Relationship between arsenic, heart disease and diabetes discovered

October 14, 2014

Researchers have analyzed children of a rural region in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico,who since gestation were exposed to arsenic through maternal consumption.

Associated with various types of cancer such as skin and liver, the intake of arsenic it is also linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. According to a long-term study conducted by experts from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) it was determined that this metalloid inhibits enzymes associated with antioxidant protection.

The study focused on analyzing children that had ingested arsenic through maternal consumption of contaminated water, and it was determined that oxidizing properties favor generation of in the arteries.

To corroborate the relationship between with arsenic consumption, blood samples were also obtained from the study group to identify the presence of an amino acid called asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), which is associated with problems in the arteries.

"What we found is that the higher the exposure to arsenic, the higher the blood levels of this amino acid," said Jimenez Del Razo. The researchers propose it as a biomarker (substance for identification) for blood tests to determine .

The results suggest that those who have consumed arsenic-contaminated water for a long time and since childhood, and even while in gestation, have a greater chance of at a young age (after 30 years).

Also, through ultrasound, researchers measured the diameter of the plaque that builds up in the carotid artery. "The larger the diameter, the higher chance of suffering heart disease," says the researcher.

According to the research, pro-oxidant effects of arsenic on proteins and lipids are due to this contaminant in the body becoming trivalent metabolites, which inhibit the synthesis of insulin, and favoring the development of diabetes," refers the researcher.

Cinvestav experts decided to look at children in a rural region in the state of Hidalgo, because they were exposed to this heavy metal, through maternal consumption during gestation.

The areas of the country where the presence of a higher amount of in groundwater are the states of Hidalgo, Aguascalientes, Durango, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Morelos, Coahuila, Chihuahua and Baja California Sur, in consequence of a geological failure from the center of the country to the north and the deepening of drilling for wells.

Explore further: Infant toenails reveal in utero exposure to low-level arsenic, study finds

Related Stories

Infant toenails reveal in utero exposure to low-level arsenic, study finds

July 7, 2014
Infant toenails are a reliable way to estimate arsenic exposure before birth, a Dartmouth College study shows.

Methods will reverse arsenic danger in Bangladesh water supply

October 13, 2014
Arsenic poisoning is widespread in Bangladesh, where ground water is contaminated by runoff from the Himalayas. Now researchers have developed two simple and cheap methods that well drillers can use to tap arsenic-safe drinking ...

Experts voice concerns over arsenic in rice

July 15, 2014
Inorganic arsenic in rice and rice-based foods poses health concerns in infants and young children, and steps should be taken to minimize exposure, according to a commentary in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and ...

What you eat can prevent arsenic overload

June 28, 2012
Millions of people worldwide are exposed to arsenic from contaminated water, and we are all exposed to arsenic via the food we eat. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Nutrition Journal has demonstrated ...

Study shows diet alone can be significant source of arsenic

November 20, 2013
Diet alone can be a significant source of arsenic exposure regardless of arsenic concentrations in drinking and cooking water, a Dartmouth College-led study finds.

US: Rice is safe, despite small levels of arsenic

September 6, 2013
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says consumers should not worry too much about levels of arsenic in rice—but should vary their diets just in case.

Recommended for you

Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses

November 22, 2017
Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses, but spirits are most frequently associated with feelings of aggression, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Air pollution linked to poorer quality sperm

November 22, 2017
Air pollution, particularly levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), is associated with poorer quality sperm, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Sunrise and sunset guide daily activities of city-dwellers

November 21, 2017
Despite artificial lightning and social conventions, the dynamics of daylight still influence the daily activities of people living in modern, urban environments, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles

November 21, 2017
The amount of protein recommended by international guidelines is not sufficient to maintain muscle size and strength in older men, according to a new study.

Exercising and eating well are greater contributors to health than standing at work

November 21, 2017
By now you've probably heard the edict from the health community: Sitting is the new smoking. Perhaps you've converted to a standing desk, or maybe you have a reminder on your phone to get up once an hour and walk around ...

Motorcycle crashes cause five times as many deaths as car accidents, six times the health costs

November 20, 2017
Motorcycle accidents are costly in terms of lives and health care costs. Compared with car accidents, motorcycle accidents cause 3 times the injuries, 6 times the medical costs and 5 times the deaths, found new research in ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.