EATING too much rice can be fatal, boffins warn.
Rice contains low levels of arsenic and has been linked to 50,000 avoidable deaths worldwide a year.
Prolonged exposure to low levels has also been linked to cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Across the world, more than three billion people consume rice as their major staple.
Manchester University’s Professor David Polya said: “The type of study undertaken, an ecological study, has many limitations, but is a relatively inexpensive way of determining if there is plausible link between increased consumption of inorganic arsenic bearing rice and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
“The study suggests that the highest 25 per cent of rice consumers in Britain may plausibly be at greater risks.”
The research team suggest that rather than avoid eating rice, people could consume varieites of rice which have lower arsenic contents.
Other positive behaviours would be to eat a balanced variety of staples, not just predominately rice.
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