Arsenic May Lace Your Red Wine: How Diet Determines Health

First Posted: Sep 30, 2015 04:23 PM EDT

Is there arsenic in your wine? That may be the case. Scientists have tested 65 wines from America's top four wine-producing states and have found that all but one have arsenic levels that exceed what's allowed in drinking water.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows drinking water to contain no more than 10 parts per billion of arsenic. The wine samples, in this case, ranged from 10 to 76 parts per billion with an average of 24 parts per billion.

With that said, a companion study concluded that the likely health risks from the naturally-occurring toxic element depends on how many other foods and beverages known to be high in arsenic a person consumes. In fact, the highest risks from arsenic exposure stem from certain types of infant formulas.

"Unless you are a heavy drinker consuming wine with really high concentrations of arsenic, of which there are only a few, there's little health threat if that's the only source of arsenic in your diet," said Denise Wilson, one of the researchers, in a news release. "But consumers need to look at their diets as a whole. If you are eating a lot of contaminated rice, organic brown rice syrup, seafood, wine, apple juice-all those heavy contributors to arsenic poisoning-you should be concerned, especially pregnant women, kids and the elderly."

The findings reveal that when it comes to arsenic contamination, you should be wary of what you eat. More specifically, it shows the importance of keeping track of your diet.

The findings are published in the Journal of Environmental Health.

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