower arsenic levels. Check out the perfect cooking methods in my video How to cook rice to lower arsenic levels.
This is the corresponding article to the eleventh in a series of 13 videos on arsenic in the food supply. If you missed any of the top 10 videos, check out:
You may also be interested in Benefits of turmeric for exposure to arsenic.
Only two main questions remain: Should we adjust our intake of white rice, or should we reduce it? And are there unique benefits to brown rice that justify keeping it in our diet despite its arsenic content? I cover these issues in my last two videos: Is white rice a light yellow or bright red food? And the Do the pros of brown rice outweigh the cons?.
Michael Greer, MD