Rice Intake and Emerging Concerns on Arsenic in Rice: a Review of the Human Evidence and Methodologic Challenges

Curr Environ Health Rep. 2019 Dec;6(4):361-372. doi: 10.1007/s40572-019-00249-1.


Purpose of review: Rice is a major staple food worldwide and a dietary source of arsenic. We therefore summarized the state of the epidemiologic evidence on whether rice consumption relates to health outcomes associated with arsenic exposure.

Recent findings: While epidemiologic studies have reported that higher rice consumption may increase the risk of certain chronic conditions, i.e., type 2 diabetes, most did not consider specific constituents of rice or other sources of arsenic exposure. Studies that examined rice intake stratified by water concentrations of arsenic found evidence of increasing trends in cardiovascular disease risk, skin lesions, and squamous cell skin cancers and bladder cancer associated with higher rice consumption. Further studies are needed to understand the health impacts of arsenic exposure from rice consumption taking into account all sources of rice intake and potential confounding by other dietary constituents or contaminants and arsenic exposure from sources such as water.

Keywords: Arsenic; Diet; Epidemiology; Health effects; Rice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / analysis*
  • Arsenic / toxicity
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Oryza / chemistry*


  • Arsenic