Is Food Packaging Affecting Nutrient Absorption in Your Body? Maybe

We 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 or your intestinal cell gene and protein expression. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Food packaging may be be having an impact on your body’s nutrient absorption. “We 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 or your intestinal cell gene and protein expression,” said Gretchen Mahler, associate professor of biomedical engineering.
According to Mahler, 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. Mahler then looked at the effect the particles had on the digestive tract and explained:

Unsure of long-term impact of nanoparticles in food packaging

Although Mahler studied the effects of nanoparticles from food packaging in the lab, she said she is unsure what the long-term health implications might be:

The researchers are looking at how an animal model (chickens) responds to nanoparticle ingestion.

Provided by: Binghamton University [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

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