When we hear the word ‘arsenic’, the first thought that usually comes to mind is along the lines of dangerous and poisonous substance. On the contrary, there are in fact two types of arsenic: Organic and inorganic. Organic arsenic is actually very commonly found in seafood and other marine-based products, and is non-toxic in nature.
Ari S. Lewis of Gradient Corporation explains in a publication of hers that the urinary level of arsenic can go as high as 1,000 μg/L after the consumption of seafood or marine products. With the level considered normal at 50 μg/L, this is stated as: 50 μg/L in the absence of seafood consumption. She further explains that any test for arsenic levels should be carried out at least 4 days after the last time the patient has ingested any seafood product.
According to Lewis’ report, the organic arsenic commonly found in marine products is non-toxic. Thus, the consumption of seafood and related products are very unlikely to lead to arsenic toxicosis or cancer. Arsenic toxicosis is also frequently referred to as arsenic poisoning. The poisonous type of arsenic is usually found in products such as: Dyes, pesticides and herbicides. As such, the term arsenic tends to ring warning bells.
The case study entitled, "Potential Arsenic Toxicosis Secondary to Herbal Kelp Supplement", that was published, made the suggestion that marine based supplements such as kelp and Celergen may lead to arsenic toxicosis. Lewis quoted this study in his report, contradicting the lack of scientific facts on the nature of arsenic itself in drawing conclusions that lead to the publication of inaccurate information.
In her report, Lewis emphasized a number of major oversights the case study report did not address. She first explains the case report did not take the major difference between organic and inorganic arsenic into account. That study stated arsenic toxicosis occurred potentially from the ingestion of marine supplements, which is highly unlikely given the fact that arsenic in marine products is non-toxic. Secondly, the patient under observation in the case report showed symptoms of memory loss, alopecia and fatigue, all of which are not related to arsenic toxicity. The symptom of heavy arsenic exposure is skin lesions which can easily be differentiated from other types of lesions.
Consequently, there is a huge range in arsenic level between different compounds. Stating that, "All chemical forms of arsenic eventually produce the same toxic syndrome", can be a misleading statement without taking into account the actual numbers across various arsenic compounds.
A kelp supplement is a form of marine supplement. Kelp is a type of seaweed that grows in sea water. People take kelp given it is rich in trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron. Celergen is another marine-based supplement that is widely taken to help combat the signs of aging from wrinkles to painful joints. Ari S. Lewis is a well-respected name in the area of medicine and its counterparts. Gradient Corporation is an environmental consulting firm that provides support to other parties with scientific questions.
Ari. S. Lewis’ report isn’t only about arsenic, Celergen, kelp and substance poisoning but shows that case studies are not always correct and do share inaccurate information. That is mainly due to oversight and missing out on important scientific facts which makes all the difference.