Another ingre­di­ent to check your food list for!

from: Nat­u­ral­News

Car­rageenan is a “nat­ural” food addi­tive derived from red sea­weed and processed with a chem­i­cal to neu­tral­ize its acid­ity. Intro­duced to the food indus­try in the 1930s, car­rageenan is a pop­u­lar ingre­di­ent added to foods as a thick­en­ing agent to improve the tex­ture and sol­u­bil­ity of prod­ucts. This prod­uct has been shown to alter the gut microflora and weaken the body’s immune system.


The chem­i­cal struc­ture of car­rageenan can con­tain up to 40 per­cent of a sul­fur com­pound. For this rea­son the degraded form of car­rageenan is not allowed for use in the food indus­try due its known inflam­ma­tory effects in ani­mal test­ing. Once the nat­ural form of car­rageenan is degraded, by con­tact with an acid for exam­ple, the sul­fur com­po­nent of car­rageenan becomes unsta­ble and reac­tive.

You may be ask­ing your­self, if an acid will alter the nat­ural form of car­rageenan so that it becomes reac­tive, wouldn’t stom­ach acid trig­ger this same effect? That is a great ques­tion that one would hope the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) would have already accounted for. Car­rageenan has been listed as a sub­stance gen­er­ally rec­og­nized as safe (GRAS) since 1973.

Car­rageenan weak­ens the immune system

Although the bio­log­i­cal path­ways by which car­rageenan dis­rupts nor­mal and health sus­tain­ing func­tions, such as reg­u­lat­ing insulin, con­sis­tent find­ings sup­port that it results in a harm­ful immune response.

Car­rageenan resem­bles a nat­u­rally occur­ring sul­fate com­pound in our bod­ies that is involved with enzyme func­tion in our intestines. With car­rageenan receiv­ing all of the atten­tion, nor­mal cell func­tion and reg­u­la­tion is altered when nor­mal activ­ity by our very own enzymes becomes inhib­ited.

Pos­si­bly due to its high reac­tiv­ity, car­rageenan can inter­fere with a healthy immune response by alter­ing the body’s nat­ural army front of anti­bod­ies. Anti­bod­ies send sig­nals warn­ing our immune sys­tem that a for­eign invader has entered and to attack. An unhealthy immune response can lead to inflam­ma­tion of the gas­troin­testi­nal sys­tem caus­ing a vari­ety of complications.

Car­rageenan alters intesti­nal microflora

Due to the vari­a­tions in people’s intesti­nal microflora, or bac­te­ria con­tained in the gut, researchers sug­gests that the addi­tive may pro­mote inflam­ma­tion by alter­ing the type of bac­te­ria present fol­low­ing the con­sump­tion of car­rageenan. Symp­toms asso­ci­ated with altered bac­te­ria con­cen­tra­tions within the gut include inflam­ma­tory colon polyps and abnor­mal tis­sue growth which can be signs of a more seri­ous health prob­lem.

Stud­ies even pro­pose that the body exhibits the same response to car­rageenan as it does to a bac­te­r­ial infec­tion from Sal­mo­nella and its devel­op­ment of disease.

Foods con­tain­ing carrageenan

Car­rageenan does not add nutri­tional con­tent or fla­vor to prod­ucts. Most foods that con­tain the sus­pi­cious addi­tive are non­fat, low fat or fat free foods lack­ing the manufacturer’s desired tex­ture for the food prod­uct.

The fol­low­ing is a list of food sources that com­monly con­tain car­rageenan. Which foods did you find list the addi­tive in your kitchen?

• Milk prod­ucts includ­ing almond, rice, soy and even coconut milk
• Cot­tage cheese
• Ice-​cream
• Yogurt
• Frozen din­ners
• Organic Juice
• Frozen pizza
• Deli meats such as sliced turkey
• Canned soups
• Sour cream
• Processed sauces and dip mixes
• Infant for­mula
• Nutri­tional shakes



Learn more: http://​www​.nat​u​ral​news​.com/​050120​_​c​a​r​r​a​g​e​e​n​a​n​_​g​u​t​_​f​l​o​r​a​_​i​m​m​u​n​e​_​s​y​s​t​e​m​.​h​t​m​l​#​i​x​z​z​3​d​Y​k​v​V​r​J​M
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