Common Food Additive Tied to Gut Inflammation
Researchers from the University of Sydney are sounding the alarm regarding a very commonly used food additive
called titanium dioxide. Used as a whitening agent, this “nanoparticle” is ubiquitous—making its way into over 900 food and consumer products from chewing gum to mayonnaise.
The reason for the concern? After conducting a series of studies on laboratory mice, the researchers concluded that titanium dioxide significantly altered the activity of gut bacteria resulting in an uptick in gut inflammation, a known trigger for colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Sadly, use of titanium dioxide in food has increased considerably in the past decade as have both the aforementioned diseases. The researchers are calling for stricter regulations as titanium dioxide (along with many other commonly used nanoparticles) have not been examined for long term safety nor their impact on the gut microbiome, the quintessential gatekeeper of our health.
Once again, this study highlights what I think is now the most important of all nutritional guidelines—eat real foods, and stay away from processed ones.
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Frontiers in Nutrition, 2019 DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00057