PurposeTitanium is a naturally occurring mineral in the form of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and is one of the most widely used food additives. The purpose of this review article is to show the importance of the accumulation of this mineral in the gut and its relation with inflammatory processes.MethodologyThis is a literature review study from 2002 to 2016, focusing on studies with TiO2 and its relation with inflammatory bowel diseases.FindingsArticles describe that TiO2 is resistant to gastrointestinal degradation, as it has high stability, and that its particles, ingested daily, may bind to biomolecules in the lumen or be absorbed by the intestinal mucosa, accumulating in the macrophages of lymphoid tissue in the gut, thus causing or aggravating the inflammatory response in the inflamed bowel.Limitations/implicationsThere is a limited number of studies on the long-term impact of dietary microparticles in animal models, in healthy subjects and in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases.Practical implicationsIt is necessary to regulate the amount of TiO2 used in industrialized products.Social implicationsThe high consumption of processed foods, as opposed to a healthy diet based on the balanced consumption of nutrients, is relevant, as it may lead to or exacerbate intestinal inflammation.Originality/valueThis review indicates that titanium particles may mediate toxicological processes leading to an abnormal increase in intestinal permeability, which may be particularly aggravating in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases.
Nutrition & Food Science – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 8, 2017
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