At NutraBio, we only use clear, uncolored capsules. This is for a myriad of reasons, but one is that we found it pertinent to avoid using any capsules that contain titanium dioxide. Over the years, this chemical has found its way into an unheard of amount of food products and supplements.Ever wonder why some powdered donuts are so white? It’s not just the powdered sugar; titanium dioxide helps makes whites brighter. Why would any company use this you ask? Cost. It saves money because only a little achieves a brilliant white or increases opacity.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified titanium dioxide as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen: ”possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The reality is, while it’s been considered biologically inert for well over a hundred years, it really isn’t. Newer animal research is demonstrating this and a lot of it has to do with the reduction of particle sizes. As technology has advanced, titanium dioxide particles have become smaller and the research is showing the nanoparticles of titanium dioxide are what are proving to be dangerous.
Ironically, up to 5% of titanium dioxide found in food was at the nanoparticle size based on a 2012 study from the University of Arizona. Generally speaking, toxicology researchers generally agree that these nanoparticles can cause inflammation, pulmonary damage, fibrosis, and lung tumors in animals, and they are possibly carcinogenic to humans. So with that in mind, why even take the risk?
Here are some cold hard facts about titanium dioxide nanoparticles.
- In animal studies, titanium dioxide is proven to cause inflammation and cancer. This is without question.
- In human research circles, toxicology assessments of titanium dioxide nanoparticles are severely lacking and most newer research on the matter is calling for this to be conducted. This is without question.
- Major food companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts have pulled titanium dioxide from their products to stay ahead of any potential health or safety issues. This is without question.
- Supplement companies use titanium dioxide as a pigment enhancer to enhance the brilliance of their white capsules. This is without question.
- It is not necessary to use titanium dioxide in capsules for dietary supplements. There are vegetable-based capsules that may not appear as pretty, but they don’t give rise to uncertainty either. This is without question.
So the question to you now is: do you feel it’s better for your long-term health to avoid using food or supplements containing titanium dioxide? With growing uncertainty surrounding this widely used ingredient and mounting evidence suggesting it can cause health issues, such as inflammation and cancer, we feel it’s best to not take the risk.
As you can see, there is a very real reason why we’ve avoided it in our products. Like you, our goal is to perform better and live a long and healthy life. It’s also our job to provide you with the necessary information to be more informed about what you are putting in your body. In the meantime, we’ll continue to only use vegetable-based capsules to avoid uncertainty and ensure we’ll never have to worry about the long-term effects of titanium dioxide.
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Weir A, Westerhoff P, Fabricius L, Hristovski K, and von Goetz N. “Titanium dioxide nanoparticles in food and personal care products.” Environ Sci Technol. (2012, Feb 21), 46(4):2242–2250.
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Isidore, Chris. “Dunkin’ Donuts to Remove Titanium Dioxide from Donuts.” CNNMoney. March 10, 2015. Accessed August 19, 2015.
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