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Alcohol And Brussels Sprouts Linked To Higher Levels Of Arsenic

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Do you drink alcohol and eat Brussels sprouts?  You might be at a higher risk for arsenic concentration, according to a new research study released by Dartmouth College.

Their findings reveal that diet alone can be a significant source of arsenic regardless of other points of origin.

Researchers asked 852 participants about their average consumption over the previous year of 120 different foods, including dairy, fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, breads, beverages and baked goods. They found arsenic in toenail clippings is most strongly linked with consumption of alcohol — especially beer for men and white wine for women — and Brussels sprouts. Those who drank more alcohol and ate more Brussels sprouts had more arsenic in their toenail clippings, which makes sense because alcoholic beverages can have higher arsenic content and are known to interfere with the metabolic pathways that detoxify arsenic. The findings support recent studies that show high concentrations of arsenic in Brussels sprouts and related vegetables because arsenic binds to the sulfur-containing compounds that give them their characteristic odors.

Researchers also found increased toenail arsenic in people who eat dark meat fish, which include tuna steaks, mackerel, salmon, sardines, bluefish and swordfish. Fish generally contain a form of arsenic that is thought to safely pass through the human body without being metabolized, but dark meat fish also contain arsenic compounds that can be metabolized.

To learn more about the study, click here.

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