From fish with cancer and medications found in our water supply that is changing the sex of fish, growth hormones in our meat, genetically modified organisms in our food, we also have to watch out for Carrageenan. The sad thing is that Carrageenan is also commonly used in organic foods so when we think we are eating healthy, that may not be the case at all.
Carrageenan is a common food additive that is extracted from a red seaweed, which has no nutritional value at all, and is used as a thickener and binder to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk and other processed foods. In manufacturing, carrageenan is also used as a stabilizer in medications, foods, and toothpaste and is an ingredient in weight loss products .
The University of Illinois College of Medicine, conducted studies linking carrageenan – the type that is widely used in foods with malignancies and other stomach problems and our digesting carrageenan causes inflammation and that when we consume processed foods containing it, we ingest enough to cause inflammation in our bodies. Since chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases, and cancer, the use of carrageenan has been tested in tissues and when laboratory mice are exposed to low concentrations of carrageenan for 18 days, they develop “profound” glucose intolerance and impaired insulin action, both of which can lead to diabetes.
According to Charlotte Vallaeys, director of Farm and Food Policy for non-profit food policy research group Cornucopia, the FDA picks profits over public health. Though current research indicates carrageenan side effects can cause a host of problems, the FDA refuses to impose limitations on its use. “Natural does not mean safe,” says Vallaeys. “Poison ivy is natural, but you wouldn’t put it in skin lotion…carrageenan side effects appear to do to your gut what poison ivy does to your skin.”
To see a list of brands of “natural” or “organic” foods that contain carrageenan, please click on the link below.