Although not that many people have celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is very popular around the globe. However, new research suggests that gluten-free foods can be harmful to health as they may contain higher amounts of toxic metals.
A team of researchers from the University of Illinois, Chicago, report that rice flour, a substitute for wheat, tends to accumulate toxic metals able to increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, and neurologic illnesses. Other studies also linked rice to the toxic metals, such as arsenic and mercury.
For their studies, the researchers asked around 7,480 people about their diet habits and discovered that among the 73 people eating gluten-free foods, levels of arsenic in their urine and mercury in blood were more concentrated than in the respondents preferring other diets.