Arsenic in the Gluten-Free Diet - Share Your Questions or Ideas

Join a conversation with celiac scientists and our community

Celiac Disease Foundation has partnered with Dartmouth College researchers to plan a study on arsenic and the gluten free diet. The research team is in the beginning stages of this study — identifying key questions and prioritizing areas of research. We are applying for funding to conduct this study, but we can't move forward without your input! Your ideas will help select and clarify the research questions to make sure we address issues that are most important to you. As background, here are some Q&As about arsenic. Join us to:

Comment on the proposed research questions below.

  • How important are they to you or others affected by Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?
  • Suggest changes that would make the research questions stronger, more useful, and more relevant to your experience.

"Like" to express support for ideas that you think are great and useful.

Share other ideas about celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Ideas (10 total)

Displaying 1 - 10

Research Question: Removing arsenic from the body

Ann Chang's picture

Posted on behalf of Dartmouth College researchers. 

Take a look at the research question below. Is this an important topic to you? Why or why not? Other ideas about this topic?

Proposed Research Question: What are effective ways to help people with celiac disease get the nutrients they need to efficiently remove arsenic from their body?

If arsenic levels are higher in people with celiac disease, this topic will help us understand how can we help decrease these levels while maintaining a gluten free diet.

Research Question: Arsenic levels with a gluten-free diet

Ann Chang's picture

Posted on behalf of Dartmouth College researchers.

Take a look at the research question below. Is this an important topic to you? Why or why not? Other ideas about this topic?

Proposed Research Question: Do arsenic levels in the body increase when people start to eat a gluten free diet?

This question will evaluate whether the level of arsenic changes when people switch to a gluten free diet. This will help figure out if diet is a direct cause of changes in arsenic levels.

Pregnancy and Arsenic Exposure

Anna Romans's picture

I'd like to know what the safe amount of arsenic exposure is during pregnancy. Are women with celiac more at risk of pregnancy complications due to the high amount of gluten free rice products they consume? If yes, how much higher is the risk? Perhaps a prospective study using dietary questionnaires comparing celiac vs non- celiac pregnant women could provide data on the different levels of exposure. Urine or blood samples could also be collected from the two populations to see how much more arsenic celiac women are being exposed to. Outcomes could then be observed and compared.

Research Sample

Michelle Platzer's picture

Since we are looking to learn about arsenic in Celiac patients versus the general population, it might be most helpful to go a step farther and take a look at people with the same or similar diets.  For example, if we compare levels in a Celiac patient with the levels of other people who have a similar diet, then the study will be more reliable than comparing random people who eat vastly different things.  Would it be possible to compare arsenic levels of Celiac patients to non-celiac family members in the same households (or roommates)?   This would give us a more accurate comparison.

Clinical Trial name

Rebecca Hogue's picture

What coming up with a name for the study - from a participant recruitment perspective - perhaps name the study as a question rather than a statement - or better yet don't describe your outcome describe how you want patients to participate. You will want to emphasize that patients are not required to eat gluten to participate in the study - as many patients are interested in participating in research but are not willing to eat gluten.

Perhaps label it as something like: Monitoring Arsenic Levels in Celiac Patients - Short and Long Term Effects

Thank you for researching this important topic.

Shawn Cone's picture

My son was born with Renal Tubular Acidosis and had to take the nastiest tasting medicine from 7 months of age to 5 years of age.  The only way to get him to take it was to add it to a serving of infant rice cereal, which he took 5 times per day!  Now I am terrified by these finding of high levels of arsenic in his food.  He also has a gluten sensitivity, which doubles my concern.  Is there any way to test him for arsenic?  Also, do organic brands of rice cereal have lower arsenic levels?

This is an area of significant concern

Deborah Altman's picture

As the mother of a teenager with Celiac, this is an issue of major concern.  So much of the gluten free diet centers around rice and rice based products.  I also just read here about the increased levels of arsenic in fruit juice (especially grape and apple, my son's favorites).  Despite trying to utilyse a variety of flours when baking, rice is always the prefered option in my family.  It most closely resembles wheat flour.  Is there a difference in white vs. brown rice?

Pleased to see CDF-Dartmouth arsenic study

Jennifer Iscol's picture

The Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California published a three-part series on arsenic in rice for people on a GF diet, including regulatory information, facts, tips and a brand survey.  http://www.celiaccommunity.org/2015/special-report-arsenic-in-rice.  Our foundation's experience with publishing the arsenic series in 2015 is that most people on a gluten-free diet for medical reasons had never heard of the issue and therefore doubted that there was any significance to it.

Excited to Join the Conversation

Sara Collina's picture

I am really excited to be part of this discussion. I think how arsenic may be impacting people on a gluten-free diet is really important topic, but worry that people will panic when they hear the word "Arsenic"-- I wonder, how we can get the word out without people panicking?