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Health Agencies Update
November 28, 2007

Arsenic Poisoning Prevention

JAMA. 2007;298(20):2361. doi:10.1001/jama.298.20.2361-c

Folic acid supplements may help protect individuals who are chronically exposed to arsenic in drinking water, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

A randomized controlled trial involving 130 individuals in Bangladesh who were chronically exposed to arsenic in their drinking water and had low blood folic acid levels found that folic acid supplements significantly lowered blood arsenic levels (Gamble MV et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86[4]:1202-1209). After 12 weeks, levels of arsenic in the blood of participants taking the supplement were reduced by 13.6%, while arsenic levels decreased 2.5% in the placebo group.