There are many things that can wreak havoc on your digestion including stress, food intolerances and allergies, and underlying medical conditions. But a new study has found a specific ingredient in canned goods could be a possible culprit of indigestion.
Canned foods use zinc oxide nanoparticles, as they prevent staining of sulfur-producing foods along with having antimicrobial properties. Until now, there hasn’t been much research on the effects of these nanoparticles on health. The researchers at the University of Binghamton dug further into this potential link and found that these nanoparticles can harm our digestion.
The researchers first looked at the concentrations of zinc oxide nanoparticles in canned tuna, corn, and asparagus. They found that these canned items had 100 times more than the recommended daily allowance of zinc oxide.
To observe the effects of zinc oxide on digestion, the researchers put a small intestine model in cell culture. They exposed the cells to a realistic dose of zinc oxide nanoparticles and subjected them to digestion stimulation. The researchers observed the transformation of the nanoparticles during the digestive process.
They uncovered that the zinc oxide altered how the intestine absorbs nutrients. The nanoparticles attached to the intestinal walls and caused remodeling or loss of microvilli. In turn, this leads to a reduction of nutrition absorption over time.
Furthermore, high intake of these nanoparticles could lead to gut permeability of the intestine.
The long-term effects of exposure to zinc oxide nanoparticles are still unknown, but the preliminary results reveal some consequences. In the meantime, as further research is conducted, you should limit your intake of canned items to reduce your intake of zinc oxide nanoparticles.