Credit: © pamela_d_mcadams / Fotolia

Credit: © pamela_d_mcadams / Fotolia

Cake icing can make inflammatory bowel disease worse

Cake icing can make inflammatory bowel disease worse, according to the latest research from the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles are increasingly being used in food products, cosmetics, and more. The new study suggests that they might increase inflammation of the digestive system.

According to Healthline:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) represents a group of intestinal disorders that cause prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract. The digestive tract is composed of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. It’s responsible for breaking down food, extracting the nutrients, and removing any unusable material and waste products. Inflammation anywhere along the digestive tract disrupts this normal process. IBD can be very painful and disruptive, and in some cases, may even be life-threatening.

The study abstract outlined the following methods and results:

Design: Wild-type and NLRP3-deficient mice with dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis were orally administered with TiO2nanoparticles. The proinflammatory effects of TiO2 particles in cultured human intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and macrophages were also studied, as well as the ability of TiO2 crystals to traverse IEC monolayers and accumulate in the blood of patients with IBD using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

Results: Oral administration of TiO2 nanoparticles worsened acute colitis through a mechanism involving the NLRP3 inflammasome. Importantly, crystals were found to accumulate in spleen of TiO2-administered mice. In vitro, TiO2 particles were taken up by IECs and macrophages and triggered NLRP3-ASC-caspase-1 assembly, caspase-1 cleavage and the release of NLRP3-associated interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. TiO2 also induced reactive oxygen species generation and increased epithelial permeability in IEC monolayers. Increased levels of titanium were found in blood of patients with UC having active disease.

Based on our results, patients with an intestinal barrier dysfunction as found in colitis should abstain from foods containing titanium dioxide,” emphasizes Dr. Gerhard Rogler, the study lead author.

The study showing that cake icing can make inflammatory bowel disease worse was published in the journal Gut.

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1. “Cake Icing Pigment Could Worsen Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 24 July 2017. Web. 27 July 2017.
2. “Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Exacerbate DSS-induced Colitis: Role of the NLRP3 Inflammasome.” Gut. BMJ Publishing Group, 01 July 2017. Web. 27 July 2017.

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