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Carrageenan 1
Six Reasons To Avoid Carrageenan In Your Alternative Milk Products

2013/09/01 公開
 
[全文]
 
Carrageenan is a food processing additive used exclusively for binding, emulsifying, and creating texture, especially as a fat substitute. It is initially extracted from red seaweed as a substance without any nutritional or taste value. 
 
Degraded carrageenan, processed with acid solutions, is considered unsafe enough to prohibit its use in processed foods for humans and animals. It's so predictably inflammatory that it's used to create inflammatory conditions in lab animals for pharmaceutical research.
 
Undegraded carrageenan, created from red seaweed with an alkaline process, is considered food grade. Although the FDA regards food grade carrageenan as safe for human consumption, many scientists have done animal studies, epidemiological studies, and chemical analysis since the 1970s, some earlier, to at least question food grade carrageenan's safety.
 
Food grade carrageenan has found a home with food processors, even those with the USDA organic label, for baby formulas, ice creams, some beers, and all sorts of low or no fat dairy products. Even barium solutions used for gastrointestinal diagnostic x-rays contain carrageenan, and it's part of aircraft de-icing solutions.
 
The FDA's full approval for carrageenan in all food products stands even while FDA supportive international groups recommend carrageenan be removed from baby formulas.
 
You'd be wise to ignore the FDA and respect the years of diligent work from concerned scientists who recommend removing carrageenan additives as well as the thousands of testimonies from gastrointestinal disease sufferers whose serious maladies were eliminated upon avoiding foods containing carrageenan.
 
Why it's wise to avoid foods with carrageenan
 
(1) Although degraded carrageenan outside of intentionally creating inflammation in lab animals was banned, a study of 12 food grade carrageenan substances found they all had traces of degraded carrageenan ranging from 5 to 25 percent.

(2) In his book Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Dr. Russell Blaylock refers to animal studies that have determined carrageenan is a tumor growth promoter. He also points out that carrageenan can harbor MSG.

(3) Both scientific research into GI issues and many anecdotal reports from colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and other GI ailment sufferers show even food grade carrageenan as a GI inflammatory agent. Avoiding carrageenan allowed them all to heal completely regardless of their ailments' severity.

(4) Dr. Joanne Tobacman, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa researched carrageenan for 10 years. The FDA and international food and health agencies more than ignored her peer reviewed published reports. They marginalized and denounced them.

In addition to corroborating other carrageenan danger reports, Dr. Tobacman determined that carrageenan accumulation in the GI creates holes in the gastrointestinal tract, allowing undigested food particles to enter the blood system and potentially clog lymph glands.

(5) Dr. Tobacman also determined that the increased use of carrageenan correlates with the rise of breast carcinoma (cancer). The bogus medical claim of eating low and no fat products to lose weight by eliminating body fat invites breast cancer. Not a good trade-off even if were true.

(6) Many scientists think that stomach acidity degrades food grade carrageenan. Heating foods with carrageenan creates the same process. Degraded carrageenan is a definite inflammatory agent. It has also beenlinked to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
 
Conclusion: Although the The Cornucopia Institute has recently submitted a lengthy petition to the FDA to reconsider carrageenan safety, they realize it will probably have no effect on the agency that protects the food and drug industry more than it protects public safety.

Instead, they recommend reading labels carefully to avoid carrageenan, even with foods you may crave. If the word gets out enough, this might force food processors to back-off.

Realize it is a guide that's unable to track all processed foods, beverages, including beers. You must still read those labels

Sources for this article include:


More data including tumor growth http://blog.charisholisticcenter.com

Glucose intolerance/insulin resistance http://kikihinsch.hubpages.com/hub/carrageenan-in-food

Food grade carrageenan issue facts and testimonies http://www.cornucopia.org
 

I’m going to purchase Whole Foods 365 organic almond milk which is one of the carrageenan-free brands.
I will no longer support President’s Choice Organic Almond Milk or Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze – two of several brands that contain carrageenan.
  
Carrageenan in Our Food
 
In my post, Replacing Dairy Milk, a few of you commented that you avoid several brands of non-dairy milk because they contain an ingredient called carrageenan. This was the first time I had heard anything about this ingredient, or at least the first time I took any notice. I assumed that it was a safe ingredient, especially because it is found in some organic products. But as we know, just because something is allowed in our food does not mean it’s necessarily good for us. It’s frustrating as a consumer to believe we are buying quality ingredients only to find out they could be harmful to our health.
 
Anyway, I knew I had to look into this further. And I don’t like what I’m reading. In fact, I’m pretty ticked off.
 
At first blush, carrageenan sounds seemingly harmless – it’s derived from red seaweed and is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and/or emulsifier in many dairy (sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, etc), dairy alternatives (non-dairy milk, non-dairy cheese, etc), and deli meat products. As it turns out, research links carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation, lesions, and even colon cancer in animals. Individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or other gastrointestinal disorders are cautioned to avoid this ingredient as it can make symptoms – and inflammation – even worse. As someone who has suffered from IBS for many years, I was shocked to find this information out. This was the first I had heard of it.
 
For a review of the research on carrageenan see this PDF document by Cornucopia.org. Please look into this ingredient and make your own informed opinion.
 
For a long and detailed list of carrageenan in many dairy and non-dairy food products (and safe products as well), please see this Cornucopia shopping guide – it’s extremely helpful. You might be surprised at many of the brands that contain this ingredient. I know I sure was.
 
I realize there is no conclusive evidence with regard to human consumption of this ingredient, but I’m not willing to take that risk when there are other options, especially because I have suffered from IBS on and off for half my life. I will no longer support President’s Choice Organic Almond Milk or Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze – two of several brands that contain carrageenan. Instead, I’m going to purchase Whole Foods 365 organic almond milk which is one of the carrageenan-free brands or I will make my own milk at home (more on this in my next post). I’m anxious to see if I notice a difference.
 
For the complete list of carrageenan-free products, be sure to check out the shopping guide linked above.
 
As I mentioned in my intro post, we have a lot to learn from each other and this is a perfect example. I’m thankful for all of you sharing your experiences and knowledge in the comments. I’m learning too. I hope that by writing about this today, more awareness is brought to this ingredient. With other thickeners/emulsifiers readily available (such as organic guar gum and organic locust bean gum) there is no excuse for food businesses to continue to put carrageenan into our food at the potential risk of our health.
 
I was already planning a post on homemade milk, but now it seems even more timely and appropriate. Easy, homemade milk coming on up. I think you’ll really like the ingredients list in this one.
 
Have you heard anything about carrageenan before? Do you avoid it on labels or will you in the future?
 


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