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Widely Used Food – And Paint – Additive Damages Intestinal Lining

February 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Long-term exposure to the common food additive titanium dioxide reduces the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients like iron, zinc, and fatty acids. It also harms enzyme functions while increasing inflammation signals. The additive – found in numerous foods, including chewing gum and bread, and used in paints, paper, plastics, and some sunscreens – is inert and not toxic, according to the U.S. researchers who conducted the study using a small intestine cell model. But it reduced the number of absorptive projections (microvilli) that line the small intestine, slowing metabolism. Titanium dioxide is also used in toothpastes, chocolate, donuts, and skimmed milk.
Zhongyuan Guo et al., "Titanium dioxide nanoparticle ingestion alters nutrient absorption in an in vitro model of the small intestine. ", NanoImpact, February 22, 2017, © Elsevier B.V.
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