Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Too Much of This Food Additive Can Impede Nutrient Absorption

The battle against food additives has been a long one, fraught with frustration and upset stomaches. In today’s agricultural world—and with today’s booming population size—it has become difficult to find foods without these unfamiliar ingredients. Convenience food has become commonplace, and so has consumer’s lack of investigation into what all these hard-to-pronounce additives are and how they affect our health.

Carrageenan has been under the microscope for a long time and research has led to some head-scratching, sometimes contradictory, conclusions. A lesser known food additive made it to the headlines last week for its connection to impeding regular functions of the small intestine, namely the organ’s ability to absorb certain nutrients.

Titanium oxide is an additive commonly found in all sorts of foods from chewing gum to bread. Not only that, but this FDA-safe compound can also appear in paints, plastics and sunscreen. Ingestion of it is considered “nearly unavoidable,” according to Science Daily. Because of this fact, researchers from Bingham University and State University of New York set out to see what kinds of effects occur with continued exposure.

Luckily, the researchers stress the point that extended exposure to titanium oxide won’t kill us (phew!). And, in fact, most of us would find ourselves having ingested this additive over a long period of time without knowing it. However, there do seem to be some interesting things happening in the body when we are exposed to it chronically, or over an extended period of time. This type of exposure showed the small intestines’ microvilli having a diminished ability to absorb nutrients such as iron, zinc and fatty acids. Inflammation increased and the functions of enzymes were interrupted, as well.

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“There has been previous work on how titanium oxide nanoparticles affects microvilli, but we are looking at much lower concentrations,” Gretchen Mahler, on of the study’s authors and Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor, told Science Daily. She believes the public has a right to know what kind of health effects are happening with everyday consumption of products containing titanium oxide.

The solution to protecting against these factors is actually quite simple. “To avoid foods rich in titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid processed foods, and especially candy,” Mahler explains. The additive can show up in surprising places in everyday foods, such as chocolate bars (to make them smooth), donuts (for color), skim milks (for a more opaque appearance) and even toothpaste (for abrasive properties). Cutting back on processed products and boosting up your intake of whole, non processed foods can provide a bunch of benefits for our health, including saving us from insidious food additives.

By: Katie Medlock         February 25, 2017
Follow Katie at @offbeatherbivor
 
source: www.care2.com
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Fun Fact Friday

  • More than one-third of married couples in Canada sleep in separate bedrooms. 
  • Having a low opinion of yourself is not modesty. It’s self-destruction. 
  • People who eat fish at least once a week have thicker, stronger and more resilient brains.
  • 71% of breakups happen because of mood swings.
  • Every year, about 86,000 people are injured by tripping over their pets. 

 

ingredient_label
Ranch dressing (and many other foods) contain titanium dioxide to keep it white
– Titanium dioxide is also used in most sunscreens and might be a carcinogen.
  • When soft music is playing in the background, people are able to focus better.
  • Kissing can increase your lifespan.
  • Studies have proven that driving in city traffic is just as stressful as participating in extreme sports like skydiving.
  • Ranch dressing contains titanium dioxide to keep it white – Titanium dioxide is also used in most sunscreens and might be a carcinogen.
Happy Friday!

 source: https://twitter.com/faccccct


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The Health Risks of Titanium

January 9, 2013

Titanium is the ninth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. This abundance and its status as a corrosion resistant, strong metal have landed it many industrial applications where its best features can be fully taken advantage of. Some uses include airplane motors, jewelry, and heat exchange systems. Because titanium itself is non-toxic and not rejected by the body, the medical industry has embraced it for implants such as hip and joint replacements. Despite the upsides, much concern has been expressed about the use of titanium compounds as a food and cosmetic additive.

How Does Titanium Exposure Happen?

Exposure to titanium often happens by way of titanium compounds that are added to cosmetics, sunscreens, paints, and food. Titanium dioxide nano particles is usually the compound in question and safety concerns have been expressed. Unfortunately, you don’t have a choice in whether or not you’re exposed. Even if you avoid products that contain titanium dioxide nano particles, the other nano particles that everyone else uses will be excreted or washed away into the sewage system and into the environment. Even with a low exposure, this may manifest into a range of effects.

Another matter of concern is that titanium dioxide is an ingredient in food coloring… and the foods with the highest content are candy and gum. A Monte Carlo analysis found that children have the greatest exposure because of high titanium content in sweets. Personal care products such as toothpastes and sunscreens often contain titanium too. [1]

Are Titanium Nano Particles Safe?

The safety profile of nano particles for infants and the unborn is not known. Some studies have suggested the concern over titanium nano particle safety to be “overblown”. I disagree. Titanium oxide nano particles have been shown to induce emphysema and lung redness in adult mice. Furthermore, exposure of developing lungs to nano particles may lead to chronic irritation and negative effect on lung development, increasing the risk of respiratory disorders. No thanks! [2]

Inhaling titanium nano particles is bad for your lungs. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown West Virginia observed significantly elevated levels of lung injury in rats that had inhaled titanium compounds. [3]

titanium

Titanium’s Effect on Your Brain

Titanium exposure may be harmful to your brain. Titanium nano particles can enter directly into the hippocampus region of the brain through the nose and olfactory bulb. Research conducted by Escuela Superior de Medicina at Instituto Politécnico Nacional found that titanium dioxide had a toxic effect on glial cells in the brain, suggesting that exposure to titanium dioxide may cause brain injury and be a health hazard. [4]

Long-term chronic exposure and environmental pollution are not documented and a relationship between nano particle exposure and development of degenerative brain diseases may exist. [5]

Is Titanium Exposure a Risk Factor for Cancer?

The biggest kicker is that even though although titanium dioxide is permitted as an additive in food and pharmaceutical products, it’s also classified as “possible carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Studies show that titanium dioxide causes adverse effects by producing oxidative stress, resulting in cell damage, redness, and immune response. [6]

Maybe Titanium is Safe?

A French examination into the safety of titanium dioxide said that, “The weight of scientific evidence suggests that insoluble nano particles used in sunscreens pose no or negligible risk to human health, but offer large health benefits, such as the protection of human skin against UV-induced skin aging and cancer.” Given that L’OREAL sponsored the study, I’m inclined to take it with a grain of salt. [7]

Until long term data on the absorption, distribution, excretion and toxicity of titanium nano particles is available and until relevant data on human exposure exists, I recommend avoiding titanium compounds. Laboratory tests are available to determine the levels of titanium dioxide or metallic titanium in your body. If you’re concerned about your exposure to titanium, I would encourage you to get tested to determine your levels and perform a toxic metal cleanse if you feel they are too high.

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

    1.  Weir A, Westerhoff P, Fabricius L, Hristovski K, von Goetz N. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles in food and personal care products. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Feb 21;46(4):2242-50. doi: 10.1021/es204168d. Epub 2012 Feb 8.
    2. Ambalavanan N, Stanishevsky A, Bulger A, Halloran B, Steele C, Vohra Y, Matalon S. Titanium oxide nanoparticle instillation induces inflammation and inhibits lung development in mice. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2013 Feb 1;304(3):L152-61. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00013.2012. Epub 2012 Dec 7.
    3. Roberts JR, Chapman RS, Tirumala VR, Karim A, Chen BT, Schwegler-Berry D, Stefaniak AB, Leonard SS, Antonini JM. Toxicological evaluation of lung responses after intratracheal exposure to non-dispersed titanium dioxide nanorods. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2011;74(12):790-810. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2011.567954.
    4.  Márquez-Ramírez SG, Delgado-Buenrostro NL, Chirino YI, Iglesias GG, López-Marure R. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles inhibit proliferation and induce morphological changes and apoptosis in glial cells. Toxicology. 2012 Dec 16;302(2-3):146-56. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Oct 5.
    5.  Yu Y, Ren W, Ren B. Nanosize titanium dioxide cause neuronal apoptosis: a potential linkage between nanoparticle exposure and neural disorder. Neurol Res. 2008 Jul 25.
    6.  Skocaj M, Filipic M, Petkovic J, Novak S. Titanium dioxide in our everyday life; is it safe? Radiol Oncol. 2011 Dec;45(4):227-47. doi: 10.2478/v10019-011-0037-0. Epub 2011 Nov 16.
    7. Nohynek GJ, Dufour EK. Nano-sized cosmetic formulations or solid nanoparticles in sunscreens: a risk to human health? Arch Toxicol. 2012 Jul;86(7):1063-75. doi: 10.1007/s00204-012-0831-5. Epub 2012 Mar 31.