‘Check the label’: Popular vitamins and supplements may contain ‘carcinogen’

A growing body of evidence suggests that people should not take nutritional supplements unless they are deficient. While the NHS stresses that a daily vitamin D tablet is non-negotiable during the colder months, other foods may do more harm than good. Unfortunately, some dietary supplements may even contain a cancer-linked additive.

From vitamin D pills to supplement combinations, a variety of foods can contain a “carcinogen” known as titanium dioxide.

Whether you go for the cheaper version or prefer the high quality one, this supplement can be hidden in a range of supplements, vitamins and medications, according to supplement brand Dr Vegan.

Due to its coloring properties, titanium dioxide is added to dietary products to enhance their white color.

In addition, this ingredient can be found in vitamin brands made in the US and UK.

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The vegan supplement brand encourages you to “check the label” before taking a pill with a large sip of water.

Phased out by the European Food Safety Authority.

Don’t take Dr. Vegan’s word for it as the European Food Safety Authority announced that this ingredient can no longer be considered safe when used as a dietary supplement back in 2021.

The European Food Safety Authority has explained that titanium dioxide may be a possible carcinogen.

The EU decision to phase out titanium dioxide comes after a food additive safety reassessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an agency that provides the EU with independent scientific advice on food-related risks.

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EFSA experts reviewed nearly 12,000 scientific publications, focusing on the “genotoxicity” of titanium dioxide nanoparticles.

This describes the ability to damage DNA and lead to cellular mutations, potentially causing cancer.

Animal studies have shown that titanium dioxide nanoparticles affect microorganisms in the gut, which can cause diseases such as intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer.

Other animal studies have linked inhalation of this ingredient to the development of lung tumors.

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The EFSA Expert Panel on Food Additives and Flavors found they could not rule out concerns about the genotoxicity of nanoparticles that accumulate over time in the body, meaning they “can no longer be considered safe as a food additive.”

In addition to vitamins and supplements, titanium dioxide has also been previously used in some candies, baked goods, cheeses, chewing gum, sunscreens, and toothpaste.

What does the study say?

A 2011 study published in the journal Radiology and Oncology concluded that titanium dioxide nanoparticles should be used with “great caution” because studies cannot prove their safety.

The study explains that studies of skin exposure, which is significant in humans due to the use of sunscreens, showed “negligible” penetration.

However, the research team said more data is needed on long-term exposure and potential side effects.

At that time, research papers did not contain reliable data on its absorption, distribution, excretion and toxicity.

This study was published back in December 2011, before the supplement was declared carcinogenic.

Fortunately, checking the label of your supplements can alert you to the presence of titanium dioxide. It may also be listed under the name E171 in some products.

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