A COMMON ingredient found in chewing gum and mayonnaise could trigger deadly bowel cancer, experts have warned.
Researchers claim that food additive titanium dioxide, which appears as E171 on labels, can have a harmful affect on the gut’s natural bacteria.
Getty – Contributor A food additive found in chewing gum to make it white could cause bowel cancer, experts warned
The team from the University of Sydney carried out a study on mice and found that eating food containing the whitening ingredient could impair some of the gut’s functions.
Their findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, suggested that consuming E171 could trigger inflammatory bowel diseases and even cancer.
Titanium dioxide is commonly used in high quantities in more than 900 food products, as well as in toothpaste, paint and sunscreen to make it white.
Its usage in foods, medicines and clothing has increased considerably in the last decade, despite insufficient evidence about its safety.Linked to other conditions
Exposure to nanoparticles has previously been linked to dementia, auto-immune disease, eczema, asthma, autism and increasing the spread of cancer.
Last month, France announced titanium dioxide would be banned from products as of next year following a 2017 review into the additive.
Government officials in Britain said at the time that E171 is “not of concern” and there is “no UK ban planned”.
Consumption of food containing titanium dioxide affects gut microbiota, which could lead to inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancerAssociate Professor Wojciech Chrzanowskithe study’s co-author
Co-lead author Associate Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski, a nanotoxicology expert at the University of Sydney, said: “It is well established that dietary composition has an impact on physiology and health, yet the role of food additives is poorly understood.
“There is increasing evidence that continuous exposure to nanoparticles has an impact on gut microbiota composition, and since gut microbiota is a gate keeper of our health, any changes to its function have an influence on overall health.
“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 (bowel) cancer.”‘Impairs gut function’
Co-lead author Associate Professor Laurence Macia, from the University of Sydney, added: “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.
“This study investigated effects of titanium dioxide on gut health in mice and found that titanium dioxide did not change the composition of gut microbiota, but instead it affected bacteria activity and promoted their growth in a form of undesired biofilm.
“Biofilms are bacteria that stick together and the formation of biofilm has been reported in diseases such as colorectal cancer.”
CommentDEBORAH JAMES Cancer hurts like hell but breathing (yes breathing) is helping me cope ExclusiveDOUBLE AGONY Newlywed nurse diagnosed with cancer at just 26 – after losing mum to disease RevealedKNOW THE SIGNS The five red flag warning signs of bowel cancer you should NEVER ignore CommentDEBORAH JAMES Don’t let it happen to you… the bowel cancer signs I wish I’d known earlier CommentDEBORAH JAMES I love carbs & turns out eating more can help beat bowel cancer! Win, win RevealedALL YOU CAN M-EAT What 25g of meat looks like on the plate after bowel cancer warnings SAVE YOUR BACON What is considered red meat, is it bad and what’s the link to bowel cancer? KILLER RASHER Pack of bacon a week increases risk of bowel cancer by a fifth, study claims GUT FEELING Eating too much red meat and 5 other ways you’re at risk of bowel cancer Exclusive’A LIFE OF NO REGRETS’ How I wrote an erotic novel while having chemo for bowel cancer CommentDEBORAH JAMES There’s no one face of cancer, we have to tell all sides: the pink & the grey
Dr Macia recommended that consumption of the additive should be better regulated by food authorities.
Bowel cancer is the second deadliest form of the disease in the UK, claiming 16,000 lives a year, but it can be cured.
Early diagnosis is key, which is why The Sun launched the No Time 2 Lose campaign – to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease, to empower everyone to check themselves.
The Sun’s Deborah James tells Lorraine viewers to ‘check poo for signs of bowel cancer’
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368 . You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.