Eating Rice Products Exposes Infants to Arsenic — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 26, 2016

Eating Rice Products Exposes Infants to Arsenic

By Cara Adler

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

Infants who eat foods containing rice have higher urinary levels of arsenic than infants who eat no rice, according to a New Hampshire birth cohort study in Pediatrics. (Prior studies suggest that exposure to arsenic early in life may have adverse developmental effects.)

Among over 700 infants whose parents completed dietary interviews, 80% started eating rice cereal within the first year. Researchers collected urine samples at age 12 months from 129 infants, of whom roughly half had eaten rice or rice products (e.g., puffed rice snacks) within the prior 2 days. Total urinary arsenic concentrations were significantly higher in the infants who had eaten rice or rice products than in those who had not.

Dr. F. Bruder Stapleton of NEJM Journal Watch Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine concludes: "This study shows an association between urinary arsenic concentrations and ingestion of rice products. While not proving causation, the results support the FDA recommendations for infants: don't provide rice as the sole grain and use rice products in moderation."

Reader Comments (1)

beth Nurse/NP/PA, Family Medicine/General Practice, community medical services

Is that plain rice or rice products marketed for babies such as rice cereal?
My children never ate that stuff, they just had real rice when they were ready for it and not all the time.

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.