One Kitchen Staple You Must Toss Right Now

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

September 11, 2015

  • The murderer lurking in your pantry
  • Why you should toss this kitchen staple in the trash
  • Top tips for cleaning arsenic from your body

I notice a disturbing misconception when it comes to one, particular food.

Many of my newer patients tend to think it’s a smart choice to mix with their vegetables or eat with their fish. And you may be under the same impression. But this food is anything but healthy.

I’m talking about rice.

Now, if you’re still eating this grain, I’ll bet you’ll be quick to point out that you don’t eat white rice. No sticky Chinese fare for you. Instead, it’s more likely that you choose what are viewed as healthier versions of this staple…brown rice, wild, basmati, long grain and so forth.

I’m sorry to be the one to break the news to you, but there is no healthy form of rice. Not a single one.

Rice is loaded with high levels of inorganic arsenic.

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And if you’re a fan of murder mysteries, you know arsenic is a deadly poison. And in this case, the murderer hiding in your pantry is that innocent looking bag or box of rice.

Before moving forward, let me point one thing out.

There are two types of arsenic, organic and inorganic. Organic is naturally found in the soil. Inorganic is the type caused by decades of pesticide and fertilizer use. This inorganic form is the deadlier of the two.

The EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies it as a known human carcinogen. So we already know it contributes to several deadly forms of cancer. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, damage your kidneys and affect nerve function.

Well, when Consumer Reports analyzed the inorganic arsenic content 65 rice products awhile back, the results were shocking. The analysis found that a single serving of some rice could give you one and a half times the amount of arsenic you would get from drinking a day’s worth of water.

Let me put this in perspective for you.

The standard level of inorganic arsenic for drinking water is 10 parts per billion (ppb).

But the rices analyzed contained anywhere from 54.7 to 568 ppm of arsenic per serving.

This included all different types of rice…organic, brown, long grain and others. Manufactured products like cereals and rice cakes that contain rice have even more astonishing numbers – from 123 ppm to a whopping 963.

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And really…a serving size of rice is a half cup. I find that a lot of people eat double that amount in a single sitting.

If rice is one of your “go-to” foods, this could be a real problem. The more of it you eat, the more of an arsenic burden you’re adding to your body. And the consequences won’t be pretty.

Now, you normally excrete arsenic through your urine.

But it has to go through a process first. It’s called methylation. This is simply your body’s way of breaking down arsenic metabolites so they’re more readily excreted.

Unfortunately, this process can break down. It can be due to a methylation defect in your genes, or a deficiency in the nutrients that fuel the process.

Worse, arsenic methylation actually robs your body of certain compounds that assist in the process. This is particularly true of glutathione and SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine). These two compounds are absolutely necessary to break the poison down.

Since your body doesn’t manufacture glutathione on its own, it’s important to replace it.

But your body doesn’t absorb glutathione supplements very well. However N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a glutathione precursor that can boost your glutathione stores. Take 500 mg. daily.

I also suggest boosting your SAMe levels by supplementing with 1,600 mg. daily.

Diets low in folate and vitamin B12 restrict the synthesis of SAMe. And this, of course, can inhibit methylation.

Instead of using regular folate or folic acid, I recommend 5-MTH. This is a reduced form of folate that directly contributes to the methylation process. Plus, its bioavailability isn’t affected by metabolic defects.

I recommend 500 mcg of B12 and 800 mcg of 5-MTH daily.

Now, if you eat a lot of rice, it’s important to check on your arsenic levels over time and have your levels measured occasionally.

A urine test will tell you your exposure over the past few days. But to really keep track, hair or fingernail tests will measure exposure for the past six to 12 months.


Arsenic In Your Food. Consumer Reports. Nov 2012.

Reichard JF, et al. Effects of arsenic exposure on DNA methylation and epigenetic gene regulation. Epigenomics. 2010 Feb;2(1):87-104.

Scaglione F, et al. Folate, folic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate are not the same thing. Xenobiotica. 2014 May;44(5):480-8.