Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Low levels of arsenic exposure linked to Type 2 diabetes

Here's something new on the Type 2 diabetes front. An analysis of government data is the first to link low-level arsenic exposure, possibly from drinking water, with Type 2 diabetes. It's a smallish study -- 788 adults' medical tests found a nearly fourfold increase in the risk of diabetes in people with low arsenic concentrations in their urine compared to people with even lower levels. Arsenic studies have been done outside the U.S. and have found this same connection to diabetes. Researchers from Johns Hopkins (authors of this study) are calling for a larger population study to see if results still bear out.

FYI (and something I didn't know before reading this article): Arsenic can get into drinking water naturally when minerals dissolve. It is also an industrial pollutant from coal burning and copper smelting. Utilities use filtration systems to get it out of drinking water. As filtration systems and/or wear out, more arsenic may enter drinking water.

I drink bottled spring water or sometimes water purified through reverse osmosis. I have no idea how much arsenic these contain. Off to google!

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