What is Carrageenan?An extract of red seaweed, yet void of nutritional value, Carrageenan serves as a food-processing additive to blend foods and give them texture. This is especially useful in foods whose fat content has been reduced or removed making them “low-fat” and “fat-free,” respectively. Consequently, many dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt, could very well contain Carrageenan.
Un-degraded Carrageenan vs. Degraded CarrageenanFood processers create un-degraded Carrageenan via alkaline methods, which is considered safe for human consumption, although research says otherwise. Meanwhile, degraded Carrageenan is formed via acidic methods and is banned from use in food for humans. Considering that degraded Carrageenan develops inflammation in lab animals, it is understandable that people should not consume degraded Carrageenan. However, it is not degraded Carrageenan that is used in x-ray barium solutions and aircraft de-icing agents, but un-degraded Carrageenan! So, what exactly makes un-degraded safer than degraded?
Why any form of Carrageenan is not safe…The answer to that question is nothing! Un-degraded Carrageenan, also known as food grade Carrageenan, has its own list of injurious effects. Studies show that food grade Carrageenan:
- Promotes gastrointestinal issues (irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, etc)
- Blocks lymph glands
- Stimulates tumour growth and inflammation
- Creates ideal conditions for breast cancer
- Contains monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Generates glucose intolerance or insulin resistance