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by Milos Pokimica ND

by Milos Pokimica ND

Learn About Nutrition

Arsenic exposure and rice consumption- The most toxic grain of them all

"From all known food sources rice absorbs the highest concentration of arsenic among all commonly eaten foods."

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that is found in water, air, food, and soil. It is also used in pesticides, different chemicals, tobacco, wood preservatives, in metal mining.

Most exposure comes from water. The water becomes contaminated underground by rocks that release the arsenic. It can be found in groundwater, drinking water, lakes or reservoirs, wells.

Some countries are more affected than others and some areas are more affected than others. Arsenic in drinking water is a really big problem in many countries around the world. China has a big problem with arsenic water pollution. India, Bangladesh, Chile, Vietnam, Taiwan, and the United States. (1) In some parts of the world the water supply is so polluted that WHO estimates are that for example in a highly affected area of Bangladesh, more than 21.4% of all deaths were attributed to high arsenic levels in drinking water (2). The problem with this toxin is that it does not have an odor, taste, or color.

arsenic-in-US-soil
Arsenic in US soil

Arsenic may also be found in foods, including rice and some fish. It can also enter the body by breathing dust containing arsenic, or through the skin, though this is not a major route of exposure.

Although top predatory fish is a significant source of exposure, from all known food sources rice absorbs the highest concentration among all commonly eaten foods. It contains between 10 to 20 times more arsenic for example than other cereal crops.

Because rice grows in flooded conditions arsenic in the soil is released and more readily available. That released arsenic will be absorbed by the rice plant, and some of it will end up in rice grains. Because arsenic is already naturally found in the soil, it will be absorbed regardless of farming practices. If there is the pollution of water even if the rice is grown organically the concentrations will be high.

High exposures of people are reported in different areas of the world, especially in parts of Asia and South America. China and Bangladesh have a problem with arsenic leaching to drinking water and are countries that traditionally eat a rice dominated diet. In some parts of China and Bangladesh drinking water is thoroughly contaminated with high levels of arsenic. From 2004, in the EU a stricter precautionary standard for maximum total arsenic of 10 µg/l in drinking water came into effect but to be fair EU never had a problem like China so for EU it is easy to adopt strict standards where there are no problems in the first place.

Like any other poison, children are more exposed because they will typically consume more per unit of body weight as well as having more particular eating patterns and limited dietary choices. For instance, rice is used in many first foods. If we calculate dietary arsenic exposure in children per kilogram of body weight, it is estimated to be about on average 2- to 3-fold that of adults. High levels are found in most of the rice-based foods and drinks widely used for infants and young children. Low levels of arsenic impact fetus or children on different levels like growth development, immune development, they impact IQ development as well. In 2004 one study was done in Bangladesh that showed that children that were exposed to arsenic in drinking water had much-lowered scores on standardized tests. In 2013 one study showed that pregnant women who were exposed to even tiny amounts of arsenic in drinking water had children that had significantly more chance of developing respiratory problems. In Sweden, their National Food Agency (SNFA) has an official recommendation that children under the age of six do not consume rice in any form especially rice cakes. Rice cakes have more arsenic than any other rice product, and a recommendation for an adult is also to cut down on consumption of rice cakes if they eat rice on regular basis. Children should have a balanced diet based on different grains as a source of carbohydrates and infants, and young children should avoid eating rice at all especially rice cakes and rice drinks. Prolonged exposure to arsenic in adults is associated with an increase in heart disease as well as lung, skin, and bladder cancers.

arsenic BabyFood
Arsenic in Baby Food

There are steps to take if we want to eat rice to lover the arsenic content, but it will vary depending on the type of rice, the way it was processed, the condition and place where it was grown, and the way it was cooked.

The highest concentration is in the bran. Rice bran should not be eaten at all so any product that was made out of it, for example, commercial rice milk would have higher concentrations.

There are methods of cooking to lower the level of finished rice.

The first method is to soak. When you soak the rice it will absorb water but also that will open up the grains structure, so some of the arsenic that is water-soluble will leach out from the rice to the liquid. When you soak the rice or beans throw away the water. Do not use it.

Also when the rice is cooked some of the arsenic will leach out to the water as well. So again do not let the water evaporate because the arsenic will be still in there. This is the traditional way of cooking. Cook the rice in the proper amount of water and then throw it away.

To recap, soak, drain, rinse with fresh water, cook with fresh water, and rinse again.

Basmati rice tends to contain less arsenic than other types, and brown rice tends to contain more because a big chunk of the arsenic is in the husk.

With just regular cooking of rice in a rice cooker or cooking to dryness without soaking 84% of arsenic will remain.

When one part of rice with five parts water is used, only 43% of the arsenic initially detected in the rice will remain.

The best method is to soak then rinse then 5 to 1 cooking. That method will eliminate more than 80% of arsenic. And because arsenic occurs naturally, buying organic doesn’t generally help. Organic produce consumption does not necessarily impact the levels of metals or POPs. If there is arsenic in the soil, it is still “organic” produce.








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Sources :

Passages selected from a book: “Go Vegan? Review of Science: Part 1” [Milos Pokimica]

  1. The Broad Scope of Health Effects From Chronic Arsenic Exposure: Update on a Worldwide Public Health Problem doi: 10.1289/ehp.1205875. Epub 2013 Jan 3.
  2. Arsenic exposure from drinking water, and all-cause and chronic-disease mortalities in Bangladesh (HEALS): a prospective cohort study. Argos M, Kalra T, Rathouz PJ, Chen Y, Pierce B, Parvez F, et al. The Lancet. 2010;376(9737):252-8.

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Are we omnivores, carnivores or herbivores? It’s important for animals to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat? Dr. Sofia Pineda Ochoa discusses this often misunderstood topic.

The first part of the transcript is included below for reference, and the full transcript (which is too long to have here) is available on our website, along with sources and credits, at this link: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores/

[The following transcript is an approximation of the audio in  video. To hear the audio and see the accompanying visuals, please play the video.]

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

Are humans herbivores, carnivores or omnivores? It’s very important for a given animal to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat?

When looking at a species to determine what they are in terms of carnivore, omnivore or herbivore, we can look at their behavior or we can look at their biology. From a behavioral standpoint, humans behave as omnivores because we observe many humans in their behavior eating a wide variety of both animal and plant-based foods. Biologically, however, from a physiologic and anatomic standpoint, it’s a different story.

Dr. Williams C. Roberts from the National Institutes of Health and Baylor University — who is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology and one of the most prominent cardiologists in the world with over 1,500 publications in peer reviewed medical journals — summarized our answer very nicely. He wrote:

“Although most of us conduct our lives as omnivores, in that we eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. The appendages of carnivores are claws; those of herbivores are hands or hooves. The teeth of carnivores are sharp; those of herbivores are mainly flat (for grinding). The intestinal tract of carnivores is short (3 times body length); that of herbivores, long (12 times body length). Body cooling of carnivores is done by panting; herbivores, by sweating. Carnivores drink fluids by lapping; herbivores, by sipping. Carnivores produce their own vitamin C, whereas herbivores obtain it from their diet. Thus, humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.”

That’s right. Humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores or omnivores — because omnivores, like bears and raccoons, actually retain most of the carnivorous characteristics, so that they are still able to digest and hunt their prey, and do so effectively.

[Remainder of transcript, along with sources and credits, available here: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores]

Are we omnivores, carnivores or herbivores? It’s important for animals to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat? Dr. Sofia Pineda Ochoa discusses this often misunderstood topic.

The first part of the transcript is included below for reference, and the full transcript (which is too long to have here) is available on our website, along with sources and credits, at this link: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores/

[The following transcript is an approximation of the audio in video. To hear the audio and see the accompanying visuals, please play the video.]

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

Are humans herbivores, carnivores or omnivores? It’s very important for a given animal to eat what they are physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. So, what are humans designed to eat?

When looking at a species to determine what they are in terms of carnivore, omnivore or herbivore, we can look at their behavior or we can look at their biology. From a behavioral standpoint, humans behave as omnivores because we observe many humans in their behavior eating a wide variety of both animal and plant-based foods. Biologically, however, from a physiologic and anatomic standpoint, it’s a different story.

Dr. Williams C. Roberts from the National Institutes of Health and Baylor University — who is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology and one of the most prominent cardiologists in the world with over 1,500 publications in peer reviewed medical journals — summarized our answer very nicely. He wrote:

“Although most of us conduct our lives as omnivores, in that we eat flesh as well as vegetables and fruits, human beings have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores. The appendages of carnivores are claws; those of herbivores are hands or hooves. The teeth of carnivores are sharp; those of herbivores are mainly flat (for grinding). The intestinal tract of carnivores is short (3 times body length); that of herbivores, long (12 times body length). Body cooling of carnivores is done by panting; herbivores, by sweating. Carnivores drink fluids by lapping; herbivores, by sipping. Carnivores produce their own vitamin C, whereas herbivores obtain it from their diet. Thus, humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores.”

That’s right. Humans have characteristics of herbivores, not carnivores or omnivores — because omnivores, like bears and raccoons, actually retain most of the carnivorous characteristics, so that they are still able to digest and hunt their prey, and do so effectively.

[Remainder of transcript, along with sources and credits, available here: http://meatyourfuture.com/2015/09/herbivores-carnivores]

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Are humans omnivores, carnivores or herbivores?

GoVeganWay 351K views September 4, 2021 12:32 am

How much is a human life worth? An innovative cancer therapy promises to save lives. But it is extremely expensive. Will the insurance companies pay for it? What is the manufacturer's return on investment? And do lobbyists drive up prices?

In 2018, the Kymriah gene therapy was approved in Europe. Immune cells are taken from the patient, genetically reprogrammed into cancer killer cells and returned to the patient as an infusion. The results of the Kymriah study only cover a period of 18 months. In 40 percent of patients, lymph gland cancer does not return during this time. It is not clear whether Kymriah has a long-term effect. The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis offers the new therapy - it costs 370,000 Swiss francs per patient. Health insurance companies are not usually prepared to pay that much and are complaining about a lack of transparency. 

But the killer cells were not invented in the Novartis laboratories, but at a US university. When Professor Carl June started his research almost 30 years ago, no pharmaceutical company was interested. It was only thanks to funding from tax money and donations that he was able to develop Kymriah at all. After a story went around the world about a girl with leukemia whose cancer disappeared thanks to Kymriah, the pharmaceutical company contacted Novartis and secured exclusive marketing rights. To launch Kymriah on the market, Novartis funded the necessary clinical trials. It's not an isolated incident: Over 60% of newly approved medicines in the US are developed by small biotech companies or universities. Pharmaceutical companies today frequently act as capital providers, cooperating with universities or buying up biotech companies. 

A paradigm shift has taken place in the pharmaceutical industry: Whereas high drug prices used to be justified by research costs, the industry is now using the value of gained lifetime to argue its case. 

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How much is a human life worth? An innovative cancer therapy promises to save lives. But it is extremely expensive. Will the insurance companies pay for it? What is the manufacturer's return on investment? And do lobbyists drive up prices?

In 2018, the Kymriah gene therapy was approved in Europe. Immune cells are taken from the patient, genetically reprogrammed into cancer killer cells and returned to the patient as an infusion. The results of the Kymriah study only cover a period of 18 months. In 40 percent of patients, lymph gland cancer does not return during this time. It is not clear whether Kymriah has a long-term effect. The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis offers the new therapy - it costs 370,000 Swiss francs per patient. Health insurance companies are not usually prepared to pay that much and are complaining about a lack of transparency.

But the killer cells were not invented in the Novartis laboratories, but at a US university. When Professor Carl June started his research almost 30 years ago, no pharmaceutical company was interested. It was only thanks to funding from tax money and donations that he was able to develop Kymriah at all. After a story went around the world about a girl with leukemia whose cancer disappeared thanks to Kymriah, the pharmaceutical company contacted Novartis and secured exclusive marketing rights. To launch Kymriah on the market, Novartis funded the necessary clinical trials. It's not an isolated incident: Over 60% of newly approved medicines in the US are developed by small biotech companies or universities. Pharmaceutical companies today frequently act as capital providers, cooperating with universities or buying up biotech companies.

A paradigm shift has taken place in the pharmaceutical industry: Whereas high drug prices used to be justified by research costs, the industry is now using the value of gained lifetime to argue its case.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

DW Documentary gives you knowledge beyond the headlines. Watch high-class documentaries from German broadcasters and international production companies. Meet intriguing people, travel to distant lands, get a look behind the complexities of daily life and build a deeper understanding of current affairs and global events. Subscribe and explore the world around you with DW Documentary.

Subscribe to:
DW Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW39zufHfsuGgpLviKh297Q?sub_confirmation=1#

DW Documental (Spanish): https://www.youtube.com/dwdocumental
DW Documentary وثائقية دي دبليو: (Arabic): https://www.youtube.com/dwdocarabia

For more visit:
http://www.dw.com/en/tv/docfilm/s-3610
Instagram:
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Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/dw.stories

DW netiquette policy: https://p.dw.com/p/MF1G

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The power of the pharmaceutical companies | DW Documentary

GoVeganWay 648.6K views September 4, 2021 12:24 am

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