Definition

Arsenic is a naturally occurring (metal) element that is toxic at small, yet significant levels. Despite its toxicity, it is commonly found in the body in trace amounts. Arsenic is part of many naturally occurring compounds found in soils, sediments, and groundwater.

Health considerations

Low level and chronic exposure to arsenic can cause nausea, vomiting, and cardiovascular issues, and is associated with increased cancer risk, lung damage, and possible problems in pregnancy and brain development. Arsenic exposure negatively affects the gut microbiome and its metabolism.

Keep in mind

Brown rice will typically contain more arsenic relative to its polished white rice counterpart, as arsenic accumulates within the portion of the grain that is removed to form white rice. Organic brown rice syrup is an increasingly popular sweetener that has been found to contain arsenic.

May be found in

Seafood, rice, brown rice, fruit juices, foods sweetened with organic brown rice syrup (including infant formulas, cereal bars, cereals)

References

Environmental Health Perspectives

Environmental Health Perspectives 2

Environmental Health Perspectives 3

The Journal of Nutrition

Food Standards Agency

EUROPA

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