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Consuming rice may put infants at higher urinary arsenic risk

Beware, if you are feeding your infant with rice or rice products! According to a new study, infants who eat rice and rice products are likely to have higher urinary arsenic concentrations than those who do not consume any type of rice.

The findings based on urine samples showed that arsenic concentrations were higher among infants who ate rice or foods mixed with rice compared with infants who ate no rice. Also, the total urinary arsenic concentrations were twice as high among infants who ate white or brown rice compared with those who ate no rice.

The highest urinary arsenic concentrations were seen among infants who ate baby rice cereal. Urinary arsenic concentrations were nearly double for those who ate rice snacks compared with infants who ate no rice.

"Our results indicate that consumption of rice and rice products increases infants' exposure to arsenic and that regulation could reduce exposure during this critical phase of development," said lead researcher Margaret R Karagas, from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in US.

Further, other dietary sources of arsenic, such as apple juice, may further contribute to urinary arsenic concentrations. Arsenic exposure in utero and early in life may be associated with adverse effects on foetal growth, and on infant and child immune and neuro development outcomes, the researchers warned.

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