Dangers From Gelatin and Titanium Dioxide Sub-Micron Nano Particles

I was speaking just now with a technician at a compounding pharmacy about their use of gelatin capsules, colored with titanium dioxide. She told me after speaking with a pharmacist, that their manufacturer of gelatin capsules does not disclose the source of the gelatin that is used in their capsules.

Here is some readily available information from ‘Web MD’ that you might want to look into further. It is well known that certain Gelatin products contain toxins that will affect everyone, and may affect others more quickly. As you will see, even the link below is urging people to avoid using gelatin, especially pregnant women. Also, emerging science has shown concern for Titanium Dioxide, in both nano size and macro sized particles.  It has been shown a probable carcinogen.


Gelatin can cause an unpleasant taste, sensation of heaviness in the stomachbloating,  heartburn, and belching. Gelatin can cause allergic reactions in some people.

There is some concern about the safety of gelatin because it comes from animal sources. Some people are worried that unsafe manufacturing practices might lead to contamination of gelatin products with diseased animal tissues including those that might transmit mad cow  disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). Although this risk seems to be low, many experts advise against using animal-derived supplements like gelatin. Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy  and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of gelatin in medicinal amounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use when possible.



TiO2 (Titanium Dioxide) NPs (Nano Particles)  in everyday life

Nano-sized TiO2 in various forms is used widely in everyday life in a variety of products, such as anti-fouling paints, household products, plastic goods, medications, cosmetics, sunscreens, pharmaceutical additives and food colorants, and many new applications are under development or already in pilot production. In the following sections we consider the main entry ports of nano-sized TiO2 into the human body and potential adverse effects.

TiO2 NPs intake by food

TiO2 has been well accepted in the food industry and can be found as the E171 additive in various food products, mainly for whitening and texture. It is present in some cottage and Mozzarella cheeses, horseradish cream and sauces, lemon curd, and in low-fat products such as skimmed milk and ice-cream. Even if the product is labelled as containing E171, no information is usually given about the quantity, particle size and particle structure. FDA claims that TiO2 may be safely used as a colour additive for colouring foods in quantities up to 1 % by weight of the food.86 Interestingly, TiO2 is frequently declared as a natural colouring agent and is therefore well accepted by consumers.

TiO2 is also used in oral pharmaceutical formulations5, and the Pharmaceutical Excipients handbook considers nano-sized TiO2 a non-irritant and non-toxic excipient. Despite the fact that TiO2 submicron- and nano-sized particles are widely used as food and pharmaceutical additives, information on their toxicity and distribution upon oral exposure is very limited.

Potential hazards of oral exposure to TiO2 NPs 

The gastrointestinal tract is a complex barrier/exchange system, and is the most important route by which macromolecules can enter the body. The main absorption takes place through villi and microvilli of the epithelium of the small and large intestines, which have an overall surface of about 200 m2. Already in 1922, it was recognized by Kumagai87, that particles can translocate from the lumen of the intestinal tract via aggregation of intestinal lymphatic tissue (Peyer’s patch, containing M-cells (phagocytic enterocytes)). Uptake can also occur via the normal intestinal enterocytes. Solid particles, once in the sub-mucosal tissue, are able to enter both the lymphatic and blood circulation.

In an early study Jani et al.88 administred rutile TiO2 (500 nm) as a 0.1 ml of 2.5 % w/v suspension (12.5 mg/kg BW) to female Sprague Dawley rats, by oral gavage daily for 10 days and detected presence of particles in all the major gut associated lymphoid tissue as well as in distant organs such as the liver, spleen, lung and peritoneal tissue, but not in heart and kidney. The distribution and toxicity of nano- (25 nm, 80 nm) and submicron-sized (155 nm) TiO2 particles were evaluated in mice administered a large, single, oral dosing (5 g/kg BW) by gavage.89 In the animals that were sacrificed two weeks later, ICP-MS analysis showed that the particles were retained mainly in liver, spleen, kidney, and lung tissues, indicating that they can be transported to other tissues and organs after uptake by the gastrointestinal tract. Interestingly, although an extremely high dose was administrated, no acute toxicity was observed. In groups exposed to 80 nm and 155 nm particles, histopathological changes were observed in the liver, kidney and in the brain.

The biochemical serum parameters also indicated liver, kidney and cardiovascular damage and were higher in mice treated with nano-sized (25 or 80 nm) TiO2 compared to submicron-sized (155 nm) TiO2. However, the main weaknesses of this study are the use of extremely high single dose and insufficient characterisation of the particles.

Duan et al.90 administered 125 mg/kg BW or 250 mg/kg BW of anatase TiO2 (5 nm) intragastrically to mice continuously for 30 days. The exposed mice lost body weight, whereas the relative liver, kidney, spleen and thymus weights increased. Particles seriously affected the haemostasis of the blood and the immune system. The decrease in the immune response could be the result of damage to the spleen, which is the largest immune organ in animals and plays an important role in the immune response. Powel et al.91demonstrated that TiONPs may trigger immune reactions of the intestine after oral intake. They showed that TiO NPs conjugated with bacterial lipopolysaccharide, but not TiO2 NPs or lipopolysaccharide alone, trigger the immune response in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in isolated intestinal tissue.

This indicates that TiO2 NPs may be important mediators in overcoming normal gut-cell hyporesponsiveness to endogenous luminal molecules, which may be particularly relevant to patients with inflammatory bowel disease, which is characterized by an abnormal intestinal permeability.

The National Cancer Institute tested TiO2 for possible carcinogenicity by the oral route of exposure by feeding rats and mice with TiO2 (size not specified) at doses 25,000 or 50,000 ppm TiO2 for 103 weeks. They concluded that TiO2 was not carcinogenic.92 Also, the study with rats fed diets containing up to 5 % TiO2 coated mica for 130 weeks showed no treatment-related carcinogenicity.93 Since the size and other TiO2 properties were not specified or determined, we cannot generalize this conclusion and we have to take into account other possible outcomes of this scenario in different exposure conditions (other size/crystalline structure of TiO2 etc.).

It should also be considered that due to the low pH in the stomach, the increased dissolution of the TiO2particles may increase its bioavailability and may facilitate the entry of titanium ions into the blood circulation.94 Despite the relatively large consumption of TiOas a food additive, no studies on the effect of pH on its absorption and bioavailability have been found in the literature. This can be attributed to a general belief that TiO2is completely insoluble. However, this is not completely true, as TiO2 particles show a certain degree of solubility.33


Of course there are many who are knowledgeable about these issues, and will request your Organic Capsules. However, my hope is always that we who -DO Know- will take the extra steps needed to protect those who don’t know, but none-the-less are expecting US to not only be aware, but to help them — to become and stay healthy.

 Dr. Emi

Emi Miller, RN, HN-BC, Diplomate NCCAOM, ABT, ND
Integrative Holistic Health


About Emi Miller

Emi Miller has practiced Integrative Holistic Medicine for thirty years. She is a Registered Nurse, Nationally Certified Holistic Nurse, NCCAOM Certified Asian Bodywork Therapist, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, and an Interfaith, Stephen Minister. Emi is also a meditation teacher and Pastoral Care Counselor. She has been a student of the world's Spiritual traditions for more than fifty years, and blessed to receive wisdom from many Masters and Saints. She is dedicated to helping bring forth unity of the world's religious Ideals, and the reality of the One Creator of All. Besides her writing and studying the sacred religious traditions, Emi enjoys long walks by the ocean, music and theatre, taking journeys and discovering beauty in natural places, and visiting with good friends and family.
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