If you are a habitual grinder of chewing gum, pause, to question if it is causing serious health risks.
According to a new Australian study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, a commonly used food additive called Titanium Dioxide (E171), found in over 900 foods including soya milk, chewing gum and mayonnaise may not be as harmless as believed earlier.
The study conducted on mice revealed that E171 can impact the expression of certain genes associated with the function of the intestinal mucus layer. It may also enhance the generation of bacterial biofilm in the intestine, leading to inflammatory bowel disease.
“Biofilms are bacteria that stick together and the formation of biofilm has been reported in diseases such as colorectal cancer,” says Laurence Macia, co-lead author of the study.
Although the researchers have not yet linked E171 to any disease in humans, the study calls for better regulations and further studies over the impacts of nanoparticle food additives.
“This study presents pivotal evidence that consumption of food containing food additive E171 affects gut microbiota as well as inflammation in the gut, which could lead to diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer,” says co-lead author WojciechChrzanowski, Associate Professor at University of Sydney