Gluten-free Diet May Increase Risk Of Getting Cancer And Other Chronic Diseases

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Mar 21, 2017 06:56 AM EDT

People who consume gluten-free foods contained life-threatening light metals such as arsenic, mercury, lead and cadmium in their urine and blood. (Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Gluten-free diets are popular among celebrities, but new studies suggested that these are harmful to health. The latest evidence claimed that gluten-free diets contained high levels of toxic metals causing cancer and other chronic illnesses.

According to Mail Online, the United States conducted two major studies about the health risk from these kinds of foods. Researchers discovered that people who are on gluten-free diets are twice as possible to contain arsenic in their urine compared to those who eat gluten.

In addition, consumers of gluten-free foods have 70 percent more mercury in their blood. They also possess high levels of other metals such as lead and cadmium.

Arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium are examples of pollutants called light metals. These are associated with life-threatening illnesses, and scientists are progressively worried about the long-term risks from consuming gluten-free foods.

"Gluten-free diets have become immensely popular, and these findings may have important health implications. The effects of low-level arsenic and mercury exposure from food sources are uncertain but may increase the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases." These were according to the study that was published in the journal Epidemiology.

The contamination comes primarily from rice flour, which is used as an alternative to products such as bread, spaghetti, and cereals. Rice is known to contain high levels of arsenic thus the Food Standards Agency warned parents from giving toddlers rice milk.

The study was led by Maria Argos, assistant professor of epidemiology in the UIC School of Public Health. Alongside with her team, they evaluated data from a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of more than 7,000 participants, EurekAlert reported.

The scientists searched for a connection between gluten-free diets and biomarkers of toxic metals in blood and urine. Out of the survey members, 73 of them with an age ranging from 6 to 80 were reported of eating gluten-free foods. These participants had a higher concentration of arsenic in their urine and mercury in their blood.

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