Food-grade titanium dioxide exposure exacerbates tumor formation in colitis associated cancer model

Ismael M. Urrutia-Ortega, Luis G. Garduno-Balderas, Norma L. Delgado-Buenrostro, Veronica Freyre-Fonseca, Jose O. Flores-Flores, Arturo Gonzalez-Robles, Jose Pedraza-Chaverri, Rogelio Hernandez-Pando, Miriam Rodriguez-Sosa, Sonia Leon-Cabrera, Luis I. Terrazas, Henk van Loveren, Yolanda I. Chirino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

81 Citations (Web of Science)


Colorectal cancer is the fourth worldwide cause of death and even if some dietary habits are consider risk factors, the contribution of food additives including foodgrade titanium dioxide (TiO2), designated as E171, has been poorly investigated. We hypothesized that oral E171 intake could have impact on the enhancement of colorectal tumor formation and we aimed to investigate if E171 administration could enhance tumor formation in a colitis associated cancer (CAC) model. BALB/c male mice were grouped as follows: a) control, b) E171, c) CAC and d) CAC + E171 group (n = 6). E171 used in this study formed agglomerates of 300 nm in water. E171 intragastric administration (5 mg/kg body weight/5 days/10 weeks) was unable to induce tumor formation but dysplastic alterations were observed in the distal colon but enhanced the tumor formation in distal colon (CAC + E171 group) measured by tumor progression markers. Some E171 particles were internalized in colonic cells of the E171 and CAC + E171 groups and both groups showed a decrease in goblet cells in the distal colon. However the CAC + E171 group showed a higher decrease of these cells that act as protection barrier in colon. These results suggest that E171 could worsen pre-existent intestinal diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-31
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • E171 food additive
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Colon tumors
  • Goblet cells
  • Azoxymethane
  • Dextran sulfate sodium

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