Monday, April 8, 2013

Carrageenan in pet foods and human food chain

I am reading about carraggenans in pet foods and why is it a concern.  The substance is a polysaccharide extract from red seaweeds that is used for its gelling, thinkenings, and stabilizing properties.  Are there downsides?  From Wikepedia, “Scientists have raised serious concerns about the safety of carrageenan in food, based on laboratory animal studies showing gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcerations and colitis-like disease in animals given food-grade carrageenan in their drinking water or diet.[2][3][4] Some physicians advise avoiding consumption of foods with carrageenan, especially for people with gastrointestinal symptoms.[5]”

Also from Wikepedia,

“Starting in the late 1960s, research has linked food-grade carrageenan to gastrointestinal disease in laboratory animals, including ulcerative colitis-like disease, intestinal lesions and ulcerations and colon cancer.[22][23][24][25]

In 1981, two scientists wrote in the British medical journal The Lancet: “we wish to reiterate our warning in relation to the long-term dangers in the continued use of carrageenan in our food.”[3]

Recent research, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, has identified how carrageenan’s unique chemical structure may trigger an immune response in the body; this immune response in turn may lead to inflammation of the intestines.[26][27]Chronic, low-grade inflammation is a precursor to more serious disease, including colon cancer.

A 2012 study showed that mice given food-grade carrageenan in the diet exhibited impaired glucose tolerance and increased insulin resistance.[28]

Carrageenan in pet foods and human food chain

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