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What is Carrageenan?
Carrageenan is extracted from red seaweed. It is commonly used to thicken, emulsify, and preserve food and drinks.
How Is It Harmful?
It sounds pretty natural, right? And yet experts have actually been warning us for decades that the use of carrageenan in food is not safe.
When the seaweed extract is processed with alkali, it is referred to as “undegraded” carrageenan that is considered “food grade.” Manufacturers consider this type of carrageenan to be safe, even though a ton of scientific literature proposes that the acidic environment in our stomach degrades the “food-grade” carrageenan, exposing our intestines to this widely recognized carcinogen.
*Note: When this seaweed extract is processed with an acid, it’s called “degraded” carrageenan, which is a POTENT inflammatory agent. According to the Cornucopia Institute, scientists routinely use degraded carrageenan to induce inflammation and other diseases in lab animals.
Potential Health Impacts and Studies
Carrageenan is linked to inflammation, bloating, IBS, glucose intolerance, colon issues, and food allergies! Why? According to the Cornucopia Institute, the unique chemical structure of carrageenan triggers an innate immune response in the body, which leads to inflammation, a precursor to more serious diseases.
In fact, close to 4,000 research studies show that carrageenan induced inflammation, and animal studies have shown that food-grade carrageenan causes GI inflammation and even malignant tumors.
Inflammation is at the core of most every disease. It’s not shocking that according to Dr. Stephen Hanauer, Chief Section of GI, Hepatology, and Nutrition, that the rising prevalence of ulcerative colitis across the globe is correlated with the increased consumption of processed foods, including products containing carrageenan.
Products with Carrageenan & Substitutes
Carrageenan is commonly found in nut milks, meat products, yogurt, whipped cream, chocolate milk, ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, squeeze yogurt, soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, sliced turkey, prepared chicken, Ensure, Slimfast, canned soup, frozen pizza, chewable vitamins, tortillas, and more! Always read the ingredients list to make sure that it’s not hiding in your food.