Even the healthiest organic and natural foods have little known substances in them that when ingested at a frequent rate can have adverse effects on your health. Mostly found in things like almond milk, Greek yogurt, deli meats and even coffee, one of the more harmful substances that is a common ingredient is something called Carrageenan.
Carrageenans or carrageenins are a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in foods for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.
With no actual nutritional value and the fact that it’s not fully digestible, this substance really does more harm than good. Its ability to emulsify certain foods is its only big lure for food companies that promote healthy living and natural organic foods.
According to veteran carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, “Although derived from a natural source, carrageenan appears to be particularly destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to what the body has when invaded by pathogens like Salmonella. Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding.” As more and more research on this substance is being done, it is being found that it has links to gastrointestinal cancer and diabetes.
To make matters worse, there are two types of carrageenan: degraded carrageenan and undegraded carrageenan. Undegraded carrageenan is approved by the FDA for use in food, but degraded carrageenan is not. Also called poligeenan, degraded carrageenan has not had much done in the way of studying it, so the risks of consuming this form are still unknown.
To stay safe and carcinogen free, try to find carrageenan-free, store-bought products, or save money by making your own foods that contain the substance, like almond milk or yogurt.
Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.