Food additives affect gut bacteria

It might be better to read those finely written ingredients on food packets the next time you go shopping

By Author  |  Published: 16th May 2019  4:32 pm
Hidden agents

A study has found that nanoparticles present in common food additive could affect gut microbiota in human beings.The study investigated the health impacts of food additive E171 (titanium dioxide nanoparticles) which is commonly used in high quantities in foods and some medicines as a whitening agent.

Increasing rates of dementia, auto-immune diseases, cancer metastasis, eczema, asthma, and autism are among a growing list of diseases that have been linked to soaring exposure to nanoparticles.

“The aim of this research is to stimulate discussions on new standards and regulations to ensure the safe use of nanoparticles in Australia and globally,” he said.
While nanoparticles have been commonly used in medicines, foods, clothing, and other applications, the possible impacts of nanoparticles, especially their long-term effects, are still poorly understood.

Titanium dioxide consumption has considerably increased in the last decade and has already been linked to several medical conditions, and although it is approved in food, there is insufficient evidence about its safety.

“It is well-established that dietary composition has an impact on physiology and health, yet the role of food additives is poorly understood,” said Chrzanowski.

“This study presents pivotal evidence that consumption of food containing food additive E171 (titanium dioxide) affects gut microbiota, as well as inflammation in the gut, which could lead to diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer,” he said.

Another co-lead author Laurence Macia said, “Our research showed that titanium dioxide interacts with bacteria in the gut and impairs some of their functions which may result in the development of diseases. We are saying that its consumption should be better regulated by food authorities.”