People on a gluten free diet are at an increased risk of being exposed to toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury, study suggests.
-These toxic metals have been found to be detrimental for human health and can cause cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurological effects.
-In the study, the researchers analyzed data of more than 7,000 participants in a large national health survey conducted in USA from 2009 to 2014. The participants were aged between 6 to 80 years of age.
-Of the total, about 73 participants were found to be on a gluten free diet and were reported with higher concentrations of arsenic in their urine and mercury in their blood.
-The study revealed that patients who were on a gluten free diet had almost twice the arsenic levels and 70% higher levels of mercury in the blood compared to those who took gluten based diet.
-Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, is replaced with rice flour in a gluten free diet. Studies suggest that rice flour has a tendency of accumulating toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury from the soil, water or fertilizers, thereby posing danger to the human health.
-Further studies are yet to validate the consequences of having a gluten free diet across a population.