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Exposure To Nanoparticles In Digestive System Affects Absorption Of Iron

March 8, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have found that digestive exposure to nanoparticles of polystyrene influences the absorption of the important nutrient iron into the bloodstream. Nanoparticles are contained in many substances, from cosmetics and clothes, to soda and snacks. For brief exposures to polystyrene particles, iron absorption dropped by 50 percent. But when exposure to nanoparticles was significantly increased, absorption of iron increased by about 200 percent. “It was very clear,” the researchers concluded, “nanoparticles definitely affect iron uptake and transport." The researchers hope to test whether nanoparticles also disrupt absorption of calcium, copper and zinc, as well as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Gretchen J. Mahler et al., "Oral exposure to polystyrene nanoparticles affects iron absorption", Nature Nanotechnology, March 08, 2012, © Nature Publishing Group
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