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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Arsenic Poisoining from Gluten Free foods

I have recently started B12 injections for pernicious anaemia and I am a coeliac. Ive been very interested in finding out the root cause as to why Ive developed this at age 46. My health has gradually declined over the past three years and when I ended up in hospital with an iron count of 1 and ferritin count of 2 I started looking at what could be causing my symptoms.

I have made quite a shocking discovery. For three years I have been eating Genius gluten free bread. Ive just read a lot of information about gfree foods containing very high amounts of arsenic and then I looked up the symptoms of arsenic poisoning. I have almost all of the visible and physical ones. You can read about them here:


I looked on the Genius packet to see who makes it - there is no company name at all anywhere on the packaging. There is no registered company name on the Genius website either - just the board of directors who work mostly in banking and gas and oil.

Im going to investigate this thoroughly over the next few weeks and am booked in to see a haemotologist in three weeks time so will report back on the findings.

I originally (25 years ago!) qualified as a chemist and I created the formula for lead free paint using tin which is less toxic. I am very interested in looking into B12 - the only vitamin which has a metal at its centre (Cobalt) and how Cobalt, Iron and Arsenic compete with haemoglobin in our red blood cells. I believe there may be a link between autoimmune disease and heavy metal poisoning which would explain why iron deficiency is still so common in coeliacs who do follow a gluten free diet and who (as in my case) continue to be acutely iron deficient despite an extremely high intake of iron supplements.

I would be extremely interested to hear from anyone who has any of the symptoms of arsenic poisoning and who follows a gluten free diet.

Ive contacted the coeliac society about the link between arsenic and gfree products and will also suggest they conduct a survey to establish if their members have any symptoms which could be attributed to poisoning.

Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this post and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has taken the time to respond to my previous three posts - thank you xxx

11 Replies

Genius Bread is made by Genius foods (looked it up on Duedil)



The company name is clearly on this page:


Do you have any thoughts as to which ingredients seem most likely to be the sources of arsenic, or other heavy metals, if that eventually proved to be the case?


Rice. There are a number of health watchdogs requesting for an urgent ruling on introducing an upper limit on the arsenic content of rice products. Gfree products often contain rice flour. The FDA have been asked to review this issue and introduce a limit as a matter of urgency. I guess there must be an evidential reason for this (lots more people with arsenic poisoning perhaps or at risk of it?)


good grief it doesn't matter what we do t better ourselves something else will get us. I recently did a 23 and me test as my health has gone west too over the years and I am no longer the same person in personality looks hair skin and health energy you name it-- I don't give a toss about that claptrap of well its your age- you see able body old girls still with health hair and vitality and looking young as well, I discovered there are 4 types of b12 on that 23 and me gene test and we could be all taking the wrong one or none at all and I am on none at all as the genes are too complicated for a doctor, where do i go/ we go fro here?

as for tha tbread that is shocking and just as well you are clued up beinga chemist


Wow Jus-tine that is so interesting- and horrifying! I wish you all the very best in your quest. Please let us know any developments.


Arsenic contamination of rice is fairly well known problem and has been studied. Coeliacs tend to replace wheat with rice, so have much higher consumption of rice. I suspect that coeliacs also have reduced ability to process toxic heavy metals in the first place and are more likely to be affected. Everyone starts out with a whole gamut of nutritional deficiencies because you have to be really sick in order to get diagnosed, so the machinery for coping with heavy metals simply doesn't work. Iron deficiency is the obvious manifestation but iron doesn't work alone, it needs other cofactors. I hear more and more cases where supplementing iron did not fix the problem, and that was certainly true for me. I eat very few gluten free labelled products, not because of arsenic contamination but because they contain other things that aren't good for you such as gums, emulsifiers and sugar, and they are generally very nutrient poor.


Swedish study into arsenic and rice: livsmedelsverket.se/en/abou...


I'd be very interested to hear what you find, I'm currently trying a chelation programme to rid myself of any heavy metals as I do have some of the symptoms despite being on top of all my B12, supplements and thyroid meds all optimal ( I am also coeliac but only found out last year and have been gf for only 12 months).


That's interesting. I hope you will add to this thread or start new ones on this subject.

I went gluten free a couple of years ago which solved my IBS symptoms.

"Ive been very interested in finding out the root cause as to why Ive developed this at age 46."

Have you looked into any of the following?

1) H Pylori infection

2)MTHFR gene mutations

3)Immunoglobulin Deficiencies

4) Low stomach acid

One of my theories is that modern diet and lifestyle has a negative effect in some people on their gut bacteria.


I had the HPylori test but will call the haemotologist tomorrow and add tests for these to the list. Sleepybunny - you write so informatively - you know so much about this whole subject - I am really grateful to you for your kind and helpful responses. I am on a steep learning curve with all this and this forum is a lifeline. I think Martyn deserves an MBE for his work and I shall be nominating him for the next round. I think he will get one too.


Sleepybunny, I'm glad going gluten free solved your IBS issues. I've been gluten free over a year and my IBS has worsened. I've found the pain is less when I'm constipated, which in itself is not a good thing. I'm still trying to figure out what could possibly be causing my IBS. Eating food, I guess (smiley face)


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