Quirks & Quarks

Saskatchewan lentils may combat arsenic poisoning

Dr. Judit Smits travels to Bangladesh to conduct a clinical trial using Saskatchewan lentils to counteract arsenic-tainted well water.
Dr. Judit Smits collecting well water with Bangladeshi villager (Dr. Judit Smits)

Saskatchewan lentils are being tested in a Canadian-led clinical field study, headed up by the University of Calgary's Dr. Judit Smits, in Bangladesh to combat rampant arsenic poisoning. An estimated 20-million people in Bangladesh are slowly poisoning themselves with their own arsenic-tainted well water. Prairie lentils are high in the mineral selenium, which at very high levels can be toxic, but when combined with arsenic, the toxins bind together and get flushed out. 

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      Related Links

      Human Rights Watch 2016 report on the state of Bangladesh's arsenic-tainted well water

      University of Calgary's story about Dr. Smits' work in Bangladesh