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Titanium dioxide is an ingredient that you will often find in dietary supplements, even though it is not a food. In fact, titanium dioxide is a mineral that is found in rutile, brookite and anatese.
Titanium dioxide is full of impurities in its original form. Great pains are taken to remove the impurities to create a pure white powder.
A problem of the produces of titanium dioxide occurred recently when the International Agency for Research on Cancer named titanium dioxide a cancer causing substance. This is a big deal because titanium dioxide is used in so many products; however, the highest danger levels come from titanium dioxide dust.
One of the most common uses for titanium dioxide is as a white pigment. It is used in paint, glazes, as coating for mirrors and gems, in plastic, ink, makeup and more. You will find it in sunscreen as well as toothpaste and in nearly every synthesized vitamin product on the market today.
Titanium dioxide is cheap to use and the ultra white pigment, which can be used to whiten other things, which is why it is used in toothpaste, appeals to many manufactures because it provides a clean slate, so to speak, in terms of creating a product that looks good.
In vitamin supplements, titanium dioxide is used as a filler. It offers no nutritional value, but it is absorbed by the bloodstream when you use products that contain titanium dioxide.
There is some cause for alarm considering the studies that show that titanium dioxide does indeed cause cancer. The problem is that human studies aren’t possible because no one is going to deliberately try to cause cancer in humans.
However, the International Agency for Research conducted independent research. They used men and women who already work with titanium dioxide, specifically in dust form, on a regular basis.
Essentially, they were trying to determine if there were any adverse affects from the titanium dioxide. The short answer to this question is yes.
Men and women who were exposed to powder titanium dioxide dust have a much higher rate of cancer than people in other work group. The results of this research led to an animal study, which is all that is allowed when determining the cause or rate of cancer from a product. The end results were that all of the rats exposed to titanium dioxide dust got lung cancer.
Right now, the implication is that you have to ingest the titanium dioxide in order to be at risk for cancer. Small studies using topical creams revealed no absorption of titanium dioxide into the skin, although scientists agree that more study is needed.
However, there is no doubt that when titanium dioxide is taken in supplement form, it is being ingested into the body. The problem is that there haven’t been any studies yet to determine what the danger levels might be. But as the old adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
After the release of the study of titanium dioxide and its possible carcinogen effects, companies like Vitacost made a fundamental change in the ingredients for their products. They no longer use titanium dioxide in their synthetically created vitamins.
Unfortunately, there are no other vitamin companies that have followed suit at this time. Some are banking on the fact that further studies will prove that there are no concerns about titanium dioxide causing cancer when used in supplements.
There is an easy solution to this problem and that is to go with all natural and/or organic products. Titanium dioxide is not a food product, which means any vitamins that claim to be whole foods or organic will not contain titanium dioxide.
In the end, this could all be a cancer scare and nothing more. The question that you need to ask yourself is, is it worth the risk.
There is no doubt that titanium dioxide dust can cause cancer. However, there is too little evidence regarding other uses of titanium dioxide to determine if this is the case for supplements, skin products and so on.
You also need to consider the fact that titanium dioxide is not a food and it offers no nutritional value to your body. Choosing a product that doesn’t contain titanium dioxide, at the very least, means that you aren’t putting unnecessary ingredients in your body, at the most, it might save you life.
Use the supplement finder to find whole food supplements that will benefit your health!