Arsenic in Brown Rice and Brown Rice Products (news article)

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 16, 2012 at 10:28 PM


I know some like to use brown rice syrup in their baking. Does this however change anyone's stance on the use of rice itself?

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3 Answers



on February 17, 2012
at 07:57 AM

Paul Jaminet commented on arsenic in rice (& other stuff) back in Dec '11; http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=5231 see point [6].
cut & paste below, but the original includes lots of links.

[6] Would you like arsenic with your rice?: A PNAS study finds arsenic in rice, and Jimmy Moore takes it as a reason to avoid rice.

This follows on the heels of other studies measuring arsenic levels in food and beverages. Recently, Dr Michael Greger did a video on Arsenic in Chicken, and The Dr. Oz Show and Consumer Reports reported on high levels of arsenic in fruit juices.

The PNAS study doesn???t finger only rice: in fact anything that contains water has arsenic, and study subjects got three times more arsenic from drinking water than from rice:

"Arsenic exposure through tap water and rice consumption explained 12% and 4%, respectively, of the variability in total urinary arsenic."

Rice grown in the United States has more arsenic than rice grown in Thailand or India. The reason, according to a paper in Environmental Health Perspectives, is that 19th century cotton farmers used arsenic-based pesticides to control boll weevils, and the arsenic remains in land that now grows rice.

Dartmouth professor Tracy Punshon notes that ???brown rice contains higher levels of arsenic than white rice, because arsenic concentrates in the outer layer of rice bran.??? So stick to white rice.

Dr. Punshon doesn???t go as far as Jimmy:

???We don???t want to stop people from eating rice, because a rice-based, sort-of Asian diet is much better for your overall health than, say, eating McDonald???s and fries every day,??? says Punshon, who has tested different varieties of rice for arsenic???.

???We don???t want to scare people off rice,??? Punshon says. ???It???s still a healthy food.???

Of course, the toxicity of arsenic depends on the dose. Rice accounted for 4% of dietary arsenic in the New Hampshire subjects, and eating a low-carb diet with white rather than brown rice are two steps that will help keep arsenic intake down.

As always, it???s good to remember the rule ???Eat Paleo, not toxic???: diversification of plant food sources will help keep toxin levels down. That???s true even for safe starches.



on February 24, 2012
at 01:33 PM

have you watched the caltons new video on arsenic in sausage on Dr Oz's 99 diet foods list.


on February 17, 2012
at 04:17 AM

I really like green tea with roast brown rice. Taste strange at first but grows on you. Once or twice a week shouldn't be too bad.

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