A Journal of People report
A new study carried out by the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in the UK and published in the Scientific Reports Journal said:
Toothpastes and a few other food products contain an additive called titanium dioxide, which may cause cancer.
An additive is a substance used in products to improve or preserve it. Titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring oxide of titanium. It is commonly referred to as E171 on the ingredient list and is often used in products like toothpastes, biscuits, chewing gums and sunscreen.
Scientists from France and Luxembourg have discovered that 40% of the rats who had chemical in their drinking water had precancerous growths.
For the study, these rats were given the chemical through their drinking water for 100 days. The amount given was proportional to what humans would be exposed through food and beauty commodities.
The scientists have identified that titanium dioxide this chemical can pass through the blood and be absorbed by the intestine.
The study results also showed that this chemical weakened their immune system.
A previous study conducted by the International Agency for Research found that inhaling titanium dioxide, often used in paint, could cause cancer.
Although it has not been proven that this chemical can cause cancer in humans, the French government has ordered an inquiry into the use of titanium dioxide in various products.
Consumers are exposing them daily to this alleged toxic chemical through food and personal care products as they use these. The chemical is also used as bleaching agent in creams or as a anti-caking agent in biscuits. It may also be found in chocolates to give a smooth texture and in tooth pastes to create abrasion.
Fried potatoes, burnt toast May Cause Cancer
A few months ago, the research division at the World Health Organisation declared that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer ruled that “Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”.
They concluded that each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. And now the Food Standards Agency (FSA) of UK has launched a campaign to warn about the cancer risks of eating overdone fries or even a burnt toast.
Experts are now highlighting that eating overcooked starchy foods could be a health risk.
According to the British watch dog, starchy foods like potatoes and bread produce a harmful chemical called acrylamide when cooked at high temperatures.
Acrylamide is a chemical substance formed by the reaction between amino acids and sugars. The chemical turns bread or potatoes turn golden brown when cooked. It is produced when starchy foods like bread, root vegetables and potatoes are cooked at high temperatures (over 120 degrees) during roasting or frying. The chemical is not added to foods deliberately. It is a natural by-product formed during the cooking process due to the substances present in food.
FSA’s campaign against overcooked starchy foods is based on laboratory tests show that acrylamide in the diet causes cancer in animals. The carcinogenic nature of acrylamide in food was first discovered by a Swedish study in 2002. While the same has not been proven in human studies, scientists seem to agree that acrylamide has the potential to cause cancer in humans.
Foods like roasted potatoes and root vegetables, chips, crisps, toast, cakes, biscuits, cereals and coffee naturally contain acrylamide. The aim of the campaign is not to shun these foods but to be careful about the way they are cooked.
If these starchy foods are heated for too long they turn from golden to brown and finally black. This intensifies the levels of acrylamide produced which can pose a health risk.
The campaign is trying to create an awareness about overcooked or burnt starchy foods and avoid eating overcooked potatoes or burnt toast.
FSA has given the following advice that everyone should follow while cooking these foods:
1. We should cook these foods till they are light golden and avoid reaching a stage where they turn dark brown.
2. In case of using packaged foods, we should follow the instructions on the pack regarding the heating temperature in order to avoid overcooking.
3. We should not store potatoes in fridge if we wish to cook them at a high temperature. The cold climate cause more free sugars to be formed which can increase the levels of acrylamide during the process of cooking. We should keep them in a cool, dark place.
4. Since it is not possible to completely avoid acrylamide in our food, we should have a more healthy and balanced diet to offset any risks.
Nutritionists suggest overcooking is harmful for any type of food as when carbohydrates are exposed to high temperatures they release more sugar in the body. More the food is cooked the more difficult it becomes to digest and metabolize it. When the food is not digested properly, it will remain in the gut and start becoming toxic. The carbohydrates ferment, the proteins decay, fats become rancid and of course, certain reactions may take place between these substances that can release harmful chemicals which may not be able to get eliminated from the body.