Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Health Risks from Arsenic in Rice Exposed

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Bookmark and Share
High levels of arsenic in rice have been shown to be associated with elevated genetic damage in humans, a new study has found.

Over the last few years, researchers have reported high concentrations of arsenic in several rice-growing regions around the world.

Now, University of Manchester scientists, working in collaboration with scientists at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata, have proven a link between rice containing high levels of arsenic and chromosomal damage, as measured by micronuclei* in urothelial cells, in humans consuming rice as a staple.

The researchers discovered that people in rural West Bengal eating rice as a staple with greater than 0.2 mg/kg arsenic showed higher frequencies of micronuclei than those consuming rice with less than this concentration of arsenic.

The study, published in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports, looked at the frequency of ‘micronuclei’ – a tell-tale sign of chromosomal damage  (that has been shown by others previously to be linked to cancer) – by screening more than 400,000 individual cells extracted from urine samples from volunteers.

The team, funded by the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), chose a study population with relatively similar dietary and socio-economic status that was not otherwise exposed to arsenic, for example, through drinking water.

They demonstrated that the trend of greater genetic damage with increasing arsenic in rice was observed for both men and women, for tobacco-users and non-users, and for those from three different locations within the study area. The pattern observed was broadly similar to that previously seen for people exposed to arsenic through drinking high arsenic well waters, which has caused devastating health impacts, including cancers, in many parts of the world.

The authors say their work raises considerable concerns about health impacts of consuming high arsenic rice as a staple, particularly by people with relatively poor nutritional status – perhaps as many as a few hundred million people. How directly relevant the results are to people in the UK, with a generally lower consumption of rice and better nutritional status, remains to be fully determined but is an obvious focus for further research.

Professor David Polya, who led the Manchester team in the University’s School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, said: “Although concerns about arsenic in rice have been raised for some time now, to our knowledge, this is the first time a link between consumption of arsenic-bearing rice and genetic damage has been demonstrated. As such, it vindicates increasing concerns expressed by the European Food Safety Authority and others about the adequacy of regulation of arsenic in rice.

“In the absence of contamination, rice is an easily stored food that provides essential energy, vitamins and fibre to billions of people around the world, but a small proportion of rice contains arsenic at concentrations at which we have observed significant genetic damage in people who consume it as a staple food. We hope that our work will encourage efforts to introduce regulatory standards for arsenic in food, and particularly in rice, which are more consistent and protective of human health.”

Dr Ashok K Giri, who led the Indian research team, added: “Although high arsenic in rice is a potential threat to human health, there should not be any panic about the consequences, particularly as the health risks arise from long-term chronic exposure. We can avoid high arsenic rice by taking proper mitigation strategies for rice cultivation; moreover, one CSIR institute in India has already identified a number of Indian rice varieties which accumulate lower concentrations of arsenic, so we can easily address future human health risks with proper mitigation strategies Results of this study will not only help to understand the toxic effects caused by this human carcinogen but also these results will help the scientists and regulatory authorities to design further extensive research to set improved regulatory values for arsenic in rice, particularly for those billions of people who consume 10 to 50% rice in their daily diet.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Honey’s Potential to Save Lives
The healing powers of honey have been known for thousands of years.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
New Discovery Sheds Light on Disease Risk
Gaps between genes interact to influence the risk of acquiring disease.
Tuesday, December 01, 2015
Treatment for Rare Bleeding Disorder is Effective
Researchers in Manchester have demonstrated for the first time the relative safety and effectiveness of treatment, eltrombopag, in children with persistent or chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), as part of an international duo of studies.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
National Graphene Institute Reveals First Results With Industrial Partner
The first official experimental results since the National Graphene Institute (NGI) opened in March have been produced. The novel collaboration between industry and academia is exploring the production of graphene in the first stage of a long-term project.
Friday, October 09, 2015
Developing a Gel that Mimics Human Breast for Cancer Research
Scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Nottingham have been funded to develop a gel that will match many of the biological structures of human breast tissue, to advance cancer research and reduce animal testing.
Thursday, October 08, 2015
New Leukemia Gene Stops Blood Cells ‘Growing Up’
University of Manchester scientists have identified a gene – FOXC1 – that, if switched on, causes more aggressive cancer in a fifth of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients, according to a Cancer Research UK study.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Early Detection of Lung Cancer
The University of Manchester has signed a collaboration agreement with Abcodia to perform proteomics studies on a cohort of non-small cell lung cancer cases from the UKCTOCS biobank, with the aim of discovering new blood-based biomarkers for earlier detection of the disease.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Molecular Clues to Serious Illnesses to be Explored
The University of Manchester is to lead a new £2.9 million molecular pathology research project to improve diagnosis and treatment of non-cancerous diseases within the NHS.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Molecular Clues to Serious Illnesses to be Explored
The University of Manchester is to lead a new £2.9 million molecular pathology research project to improve diagnosis and treatment of non-cancerous diseases within the NHS.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Mould Unlocks New Route to Biofuels
Scientists at The University of Manchester have made an important discovery that forms the basis for the development of new applications in biofuels and the sustainable manufacturing of chemicals.
Monday, July 06, 2015
Gene Variants Show Potential In Predicting Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Outcomes
Arthritis Research UK-funded scientists at The University of Manchester have identified a new way in which genotyping can be used to predict disease outcomes among sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Potential For Prediction Of Progression For Early Form Of Breast Cancer
Scientists in Manchester have identified a way to potentially predict which patients with an early form of breast cancer will experience disease progression.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Surprising Finding In Stroke Research
Scientists at The University of Manchester have made an important new discovery about the brain’s immune system that could lead to potential new treatments for stroke and other related conditions.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Current Detection of Gene Mutations Misses People At High Risk Of Cancer
Research on the BRCA gene mutation in the Jewish population shows that the current process of identifying people misses half the people who have the mutation and are at risk of developing cancer.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
‘Liquid Biopsy’ Offers New Way to Track Lung Cancer
Scientists have shown how a lung cancer patient’s blood sample could be used to monitor and predict their response to treatment.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Scientific News
Releasing Cancer Cells for Better Analysis
A new device developed at the University of Michigan could provide a non-invasive way to monitor the progress of an advanced cancer treatment.
Releasing Cancer Cells for Better Analysis
A new device developed at the University of Michigan could provide a non-invasive way to monitor the progress of an advanced cancer treatment.
Apricot Kernels Pose Risk of Cyanide Poisoning
Eating more than three small raw apricot kernels, or less than half of one large kernel, in a serving can exceed safe levels. Toddlers consuming even one small apricot kernel risk being over the safe level.
Cell Transplant Treats Parkinson’s in Mice
A University of Wisconsin—Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell.
Understanding Female HIV Transmission
Glowing virus maps points of entry through entire female reproductive tract for first time.
Genetic Markers Influence Addiction
Differences in vulnerability to cocaine addiction and relapse linked to both inherited traits and epigenetics, U-M researchers find.
Lab-on-a-Chip for Detecting Glucose
By integrating microfluidic chips with fiber optic biosensors, researchers in China are creating ultrasensitive lab-on-a-chip devices to detect glucose levels.
A lncRNA Regulates Repair of DNA Breaks in Breast Cancer Cells
Findings give "new insight" into biology of tough-to-treat breast cancer.
COPD Linked to Increased Bacterial Invasion
Persistent inflammation in COPD may result from a defect in the immune system that allows airway bacteria to invade deeper into the lung.
Detection of HPV in First-Void Urine
Similar sensitivity of HPV test on first void urine sample compared to cervical smear.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!