Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Public Scare Associating Tap Water With Type Two Diabetes is Premature


Science can be scary. Especially when it is misleading and has the potential to create panic. Recently, type 2 diabetes has been linked to low-level arsenic possibly from drinking water.
Arsenic can get into the drinking water because of pollution associated with the burning of coal or copper smelting. But it can also get into drinking water when certain minerals naturally dissolve. Before anyone stops drinking the water, much more research needs to be conducted. This study of 788 adults authored by Dr. Ana Navas-Acien of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore simply found that the risk of diabetes in people with low arsenic concentrations in their urine was four times greater than people with lower arsenic levels. While foreign research suggests a link between high levels of arsenic in drinking water with diabetes, this is one of the first studies to suggest a similar correlation with low arsenic levels. (See August 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association.)

Dr. Navas-Acien apparently will start a new study involving 4,000 people. So should we stop drinking tap water? Typically, most public utilities filter tap water to remove arsenic. Also keep in mind that most sea food contains nontoxic organic arsenic. Research suggests that people with type 2 diabetes had 26 percent higher inorganic arsenic levels than people without type 2 diabetes. One hypothesis is that arsenic in general impairs insulin secretion.
Molly Kile, a scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, wrote an editorial in the journal
in which she explained that urinary arsenic can come from "air, water and food. Kile cautions against a rush to adopt drinking water standards as a result of the study. Kile also correctly points out that diabetes may changes the way people metabolize arsenic. In other words, perhaps people with diabetes simply excrete more arsenic.


The current United States arsenic standards for tap water is 10 parts per billion as of 2001. Public utilities were to comply by 2006. Most of the data was taken in 2003 and 2004 before the lower arsenic standards were required to be implemented. After talking to Surfer Dude, our guest intellectual, he has the following advice:


"Whether you surf in sea water or tap water, it is a good idea not to wipe out and swallow too much water because if you do you will wind up with a belly ache." If another famous surfer, Todd Endris , comes around, perhaps he will add his thoughts about why surfers feel tap water is safer then sea water. One can only suspect it is because there are typically less sharks in tap water.

8 comments:

blond bombshell said...

Good job explaining this one L.P. and Surfer Dude.

Now on the wipeouts, aren't all belly flops painful?

Shell

Anonymous said...

Could not possibly be diabetes is correlated to the size of one's butt...

Listen, keep your weight under control, avoid sugars and starches and your risk of type 2 diabetes will remain relatively low.


Old Doc

Anonymous said...

Just when you thought the water was safe again...

DAh Dah...

theme song from jaws....

Anonymous said...

So can we sue the city for the diabetes in my family?

Anonymous said...

Darn and I was thirsty too.

Ms Calabaza said...

sheesh,
I posted earlier today but I guess I forget to click SEND. . . I hate when that happens.

Shell,

you're spot on today!

Me, I will stick to my moonshine until this whole diabetes/shark controversy is over ... better to be safe than sorry, ya know?

ralph said...

On that note, I will finish my beer.

Ralph

california surfer dude said...

Get out of here Ralph, what kind of a pub do you think this is...

LOL

Surfer Dude