Is carrageenan safe to eat?

Is carrageenan safe to eat?

Is carrageenan safe to eat?

Carrageenan has now become a common ingredient in foods such as soymilk, yogurt, chocolate and more. This ‘natural’ ingredient gives foods a thicker consistency and is often added to drinks to keep ingredients from separating. Carrageenan is a considered a natural ingredient, health experts believe it poses health concerns. So is carrageenan safe to eat?

What’s striking to me is that carrageenan has no nutritional value,” says Charlotte Vallaeys, director of farm and food policy at the Cornucopia Institute.

The institute recently launched an initiative asking the FDA to ban the ingredient.

Is carrageenan safe to eat? Are there health risks?

Studies have shown that carrageenan can cause health risks, especially with the digestive system. It can trigger an immune response similar to one caused by a pathogen.

Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” said Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Chicago. She published a paper in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, reviewing the harmful gastrointestinal tract of carrageenan. Her work has even shown a link between carrageenan and gastrointestinal cancer.

According to Dr. Tobacman’s research, carrageenan causes inflammation, which is considered a major risk factor for many serious diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer.

The conclusion: Is carrageenan safe to eat?

Health experts say no. “I recommend avoiding regular consumption of foods containing carrageenan, says Dr. Andrew Weil, one of American’s leading physicians and health experts. “This is especially important advice for persons with inflammatory bowel disease.”

A leading health activist, Food Babe, reports that major dairy company White Wave Foods has banned carrageenan in their products.

Remember to check labels for carrageenan. If you would like to help get carrageenan banned, sign the petition from the Cornucopia Institute. The Cornucopia Institute has also created a shopping guide to help consumers avoid carrageenan.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “The Natural Ingredient You Should Ban From Your Diet.” Prevention. Prevention, Apr. 2013. Web. 17 Jan. 2015.
2. “Is Carrageenan Safe?Dr. Andrew Weil. Dr. Andrew Weil, 1 Oct. 2012. Web. 17 Jan. 2015.
3. “Review of Harmful Gastrointestinal Effects of Carrageenan in Animal Experiments.” Environmental Health Perspectives. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2001. Web. 17 Jan. 2015.
4. “BREAKING: Major Company Removing Controversial Ingredient Carrageenan Because Of You!Food Babe. Food Babe, 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 17 Jan. 2015.
5. “Carrageenan.” Cornucopia Institute. Cornucopia Institute, 2013. Web. 17 Jan. 2015.

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