Does this “safe” ingredient in sunscreens cause Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s?

August 11, 2009
Volume 06    |   Issue 34

Most sunscreens contain small particles of titanium dioxide. This mineral safely protects the surface of the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. But what would happen if sunblocks or other products contained ultrafine particles of titanium dioxide? Particles small enough to get through the skin and enter cells within the body? Would the mineral still be safe? A new study says “no.”

According to the study, these tiny particles, called nanoparticles, could cause serious neurological diseases. This includes learning disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s.

The researchers, from the Tokyo University of Science, found that when they injected nanoparticles of titanium dioxide into pregnant mice, they caused changes in hundreds of genes. These genes' mutations can cause childhood diseases, such as autism, epilepsy, and learning disorders. In adults, they can cause Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia.

The researchers gave the mice in this study high doses of titanium dioxide nanoparticles. So we don’t know how relevant the conclusions are to humans, who will likely use very small doses. But that’s just the point. We don’t know!

We’re just beginning to understand the effects of nanoparticles. However, drug and supplement manufacturers are already using them in their products. These companies are studying nanoparticles. But they’re looking only at their effectiveness. Their safety is assumed because of their relationship to larger molecules of the same substance. This is a huge mistake – one that I predict will negatively impact the lives and health of thousands of people. We can’t make assumptions, especially since topical nanoparticles may be small enough to get into organs and other tissues.

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I talked about the dangers of nanoparticles in the August issue of my newsletter. This is available free on my website to all newsletter subscribers. If you look for cutting edge information this article is a “must read.” That’s because nanotechnology is the newest carrier system for nutrients and drug therapies. Unfortunately, it could be more harmful than beneficial.

Before you use any substance — either drug or nutrient — that says “nano,” read my article. You’ll see that only one nano substance is both safe and effective for internal use. And it’s not titanium dioxide. If your sunscreen contains nano, switch to another brand without nano. If your sunscreen doesn’t contain nano particles, it should be safe.

Your voice of reason in Women's Health,


Midori Shimizu, Hitoshi Tainaka, Taro Oba, Keisuke Mizuo, Masakazu Umezawa and Ken Takeda, Particle and Fibre Toxicology, August 2009.

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