Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Nanoparticles in food, vitamins could harm human health

An intestinal cell monolayer after exposure to nanoparticles, shown in green.
An intestinal cell monolayer after exposure to nanoparticles, shown in green.

Abstract:
Billions of engineered nanoparticles in foods and pharmaceuticals are ingested by humans daily, and new Cornell research warns they may be more harmful to health than previously thought.

Nanoparticles in food, vitamins could harm human health

Ithaca, NY | Posted on February 16th, 2012

A research collaboration led by Michael Shuler, the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Chemical Engineering and the James and Marsha McCormick Chair of Biomedical Engineering, studied how large doses of polystyrene nanoparticles -- a common, FDA-approved material found in substances from food additives to vitamins -- affected how well chickens absorbed iron, an essential nutrient, into their cells.

The results were reported online Feb. 12 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

According to the study, high-intensity, short-term exposure to the particles initially blocked iron absorption, whereas longer-term exposure caused intestinal cell structures to change, allowing for a compensating uptick in iron absorption.

The researchers tested both acute and chronic nanoparticle exposure using human gut cells in petri dishes as well as live chickens and reported matching results. They chose chickens because these animals absorb iron into their bodies similarly to humans, and they are also similarly sensitive to micronutrient deficiencies, explained Gretchen Mahler, Ph.D. '08, the paper's first author and former Cornell graduate student and postdoctoral associate.

The researchers used commercially available, 50-nanometer polystyrene carboxylated particles that are generally considered safe for human consumption. They found that following acute exposure, a few minutes to a few hours after consumption, both the absorption of iron in the in vitro cells and the chickens decreased.

But following exposure of 2 milligrams per kilogram for two weeks -- a slower, more chronic intake -- the structure of the intestinal villi began to change and increase in surface area. This was an effective physiological remodeling that led to increased iron absorption.

"This was a physiological response that was unexpected," Mahler said.

Shuler noted that in some sense this intestinal villi remodeling was positive because it shows the body adapts to challenges. But it serves to underscore how such particles, which have been widely studied and considered safe, cause barely detectable changes that could lead to, for example, over-absorption of other, harmful compounds.

Human exposure to nanoparticles is only increasing, Shuler continued.

"Nanoparticles are entering our environment in many different ways," Shuler said. "We have some assurance that at a gross level they are not harmful, but there may be more subtle effects that we need to worry about."

The paper included Cornell co-authors Mandy Esch, a research associate in biomedical engineering; Elad Tako, a research associate at the Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health; Teresa Southard, assistant professor of biomedical sciences; Shivaun Archer, senior lecturer in biomedical engineering; and Raymond Glahn, senior scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and courtesy associate professor in the Department of Food Science. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation; New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research; Army Corp of Engineers; and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Chronicle Online
312 College Ave.
Ithaca, NY 14850
607.255.4206


Anne Ju


John Carberry
(607) 255-5353

Copyright © Cornell University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

The 16th Trends in Nanotechnology International Conference (TNT 2015) unveils 25 Keynote Speakers: Call for abstracts open April 27th, 2015

Graphenea celebrates fifth anniversary April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Announcements

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

The 16th Trends in Nanotechnology International Conference (TNT 2015) unveils 25 Keynote Speakers: Call for abstracts open April 27th, 2015

Graphenea celebrates fifth anniversary April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Cacao Seed Extract Used in Production of Catalytic Nanoparticles April 27th, 2015

Ethylene Nanosorbent, a Novel Product to Decrease Agricultural Waste April 20th, 2015

Iranian Foodstuff, Agricultural Industries Welcome Nanotechnology Packaging Bags April 18th, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

MIPT researchers put safety of magic anti-cancer bullet to test April 6th, 2015

NNI Publishes Workshop Report Assessing the Status of EHS Risk Science: Report examines progress three years after the release of the 2011 NNI EHS Research Strategy March 23rd, 2015

Are current water treatment methods sufficient to remove harmful engineered nanoparticle? March 10th, 2015

More study needed to clarify impact of cellulose nanocrystals on health: Few studies explore toxicity of cellulose nanocrystals March 10th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project