Subscribe (free)
About NaturalNews
Contact Us
Write for NaturalNews
Media Info
Advertising Info

Carrageenan: a popular natural ingredient that may compromise health

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 by: Carolanne Wright
Tags: carrageenan, natural ingredients, food labels

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
(NaturalNews) Found in an astounding array of foods, from cereal bars to non-dairy milk substitutes, carrageenan is not as harmless as it may appear upon first glance. Linked with gastrointestinal inflammation, lesions and malignant tumors, carrageenan can cause significant damage. And if you think purchasing organic will keep you safe, think again. A true case of buyer beware, taking a second look at your favorite foods may prevent a number of health problems down the road.

Troubled history

Used throughout the food industry, carrageenan is an extremely common ingredient. You might be surprised as to the sheer range of products that utilize the additive, including the following organic examples:

chocolate milk
cottage cheese
ice cream
shelf-stable milk
sour cream
almond milk
non-dairy cheese alternative
chocolate soy milk
coconut milk
coffee creamer
flax milk
frozen non-dairy dessert
hazelnut milk
hemp milk
oat milk
rice milk
soy milk
soy nog
soy yogurt
sunflower milk
nutritional drinks
deli meat
acai juice
cereal bars
prepared meals

Since carrageenan is derived from a natural source, we may not think there is cause for alarm. But upon closer inspection, carrageenan is far from benign. According to "Carrageenan: Risks and Reality":

"The unique chemical structure of carrageenan triggers an innate immune response in the body, which recognizes it as a dangerous invader. This immune response leads to inflammation. For individuals who consume carrageenan on a regular or daily basis, the inflammation will be prolonged and constant, which is a serious health concern since prolonged inflammation is a precursor to more serious disease."

Joanne Tobacman, M.D., veteran carrageenan researcher and associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Chicago, agrees. She states in Prevention that "[c]arrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding."

Dr. Tobacman is involved with ongoing research that examines the effect carrageenan has on ulcerative colitis, as well as other diseases like diabetes. And yet, concerns about food-grade carrageenan are nothing new. Since the 1960s, the additive has been under scrutiny by researchers who found food-grade carrageenan caused gastrointestinal disease in lab animals - including colon cancer and intestinal lesions.

Take action

If you would like to protect yourself from the dangers of carrageenan, here are a few tips:

Read labels. One of the best (and easiest) methods to reduce exposure to carrageenan is to consistently scan labels. Since carrageenan must legally be listed, have a look at your favorite convenience food to see if it's an ingredient.

Make your voice heard. Sign the petition to the FDA for the removal of carrageenan from our food supply and make it clear to the agency that the additive isn't safe for consumption.

Review the list. The Cornucopia Institute has created a practical shopping guide that helps you identify which products and brands use carrageenan -- and those that do not.

Sources for this article include:





About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Thrive-Living/4995788...

For Pinterest fans: www.pinterest.com/thriveliving/

Find at Google+: www.goo.gl/cEZiyR

Diaspora*: carolanne@pod.orkz.net

Tsu: www.tsu.co/ThriveLiving

and Twitter: www.twitter.com/Thrive_Living

Read her other articles on Natural News here:

STAY INFORMED! Free subscription to the Health Ranger's email newsletter
Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.