There’s Arsenic in our Fruit!

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Arsenic in a nutshell:
Arsenic  occurs in fruits and vegetables.  While the arsenic found in our foods is safe, the industrial form is toxic.

Best source of Arsenic for Juicers
We really don’t recommend any type of juicing program to increase levels of arsenic in your body.

applesIn 2011, American TV personality Dr. Oz provoked a controversy with the US Food and Drug Administration by reporting, correctly, that apple juice contains measurable amounts of arsenic. However, Oz's findings do not mean that apple juice is poisonous. The world's most famous toxin is also an “ultratrace” nutrient, and you can actually find arsenic supplements for sale in Asia. They are meant to be supplements, not poisons, and there are actually arsenic-deficiency diseases in chickens, pigs, and goats.

Alternative names: Arsenic. Any product with the term “arsenicum” in its name is likely to be homeopathic arsenic.

What Does Arsenic Do in the Human Body?

Arsenic seems to be involved in the formation of enzymes that the body needs to use the amino acid methionine. It also seems to be necessary for cofactors of S-adenosylmethionine, also known as SAM-e , and for co-factors that help the heart use the amino acid taurine.

Arsenic in Your Diet

Even in an unpolluted world, there would be small amounts of arsenic in most cereal grains and fish. Scientists estimate that the human body needs between 12 and 25 micrograms of arsenic per day, but even people who eat organic foods get between 25 and 40 micrograms of arsenic per day. The kind of arsenic we consume in our food is non-toxic, because it is bound to the amino acid methionine. Only the kind of arsenic found in industrial chemicals and arsenic-based poisons are toxic to the human body. Since the body uses S-adenosylmethionine to neutralize arsenic and it needs methionine (an amino acid most abundant in egg whites, brown rice, Brazil nuts, tuna, wheat germ and peanuts), folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 to make S-adenosylmethionine, getting all the protein and all the B vitamins you need helps your body fight arsenic exposure.

Should You Take an Arsenic Supplement?

Some Asian over the counter products use arsenic to lighten the skin. All of them are a bad idea. It's safe to eat foods that contain natural arsenic, but you should never take any kind of manufactured arsenic compound in nutritional products or cosmetics.

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About Andy Williams

In a processed food culture, simply eating may not be enough. Dr. Andy Williams is a scientist with a strong interest in Juicing and how it can supply the body with the nutrients it needs to thrive in modern society. You can subscribe to his free daily paper called Juicing The Rainbow and follow him on Facebook orTwitter.

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