A link has been discovered between the intake of arsenic, which is already associated with various types of cancer, to cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
The study was conducted by the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies, with experts from their Toxicology Department investigating how ingesting arsenic can lead to type 2 diabetes.
The researchers focused on analysing a children population in Hidalgo, Mexico, that had drank contaminated water, which led to the consumption of arsenic.
It was discovered, thanks to blood samples, that the relationship between cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes with arsenic consumption was identified due to the presence of asymmetric dimethylargine (ADMA). This is an amino acid associated with problems in the arteries.
The results suggest that the intake of arsenic for a long time, and from childhood, can lead to a greater likelihood of type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular problems after 30 years.
Link to type 2 diabetes
The scientists linked the development of type 2 diabetes to arsenic due to its pro-oxidant effects on proteins and lipids within the body.
This contamination can lead to trivalent metabolites, which prevents insulin being produced by the presence of glucose. This can then favour the development of type 2 diabetes.
The researchers subsequently plan to propose these results as a biomarker to detect diabetes or cardiovascular risks in the future.

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