Over the past several years, gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular.
"With the increasing popularity of gluten-free diets, these findings may have important health implications, since the health effects of low-level arsenic and mercury exposure from food sources are uncertain but may increase the risk for cancer and other chronic diseases", said study author Maria Argos, assistant professor of epidemiology in the UIC School of Public Health, per a report from Bustle.
And the figure is even higher in the United States, with a quarter saying they had consumed such foods in 2015 - a 67 per cent increase in two years. The protein is most commonly found in rye, wheat, and barley.
Rice flour, used to replace wheat, rye, and barley in gluten-free foods, is known to accumulate toxic metals like arsenic and mercury from fertilizers, soil, and water.
For the study, researchers from the University of IL at Chicago, University of Chicago, University of MI and Dartmouth University looked at 7,471 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 2009 and 2014.
For the study, authors surveyed about 7,480 people about their diet habits, and found that among the 73 people who reported eating gluten free, levels of arsenic in their urine and mercury in their blood were more concentrated than that of the other survey respondents.
Physicians recommend gluten-free diets to people suffering from celiac disease characterized by an uncontrollable immune response to gluten. These people also had 70% higher levels of mercury.
The experts note that more research is needed in order to find out more about the risks related to food-based exposure to mercury and arsenic. According to proponents of the trend, gluten-free foods can decrease bloating and promote weight loss. Do you think that gluten free food is unsafe?
While traces of mercury was nearly 70 per cent greater in those restricted to a gluten-free diet. Even celebrities Miley Cyrus, Kourtney Kardashian, and Gwyneth Paltrow have touted the diet as a path to a healthier lifestyle.
A new study focuses on the intake of toxic metals from gluten free products. And of course, that's fine; whatever anyone eats is their own business, whether they've received a diagnosis that makes eating gluten free a necessity or whether they simply choose to forgo gluten because they feel better doing so.
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