If you try to read about carageenan in the internet then you would easily get confused with all the controversies surrounding this natural ingredient. Even though there are more negative publicities compared to positive ones, there are no actual evidences that support the claims that carageenan is actually bad for our health and this is where the confusion sets in. Despite all these accusations and controversies, the jury is still out for carageenan and its safety.
Carageenan is a natural ingredient retrieved from red algae and seaweeds. It is put through an alkaline procedure before the actual end product can be produced. There is also this another procedure wherein it is put through an acidic solution resulting to carageenan’s degraded form which is known as poligeenan. Both carageenan and poligeenan can be found in numerous food, health care and pharmaceutical products. This is why it raised so much social awareness when its safety was questioned due to the fact that it is in almost everything we use or eat. Exposure to carageenan is simply inevitable.
Various research and studies claim that carageenan is the cause of gastrointestinal problems suffered by most people. Aside from stomach issues, it is also believed to promote cancer cell activity in our bodies. There are a lot more illnesses associated to carageenan intake and all of the allegations have led to people questioning about the legitimacy of all these claims.
In studies conducted using animals as specimens, there have been results of mutagenicity and reproductive toxicity but the only problem is that the following studies were considered to be flawed because there are loopholes to the conclusions when related to human use of carageenan. What can be be harmful to animals cannot be concluded to be harmful to humans as well because of the huge disparity of immune systems.
In addition to that, the dose and types of carageenan used in the study can also be put into question and can be considered as vital factors to the outcome of the study. is carrageenan bad Here? The real verdict on carageenan is still up in the air. But for me, I believe that this natural food ingredient has toxicity at some levels but I will not agree that the amount of carageenan that we are able to ingest and get exposed to can be harmful enough to cause damage to our health or even fatality.