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Is Your Drinking Water Giving You Diabetes?

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  • Wednesday, 14 March 2012 15:13
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It does not sound great discussing a potential threat to health. But better be aware than ignorant. Even if you have an active and healthy lifestyle, menace may find its way from ubiquitous sources. Water is an indispensable part of life, and is potentially one of the most dangerous carriers of threat. More than often, your doctor indicates caution when using water from an unreliable source and you can add one more reason to be cautious of the water you drink!

Going by rational data

Recently, the potential threat of diabetes (type 2) has gathered momentum. Several researches done (and impending) on the subject have raised concerns among experts regarding the harm which arsenic, a common toxin in well water, can bring. The study finds support from outside nations also, although more analysis on the subject is desired. A report, entailing 788 adults, revealed a fourfold rise in diabetes in people. Although the arsenic level (most likely from water) in their urine was low, there was increased risk of diabetes. This report forms the basis of a more elaborate research which is under progress.

Experts are yet to arrive at a conclusive relationship between diabetes (type 2) and arsenic exposure. There is a hint to the chemical affecting pancreas, which produces and secretes insulin. Arsenic combines with water naturally (through deposits in the earth), and it cannot be traced easily. It can be detected only through testing.

The potential harm

Any significant contamination in drinking water can lead to an epidemic, as water is consumed by one and all. In groundwater, the natural mineral deposits pave an easy way for inorganic arsenic. This reaches drinking water and brings potential threats like organ failure, risk of bladder cancer, etc. besides diabetes (type 2). Poor and ill-equipped people are more prone to suffer from arsenic contamination, as they lack resources to reduce the potential harm.

North-central United States (like Wisconsin and Michigan) is one among the vulnerable areas in the country. Arsenic can also be found in smaller amounts in contaminated fish. On eating these, arsenic related problems may emerge. However, more evidence is required to judge the harm from marine sources. 

Studies done earlier on animals show a relationship between high arsenic levels and high blood sugar and insulin levels. These provide stimulus to establish a relationship between arsenic and diabetes (type 2) among humans. Further studies are needed to find out the exact connection.

Resolving the problem

The encouraging part of the story is that government is aware of arsenic’s potential threat on human health; it is expected that appropriate action shall be taken. Considering the safety of bottled water, they may be preferred over other sources of water. But even bottled brands are not completely free of arsenic contamination. There has been a warning against one brand, which had 454-674 micrograms of arsenic per liter (against the permitted level of 10 micrograms per liter).

At home, the NSF certified filtering systems can be used to reduce arsenic content in water. A home testing kit shall help in determining the permitted level. An economical lab test, costing up to $35 (approximately), can determine the contamination in your household's well. Water filter or other water quality enhancers can be implemented to resolve the problem.

Campaigns of awareness can make individuals concerned about the possible risk for developing diabetes (type 2).

The bottom line

Among the 171 millions thought to suffer from diabetes, about 23.6 millions are Americans. This number, sadly, is expected to double by 2030. Creating awareness by spreading the word can help in controlling the risk and facilitate enjoying a better world.

About the author: Claudia is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on luxury and technology. She recently read an article on hybrid cars that attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on Lotus evora

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