American Society For Nutrition

Research Before Acceptance

Research Before Acceptance

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice
Posted on 09/27/2011 at 02:09:09 PM by Student Blogger
By Katie O.
ASN Marketing and Membership Intern

I am interning at ASN in the Membership and Marketing Department for the Fall semester and my nutrition knowledge has grown immensely! I graduated in June 2011 from the Ohio State University with my Bachelor's of Science in Human Ecology- Dietetics.  As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to be involved with many professors' research projects. It was through these experiences that I developed my passion for research and learned the importance of relying on credible sources for information.

You can't believe everything you hear on shows like The Doctors or Dr. Oz. Even though the majority of  Americans may believe these are credible sources for information, being a nutrition professional, I know to maintain a healthy skepticism. Dr. Mehmet Oz has recently come under scrutiny about his “investigation” of arsenic in apple juice. He is claiming that 60% of apple juice is imported from other countries like China where pesticides like arsenic are not regulated.  Of the ten samples, all test positive for arsenic. Some were above the EPA's limit on arsenic in drinking water, which is 10 parts per billion. As an avid apple juice drinker, I began to research the topic. The FDA responded and reassured consumers in a letter that apple juice is safe to drink. They said that the arsenic found in apple juice is due to human activity and is an organic form that is harmless . The FDA has been testing juices for about six years since more products started being imported from other countries.

After reading both sides of the story, I had a few unanswered questions: What is organic arsenic? How does it form? What are the harmful effects of arsenic? Should I be concerned about this in other foods? I did some research through the Argonne National Laboratory and found that organic arsenic is found in many plants, animals and soils. The most common animal that it is found in is shrimp! Many organisms including fungi, bacteria and plants convert the inorganic form of arsenic to the organic form. The organic form is not often toxic unless consumed at extremely high levels. Inorganic arsenic is the most toxic and 80-90% is usually absorbed by the body through the gastrointestinal tract. So I came to the conclusion that apple juice is safe to drink in moderation.    

In my exploration of this topic I also found ASN's scholarly journals to be a fantastic source for nutrition research.  ASN also has official spokespeople who are able to quickly answer nutrition questions with accurate, science-based information. I encourage you to turn to ASN when you need the facts without the hype. Discover all of the spokespeople on the website.

From this news story I learned  to question what you hear on TV. Many times you only hear one side of the story. By doing a little research and turning to reliable experts, you can make sure that you and your patients are properly informed.

Links to resources:
Link to Dr. Oz's test results:
FDA's Response Letter:
Arsenic Fact Sheet:

Posted Sep 28, 2011 12:15 PM by Todd Evans

I totally agree- get the facts before you believe Dr. Oz

Posted Sep 29, 2011 5:42 AM by Mike

So what this means is we can safely ignore the hype around Dr Oz's statement? In general, I too don;t pay much attention to the "sky is falling" claims. The only way to maintain your sanity is to exercise, eat healthy and boost your health with nutrients like fish oil

This is so true & especially relevant when considering supplements like fish oil! Just because you hear it on T.V. or see findings from a single journal article doesn't mean that it's true.