I love Hijiki seaweed, but recently read that it contains high levels of arsenic. How bad is it to consume occasionally, and why are the arsenic levels higher than in other seaweeds? It contains so many other great health benefits it's a shame it has high levels of arsenic.
asked bymonaLisa (1478)
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on March 14, 2012
at 05:33 AM
Hijiki seaweed is known to contain inorganic arsenic (which is more toxic and carcinogenic than organic arsenic). But several food agencies (Canada, Japan, UK, New Zealand) have advised against any consumption even though having it on occasion is unlikely to pose serious health risks. Seaweed that don't contain inorganic arsenic: arame, nori, kombu, and wakame. I don't know why it has higher levels of inorganic arsenic. Arsenic is found naturally in the soil, air and water so it's impossible to avoid it completely.
Here's a Japanese study done on hijiki and arsenic poisoning: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aoc.1085/pdf