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This Common Food Additive Is Weakening Your Intestinal Barrier

Feb 21, 2017 04:40 AM EST
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Candies and gums are not just bad for your teeth, but for your intestinal barrier too.
(Photo : David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Candies and gums are not just bad for your teeth, but for your intestinal barrier too.

A new study conducted by the researchers at the Binghamton University found out that a common food additive found in candies, gums and even bread decreases the ability of the cells in the small intestine to absorb nutrients. In addition, it also weakens its ability to act as a barrier against pathogens.

The common food additive is identified as "titanium oxide nanoparticles." These particles are also added to sunscreens as UV-filters. Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) states that titanium oxide nanoparticles is safe at a concentration up to 25 percent only. But what happens when you are ingesting the particles?

Based on the experiment, three meal's worth of it in over five days showed negative effects such as altering instestinal function, slow metabolism and weakened enzyme functions. It interrupts the microvilli to perform its job, which is to absorb nutrients.

"There has been previous work on how titanium oxide nanoparticles affects microvilli, but we are looking at much lower concentrations," Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Gretchen Mahler, one of the authors of the paper said in a statement. "We also extended previous work to show that these nanoparticles alter intestinal function."

Titanium oxide nanoparticles are unavoidable because they are almost present in any commercial products, including paint, chocolates, toothpastes and donuts. While they are not actually deadly and are considered safe, the researchers note that an increasing number of products that are now using titanium dioxide nanoparticles may change everything.

"To avoid foods rich in titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid processed foods, and especially candy. That is where you see a lot of nanoparticles," Mahler said.

Mercola noted that early this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified titanium dioxide as a Group 2B carcinogen, which means it's "possibly carcinogenic to humans." They also claimed that it may damage the brain nerves.

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