Could Nanoparticles in Your Vitamins Affect Your Wellness?
Researchers from Cornell are now warning about the wellness risks posed by nanoparticles in vitamins and food that are consumed every day. The new research turns on its head everything that we thought we knew about the safety of additives, as it seems to show that an FDA-approved substance that is present in some additives and vitamins may cause an iron deficiency in the body that has not previously been known.
A nanoparticle is a very tiny molecule and is something which is used in vitamins to help the body to absorb them as well as possible. Researchers have been looking into these molecules to see if there is a way that they can be utilised to transfer cancer drugs directly to cancer tumours in the body. The molecules are also added to sunscreens in order to transfer titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, although concerns have now been raised about the safety of these.
The study, led by the department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University looked at the effects of large doses of polystyrene nanoparticles on iron absorption, using chickens as the test subjects.
Chickens were used because iron is absorbed in their guts in the same way as it is in humans, and they are also susceptible to micronutrient deficiencies, much like humans are.
The study showed that nanoparticles seemed to inhibit the absorption of iron in the gut, which can lead to all kinds of serious health conditions and cause a number of problems in the human body. This may lead to calls for regulation of nanotechnology, as nanoparticles are not currently required to be labelled when present in any food substances or vitamins.
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