In a surprising revelation, a new clinical trial has revealed that people who frequently eat gluten-free diet are more vulnerable to Arsenic and Mercury – two life-threatening chemicals. The study, conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago has detected that going gluten-free may make people highly exposed to higher levels of arsenic and mercury, which eventually may cause multiple serious diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurological effects.

As highlighted by the research paper, since past couple of decades, gluten-free diets are getting more attention from the residents of the U.S. A gluten-free diet is usually prescribed to the people, suffering from celiac disease. But some non-confirmed medical sources also say that eating gluten-free reduces inflammation. However, this view is yet to be clinically confirmed. Though there are less than 1% of Americans, who have been diagnosed with celiac disease the popularity of gluten-free diet is becoming out-of-control gradually.

A team of scientists from UIC School of Public Health scrutinised the database, collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that 73 out of 7,471 study participants are following a gluten-free diet. In the survey, scientists took the participants ageing between 6 years and 80 years old into account and conducted the study between 2009 and 2014.

After concluding the survey, they found that people who eat a gluten-free diet have twofold more levels of arsenic in the urine and around 70% higher levels of mercury in the blood compared to those who did not prefer gluten-free diet.

Gluten is a major protein found in rice, wheat, rye and barley and hence often used as a substitute for wheat flour. Rice is characterised by bioaccumulate certain toxic metals, together with arsenic and mercury, coming from soil, fertilisers, and sometimes from the water.

The study appeared in science journal ‘Epidemiology’.

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