is a poison we associate with murders in old mystery novels. But
arsenic may be hiding on your breakfast or dinner table, silently
hurting your family's health. High levels of arsenic can be found in
rice and rice products, infant formula, processed fruit juices, and
How did arsenic get into our food? Naturally occurring minerals in the
soil can break down into elements including arsenic. However, most of
the arsenic entering our food supply is from agricultural practices. We
used arsenic laden pesticides for years. Even though these pesticides
were banned in the 1980s, the arsenic remains in the soil. We also feed
arsenic-laden drugs and animal by-products to animals that produce the
manure we use for fertilizer.
Regular exposure to low doses of arsenic can cause a variety of
cancers, including bladder, skin and lung cancer. It is also associated
with prostate, kidney and liver cancer. It can also contribute to
diabetes, cardiovascular disease and reproductive problems. Studies
found it can also weaken the immune system.
Ray Ilg, ND
Raynette Ilg, N.D., is the owner of
Branch Wellness Center in South Elgin, IL. A Naturopath who earned a
Bachelors of Science in Biological Medicine and then a Doctor of
Naturopathic Medicine from National University of Health Sciences, she
employs Nutritional Guidance, Herbal Medicine, Hydrotherapy, and
Homeopathy in her clinic. Dr. Ray can be contacted via her website,
Olive Branch Wellness Center
and rice products are one of the main sources of arsenic sneaking into
our diet. I advise my patients to reduce their consumption of grains
and carbohydrates for many reasons, but am now adding arsenic as a
reason to limit rice consumption to a minimum.
Rice flour and rice syrup are used heavily in "gluten free"foods, while
rice "milk"is often found in dairy-free foods. This means that people
trying to avoid common allergens like gluten and dairy, may be trading
one health risk for another by consuming more rice products.
The level of arsenic in rice-based foods poses an even bigger risk for
infants and children. Many parents use rice cereal as a first solid
food for babies. But if an infant eats rice cereal for three meals a
day, they are over their weekly limit for arsenic in just two days!
Consumer Reports advises parents to limit their children's consumption
of rice cereal, rice milk, rice cakes and rice pastas.
types of rice have different levels of arsenic, depending on where
they're grown. For example, sushi rice grown in the United States has
relatively low levels of arsenic, which is good news if you're a sushi
fan. White Basmati from India, Pakistan and California also tested low
for arsenic. Brown rice has a whopping 80% more arsenic than white
rice, because arsenic accumulates in the outer layers of the grain.
(The best choice for brown rice with lower arsenic levels is brown
basmati rice from India, Pakistan or California.)
If you are looking for another reason to avoid the refined carbs in
rice, add arsenic to the list! Use veggies or high protein whole grains
like quinoa or millet in place of rice whenever you can.
Olive Branch Wellness Center 630-370-7290
The Monthly "Vita - Mini"
for us, vitamin B13 is manufactured by our body's intestinal flora. Its
common chemical name is orotic acid. B13 is primarily used to
metabolize folic acid and vitamin B12. It also assists us in using
essential nutrients like calcium and magnesium by bonding with them to
form orotate salts. Compared to other forms of these minerals, calcium
orotate and magnesium orotate are more easily transported from the gut
into the blood stream. There, they later separate from the orotate to
be used by the body.
B13 is used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), and in certain
forms of heart and liver disease. It's also used in anti-aging
medicine, and gives health to hair, skin and nails. Orotic acid in the
urine can also be a marker in diagnosing liver malfunction or bleeding
in the digestive tract.
Deficiencies in vitamin B13 are rare, but when they happen, they can
cause liver disorders and cell degeneration. The best external sources
of vitamin B13 are beef, whey and root vegetables.
Easy Paleo Shrimp and Avocado Salad
1 lb. cooked frozen shrimp, thawed
2 avocados, diced
2-3 T fresh cilantro, chopped
3 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. finely ground sea salt
3 T olive oil
6 green onions, thickly sliced
shrimp thaw overnight in the fridge. Put thawed shrimp into a
colander placed in the sink and let the shrimp drain well.
Whisk together the lime juice, cumin, and salt then whisk in the olive
oil a little at a time to make the dressing. Cut up the avocado
into bite-sized chunks, put in a bowl large enough to hold all the
ingredients, and toss with about half the dressing.
Cut the green onions into thick slices. If the shrimp is still
wet, pat dry with paper towels. Add the green onions, cilantro,
and drained shrimp to the avocados and gently combine, adding as much
additional dressing as you prefer. Season to taste with more salt