21 Aug 2018

FOOD PACKAGING COULD BE NEGATIVELY AFFECTING NUTRIENT ABSORPTION IN YOUR BODY

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tinned food

Food packaging could be negatively affecting the way in which your digestive tract operates, according to new research by faculty and students at Binghamton University, State University at New York.

Researchers found that zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles at doses that are relevant to what you might normally eat in a meal or a day can change the way that your intestine absorbs nutrients.

These ZnO nanoparticles are present in the lining of certain canned goods for their antimicrobial properties and to prevent staining of sulfur-producing foods

In the study, canned corn, tuna, asparagus and chicken were studied using mass spectrometry to estimate how many particles might be transferred to the food. It was found that the food contained 100 times the daily dietary allowance of zinc.

Researchers then looked at the effect the particles had on the digestive tract:

  1. They tend to settle onto the cells in the gastrointestinal tract causing loss of the microvilli, resulting in a decrease in nutrient absorption.
  2. In high doses some of these nanoparticles caused inflammation, resulting in increased intestinal permeability. This means that compounds that are not supposed to pass through into the bloodstream might be able to do so.

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