You may have heard about all the health benefits of organic brown rice. It's rich in magnesium, so it's very good for your heart. Studies have shown that brown rice can actually reduce your blood pressure. And because brown rice has more nutrients and is lower on the glycemic index, it's a better carb than white rice.
However, brown rice has a dark side. If you don't pay attention to this dark side, you could increase the amount of heavy metals in your blood every time you eat brown rice. That's because new studies show that brown rice - even organic brown rice - can carry high levels of cadmium and arsenic.
One study found that arsenic absorption in people who eat organic rice was substantially higher than in non-rice eaters. Another study found that rice plants are particularly effective at absorbing cadmium from the soil. Because the metals come from the soil, it affects all rice plants, even those that are organic. What's more, people who eat foods with heavy metals are at a higher risk of cancer, lung disease, and heart attacks.
The good news, though, is that you don't have to give up your brown rice. First, make sure you buy brown rice imported from China. They have higher standards on soil and pollutants in food than other Asian countries. The U.S. doesn't have any standards. So this is one area where China has a slight leg up on the rest of the world. But that doesn't mean they don't have pollutants in their food. Some studies show their arsenic levels are as high as other countries.
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So there's one other step you can take to protect yourself. All you have to do is take chlorella when you eat brown rice. Chlorella is a single-celled variety of algae that has a ton of health benefits, including detoxification.
Back in 2008, a study in the Journal of Medicinal Food
showed how chlorella is incredibly effective at expelling cadmium from the body. And it does so before it can poison the liver and other organs.
In this study, researchers from South Korea's Hanyang University divided 40 rats into four groups. They exposed three of the groups to high doses of cadmium. The first of the three groups took no chlorella (Cd-0C). The second group took supplements containing 5% chlorella (Cd-5C). And the third group took 10% chlorella (Cd-10C). The fourth group served as the control without cadmium exposure or chlorella.
After eight weeks, the rats taking the Cd-0C had the lowest body and liver weight (this is a clear indicator of poor health). They also had higher concentrations of poison in their livers. Those taking the chlorella had much lower levels of cadmium in their livers. They also didn't suffer from liver damage. The higher intake group showed even lower levels of poison. Other studies show it works just as well on arsenic and other heavy metals.
So if you're eating brown rice, make sure you take chlorella along with it. My preferred brand is King Chlorella.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
P.F.A.M. Römkensa, H.Y. Guob, C.L. Chub, T.S. Liub, C.F. Chiangb and G.F. Koopmans; Soil Science Center, Alterra – Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands; Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Wufong, Taiwan, ROC. Received 19 December 2008; revised 3 March 2009; accepted 7 March 2009. Available online 5 April 2009.
Shim, Jae-Young;Shin, Hye-seoung;Han, Jae-Gab;Park, Hyeung-Suk;Lim, Byung-Lak;Chung, Kyung-Won;Om, Ae-Son. "Protective effects of Chlorella vulgaris on liver toxicity in cadmium administered rats," Journal of Medicinal Food, 2008.