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Does Following a Gluten-Free, Vegetarian or Vegan Diet Result in Increased Heavy Metals Intake?

Posted by Ted Zava on Friday, 17 March

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A recent study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that people following a gluten-free diet have significantly higher arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury levels in urine and blood than those not following a gluten-free diet. [1] 

Another similar study in 2006 revealed that vegans and vegetarians have an increased cadmium body burden in comparison to those following normal diets. [2] 

So why do gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets increase the risk of heavy metal exposure? Increased consumption of two foods that are staples for all cultures around the world are the primary culprits: rice and green leafy vegetables.

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