A new study by Binghamton University has outlined the ability of nano particles to influence the body’s metabolic processes. The FDA has not regulated the labeling requirements of nanoparticles. The metabolic processes are affected by glucose absorption and nanoparticles have been shown to alter glucose absorption. Nanoparticles are added to processed foods to enhance texture and color and have been linked to changes in gut function and the concentration of nanoparticles in the human body has increased as the level of nanoparticles has increased.
The study by Binghampton University adds to the research illustrating the impact on gut bacteria. Gut bacteria may eliminate the impact of nanoparticles. The gut microbiome consists of a variety of gut bacteria which have a positive or nengative effect on the metabolic processes. is the population of microbes living within the human intestine, consisting of tens of trillions of microorganisms (including at least 1,000 different species of known bacteria).
The researchers used the common fruit-fly, also referred to as Drosphilia, to determine how ingesting nanoparticles influences glucose processing and the gut microbiome.
The results reflect that nanoparticles may have a cumulative effect and that consumption may interrupt metabolic processes. The researchers recommend additional research into the specific metabolic regulatory mechanism.
In a previous study researchers used 50-nanometer polystyrene carboxylated particles that are commercially available and generally considered safe for human consumption. That study revealed that nanoparticles cause micronutrient deficiencies due to their ability to impact on iron absorption.
“Nanoparticles are entering our environment in many different ways. We have some assurance from US regulatory agencies that at a gross level they are not harmful, but there may be more subtle effects that we need to worry about.”, said Dr. Michael Shuler.