When a gold leaf or gold foil is ingested, it is considered to be excreted through the digestive organ without reaction with digestive juices, such as gastric acid. Since the standard thickness of gold leaves is about 0.1 µm, when a small gold leaf stays in the human digestive tract for a prolonged period without being gradually dissolved, the possibility of chronic inflammatory and carcinogenesis in the digestive tract through a mechanism similar to asbestos-induced carcinogenesis cannot be ruled out. Edible gold leaf has no nutritional usefulness for humans other than a luxury appearance and it has a high risk of safety; however, development of safe edible gold leaf of gold foil as an alloy completely dissolved in the digestive tract is necessary.
Key words: carcinogenesis, gold leaf, gold foil, chronic inflammation, digestive system
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