Originally published September 1 2013
Six reasons to avoid carrageenan in your alternative milk products and food purchases
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) Carrageenan is a food processing additive used exclusively for binding, emulsifying, and creating texture, especially as a fat substitute. It is initially extracted from red seaweed as a substance without any nutritional or taste value.
Degraded carrageenan, processed with acid solutions, is considered unsafe enough to prohibit its use in processed foods for humans and animals. It's so predictably inflammatory that it's used to create inflammatory conditions in lab animals for pharmaceutical research.
Undegraded carrageenan, created from red seaweed with an alkaline process, is considered food grade. Although the FDA regards food grade carrageenan as safe for human consumption, many scientists have done animal studies, epidemiological studies, and chemical analysis since the 1970s, some earlier, to at least question food grade carrageenan's safety.
Food grade carrageenan has found a home with food processors, even those with the USDA organic label, for baby formulas, ice creams, some beers, and all sorts of low or no fat dairy products. Even barium solutions used for gastrointestinal diagnostic x-rays contain carrageenan, and it's part of aircraft de-icing solutions.
The FDA's full approval for carrageenan in all food products stands even while FDA supportive international groups recommend carrageenan be removed from baby formulas.
You'd be wise to ignore the FDA and respect the years of diligent work from concerned scientists who recommend removing carrageenan additives as well as the thousands of testimonies from gastrointestinal disease sufferers whose serious maladies were eliminated upon avoiding foods containing carrageenan.
Why it's wise to avoid foods with carrageenan(1) Although degraded carrageenan outside of intentionally creating inflammation in lab animals was banned, a study of 12 food grade carrageenan substances found they all had traces of degraded carrageenan ranging from 5 to 25 percent.
(2) In his book Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Dr. Russell Blaylock refers to animal studies that have determined carrageenan is a tumor growth promoter. He also points out that carrageenan can harbor MSG.
(3) Both scientific research into GI issues and many anecdotal reports from colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and other GI ailment sufferers show even food grade carrageenan as a GI inflammatory agent. Avoiding carrageenan allowed them all to heal completely regardless of their ailments' severity.
(4) Dr. Joanne Tobacman, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa researched carrageenan for 10 years. The FDA and international food and health agencies more than ignored her peer reviewed published reports. They marginalized and denounced them.
In addition to corroborating other carrageenan danger reports, Dr. Tobacman determined that carrageenan accumulation in the GI creates holes in the gastrointestinal tract, allowing undigested food particles to enter the blood system and potentially clog lymph glands.
(5) Dr. Tobacman also determined that the increased use of carrageenan correlates with the rise of breast carcinoma (cancer). The bogus medical claim of eating low and no fat products to lose weight by eliminating body fat invites breast cancer. Not a good trade-off even if were true.
(6) Many scientists think that stomach acidity degrades food grade carrageenan. Heating foods with carrageenan creates the same process. Degraded carrageenan is a definite inflammatory agent. It has also been linked to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
Conclusion: Although the The Cornucopia Institute has recently submitted a lengthy petition to the FDA to reconsider carrageenan safety, they realize it will probably have no effect on the agency that protects the food and drug industry more than it protects public safety.
Instead, they recommend reading labels carefully to avoid carrageenan, even with foods you may crave. If the word gets out enough, this might force food processors to back-off.
Realize it is a guide that's unable to track all processed foods, beverages, including beers. You must still read those labels
Sources for this article include:
General overview http://science.naturalnews.com/Carrageenans.html
More data including tumor growth http://blog.charisholisticcenter.com
Glucose intolerance/insulin resistance http://kikihinsch.hubpages.com/hub/carrageenan-in-food
Food grade carrageenan issue facts and testimonies http://www.cornucopia.org
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