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Going Gluten-Free? A Hidden Health Risk Revealed!

gluten-free risk

Switching to a gluten-free diet is nothing new – and our supermarket shelves are now stacked from floor to ceiling with brands eager to cash in.

As a known inflammatory food, wheat is one of the first things an integrative physician might recommend cutting out of your diet to try to solve bloating and other digestive woes, says Well+Good.

Others have jumped on the bandwagon because it not only sounds trendy, but it can actually help you lose weight.

That’s why the latest research on the downside to gluten-free eating is a little surprising, to say the least.

Published in Epidemiology, a new study finds that gluten-free eaters have higher levels of arsenic and mercury in their blood.

The reason? It could have to do with riceThe New York Times reports.

Maria Argos, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the study’s senior researcher, notes that those who avoid gluten tend to eat more rice and foods with rice syrup as a sweetener—and the grain actually absorbs metals from water, soil, and fertiliser.

Though they aren’t toxic levels—and everyone has some amount of mercury and arsenic in their blood—the levels among the gluten-free participants in the study were higher than what’s considered normal.

So, going gluten-free itself is not a danger. But relying too heavily on rice as a replacement for wheat possibly could be, researchers say.

“The health impacts at this level of exposure are unknown,” Dr. Argos adds.

“But people should be aware of what they are eating. They are potentially consuming much more rice than they realise.”

Written by James Graham

With over 20 years as a journalist and TV producer, The Carousel Editor James Graham has a wealth of experience covering the full media spectrum.

James has a formidable reputation as a talented media veteran and worked as a reporter, script writer and as the producer of the TV documentary The Road To Athens.

He has worked across newspapers, radio and the biggest flagship magazine brands in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, James was the News Director at Woman's Day and New Idea.

Whether filing celebrity exclusives, or some of the biggest real-life splashes of recent years, James’ career has always been at the frontline of mainstream media.

When not in the Ed’s chair, you’ll find him at Royal Randwick, his beloved Long Reef Golf Club on the Northern Beaches – or visiting his mum in his native New Zealand.

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