Arsenic in your juice?

We have been discussing in class a wide variety of nutrients and how they are essential for the functionality of the human body. Among the nutrients required in large quantities are water, carbs, lipids and proteins. We also require minerals and vitamins in smaller quantities that are essential for our metabolism and body processes.

Usually heavy metals are associated with toxicity, but some elements classified as heavy metals are essential to humans. Metals such as iron, copper, selenium and zinc are required in trace amounts for proper body functionality. Do you remember why iron is important and which conditions you can developed if you lack this essential metal? On the other hand, other metals can be extremely toxic to the human body since they can’t be metabolized and accumulate in the tissues. I am sure that you have heard recommendations such as, limit your intake of tuna fish during pregnancy because of the presence of mercury or the danger that lead represents for kids. Well, in this course we will be discussing arsenic, a heavy metal that represents a serious risk to human health.

Why arsenic is a concern? If you look at the periodic table, arsenic is just above phosphorous in the periodic table. Phosphorous (phosphate) is essential to living organisms because it is a main component of genetic material, energy forms and components of cell membranes. Arsenic and phosphorus both have similar reactivity and when combined with oxygen form very similar compounds (arsenate and phosphate respectively). Our bodies can recognize arsenate as phosphorus, but arsenate cannot be utilized as phosphate (Look at the chemical structures below for better understanding of the chemistry of both compounds). Any ideas why this could be detrimental?


Below you can find a link to an article published by Consumer Reports that talks about the presence of arsenic in some drinks (especially some juices). Please, read over this article and share your thoughts. What is your perspective on this article? What do you think about the FDA regulations? What kind of measures should be implemented?<

As a mother this article is concerning. I rarely give my kids juice, but in the US sugary drinks such

as the type of juices described in this article are the primary source of liquids for many kids.

Please, share your thoughts!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Arsenic in your juice?

  1. Pingback: Astrobiology: Weird chemistry… weirder biology | Bio1101 General Biology I

  2. trestivo says:

    In answer to your first question iron is the metal found in hemoglobin molecules, which without this metal you can develop oxygen deficient conditions such as anemia. In response to your second question, arsenic and phosphorous are similar in chemical composition with the exception that arsenic is a larger atom with a different number of protons. I’d like to compare another set of molecules to draw a conclusion. I’d like to compare carbon monoxide and oxygen where both compete for the same binding sites in the body however carbon monoxide will not provide energy production because its not utilized the same way as oxygen. With that example cited, the same situation is seen here when arsenic competes with phosphorous in the body. Arsenic is harmful to cells when utilized, which is also seen when the body tries to utilize carbon monoxide as opposed to oxygen. Now I’d like to compare this article to real life where I work as a waitress and practically every table that has small children orders some type of juice for their child. In addition they refill these juices multiple times. Knowing this information I feel is critical in our society because we have become accustomed to thinking that juices are “healthy” when its becoming increasing evident between the sugar content, and now the concentrations of heavy metals, that they aren’t as healthy as we initially thought. As consumers we should become aware of this and try to limit the amount of juice we give our children.

  3. Pingback: neera radoo says: | DEN2400 -2400L

  4. alsaeditareq says:

    i liked this article. i was shocked when i read this article because i work in a supermarket and the most seller are the juices. most families give their kids juices in every meal thinking they are giving them healthy drinks. there are two concerns one is arsenic in the juices and the second is fructose (fructose corn syrup). i think every family have to start looking to what they bring to home. last week i watched the video about the high sugar diet, fructose and how this can affect people and today i am reading this. if i did not take this class i will not know all these information. the people did not know about that so the FDA are responsible and have to provide healthy and safe food for people.

  5. mmeijers says:

    I was also shocked after reading this article. I have always felt bad that I don’t drink enough “healthy” juices and I have tried to grab a juice on the go once in a while, but the organic juices get so expensive if I would drink 16 oz a day. I do prefer the “Naked” brand, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have arsenic just because they didn’t study it yet. After watching the video about corn syrup last week, I have tried to check the ingredients on everything I buy. Since I don’t have a whole foods or fairway close to my house, I have to struggle with a regular grocery store. I found 1 type of cookie (Dansk) and 1 yoghurt (LaYogurt) without high fructose corn syrup. Now, my grocery store isn’t the best one there is, but it is the closest one to me, so that’s what I have to deal with. I ended up buying the yoghurt, but making my own cainnemon swirls.

  6. LeGashi says:

    Growing up I have always prefered apple juice or other juice over soda, and after reading this i am so surprised that even something like apple juice, which every mother provides to their children, can be toxic. I am glad that they have studied this, and are continuing as well, so we can try our best to find a safe solution with every juice possible. Fruit juice, in some peoples diet, is a major part and they may drink more than 8 glasses daily, this can accumilate every day, and cause skin, bladder, or lung complications, which is very scary to think about.

  7. imanley says:

    Although extremely disturbed, I am not surprised. The first time I heard about arsenic in juices was a month ago after my mother informed me about Dr Oz mention of it on his show. It concerned me because I also have two children who love to drink juice, however she mentioned that the topic was dismissed rather quickly (as with most information that can be detrimental to our health.) so I really appreciate this article. Although I stopped buying apple juice immediately this article is helpful as it shows me the problem isn’t only apple juice or juice for that matter. I even noticed the apple juice (motts) was at it’s cheapest in the past months. It’s so frustrating because when you do try and make healthier food choices, something disturbing always pops up. There has to be a better job done to protect the public. As for the public, we have to stay informed. I am aware that completely eliminating toxins from our diet is impossible is still important to be informed. I remember once hearing that the oreo cookie that I loved so much had an ingredient that was a carcinogen. But i never heard anything else about it. This article inspires me to be more conscious of the things I ingest.

  8. wafa says:

    I heard that arsnic can come from apple seeds. I understand why fastfood is bad for you but it really fustrates me when when the “healthy” options become poison. so now i cant drink the water that poisoned the land, that poisoned the crops, that poisoned the animals that eat from that land. Now what do i eat?

  9. Kamila J. says:

    I have always tried to avoid juice not only because juice=empty calories, but mostly because of the sugar content. I have learned long time ago that there is nothing healthy in the juices that are sell in the groceries stores. Recently I have read an article about many chemical compounds and chemical preservatives that are added to the products which are not being testes, because there is just not enough men power. That is why FDA made a list with the banned preservatives (only the main ones) and only requires testing for those additives. This article is just a tip of the ice berg, hopefully it will be a whistle blower for the FDA to take a closer look at the food that millions of Americans eat every day. It’s not only arsenic , which is a very worrisome news, but other garbage that they put in the food we later eat. Non of these companies are “stupid” they know exactly what they doing and they realize the health risks, bt somehow they do not seem to care.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *