2

votes

what's up with carrageenan?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 16, 2011 at 8:02 PM

soo annoying that it's so often added it to heavy cream. grrr. i see it in coconut milk too.

i know it's a thickener. i think it's plant-based, but that doesn't make me feel better.

thoughts? deleterious effects? how about guar gum?

edit/add-on ----------

o lord. here is an overwhelming article which admittedly i have not yet read in it's entirety. sometimes the head, it spins.. http://raypeat.com/articles/nutrition/carrageenan.shtml i merely googled - i know nothing about that guy.

and eden foods positive slant: http://www.edenfoods.com/articles/view.php?articles_id=82

i do avoid it, was hoping maybe i could relax. i used to drink lots of soymilk with it, but so many things have changed in my diet, i can hardly pinpoint carrageenan as a troublemaker.

just looking for more anecdotes, elaborations. actually would be nice if it were a non-issue.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 27, 2013
at 04:13 AM

are you spamming this ancient question? zzzzzzzzzz. flagged.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 09, 2011
at 11:40 PM

Thanks Icko. I've been trying to track down the Aroy-D gor a couple months, to no avail. I even ordered a bunch from a retailer who turned out to be out of stock :/. I'll get my search on for the GoTan now too.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 09, 2011
at 07:31 AM

^^Go Tan or Aroy D (UHT though) carton. No additives, just milk. Go Tan tastes awesome (18% of fat).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 09, 2011
at 04:27 AM

Well, I'm off the soy nowadays, of course. Pretty sure most of the folks around here are drinking 'cooking' coconut milk. Guar gum is usually the weirdo stabilizing ingredient in there rather than carrageenan. I'm still hunting for a high-quality brand without additives.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 17, 2011
at 10:10 PM

the answer to yr question, @Oranges13 - as we already know - is TO SELL MORE (gov't subsidized gmo) CORN!! >:P

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 17, 2011
at 01:41 AM

We went to Sam's Club today to pick up a large quantity of paleo ingredients. Mainly success but so much stuff has so much CRAP in it. I chose Half & Half over heavy cream because it lacked Mono and Diglycerides. Both had Carageenan. So much crap in all the foods. WHY WOULD YOU PUT CORN SYRUP IN SAUSAGES!?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 11:28 PM

@Dave S i KNOWW, RIGHT!? stop putting Crap in my stuff!! i'm tryina eat plain old regular FOOD. jeez. yep the organics at the SAD supermarkets have carrageenan. frustrating. it doesn't make sense that i have to go out of my way to get one of the simplest things a person could eat.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 11:22 PM

@tartare, you might have posted your very welcome info as an answer rather than a comment. thank you for contributing - i had no idea agar-agar and carrageenan are the same thing. useful fun-fact!!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:53 PM

justanotherhunt - i was just pointing out one of it's other names, not at all implying it might be good for you just because it comes from seaweed - that was just a random fun fact thingy..

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:49 PM

Usually the organic cream does not contain carageenan (but not always). I wish they would stop putting crap in my stuff! (Or stuff in my crap...)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:39 PM

@Carey I am referring to excessive amounts of factory created L-glutamate found in processed foods, artificial sweeteners. It is toxic because it overexcites neurons to the point of death, hence the term "excitotoxin". The glutamate and amino acids we get from meat and foods naturally are good for us, but the stuff that is added to packaged foods is nonessential and can be toxic especially to developing young brains and elderly people.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:37 PM

@Carey I am talking about L-glutamate that is unbound during factory processing, that's the toxic one because in excess is causes excitotoxic effects to the brain

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Excitoxins is a complex subject. Some MSG additives contain more "free Glutamic acid" than others. For instance..Yeast Extract, Vegetable Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Autolyzed Yeast,and Gelatin contain around 78% factory created free glutamic acid. MSG itself contains around 90%.... These are neurotoxic to the brain because the amounts are excessive. The additives that contain less MSG like Maltodextrin, dextrose, carrageenan ect. can still be toxic if there are more than 1 of these in a product and typically that is the case. Some products even have 6-8 DIFFERENT "MSG ingredients".

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:25 PM

I can understand questioning a single additive like this, it is probably going to be okay. The problem begins when people are consuming products that contain 2 or more "Hidden MSG additives". In other words most of us at paleohacks.com don't need to worry about MSG damage as long as we aren't cheating on packaged food too much. It's VERY difficult to find even organic processed food that doesn't contain MSG in some form. I have trouble finding Coconut Milk that doesn't have Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, ect. I would be afraid to constantly be using a product with these sketchy additives.

2c3a4e438d71775f45e98d1334b4e8d4

(495)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Dude, justanotherhunt, did you really just say "too much amino acids are bad for the brain."? Is that what you meant to type? Sorry, hon, but I'm very confused.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 16, 2011
at 10:18 PM

that has a bunch of sugar.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:44 PM

still not convinced carrageenan = msg. even the pundits don't say it definitively does. "may comtain"? i absolutely avoid msg, but sometimes i think the anti-msg info is a bit sensationalistic. anyhoo, i will continue to avoid the carrageenan for other potential badnesses (see wiki etc). thanks for the input!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:36 PM

oof. that looks like it has more problems than just carrageenan... is there even coconut milk in there? in my mind "paleo approach" means avoiding processed food. that being said, it IS difficult to find coconut milk w/o additives.

3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:30 PM

I drink 1 quart of Coconut milk every day...which contains Carrageenan. So if I took it out, I would have to find something to fill that gap.. This is what I drink each day.... http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_P86w3jiXpHU/TTJASj_8bcI/AAAAAAAANGk/tnSYCU-olPs/s1600/So+Delicious+strawberry+coconut+milk.jpg

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Haha, it's cool. I always have this tone when talking about MSG, I must preach hard against this demon! ;) Enzymes, carrageenan, corn starch are examples of additives that typically contain free glutamic acid but there can be times when they don't contain much that poses a problem. Now the question you want to ask yourself is how much are you going to risk, and how many times are you going to eat products that contain these factory created things? It's your call, MSG can be bad even at levels where acute reactions aren't observed.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:26 PM

Haha, it's cool. I always have this tone when talking about MSG, I must preach hard against this demon! ;)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:08 PM

i do need my macrophages!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:06 PM

i DO appreciate you thoughts @justanotherhunt, not trying to be confontational. :)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:04 PM

"may contain". what, are you avoiding enzymes too?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:02 PM

how would it screw up your "paleo approach"? are you being facetious?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:57 PM

this is so nefarious!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:55 PM

From Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills: Additives that may contain MSG or Excitotoxins: Carrageenan, Enzymes, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, and Protein Concentrate. Protease enzymes of various sources can release excitotoxin amino acids from food proteins.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:54 PM

According to the expert on MSG, carrageenan may or may not contain dangerous amounts. Anything that is factory processed can has naturally high amounts of glutamates can turn toxic, this is the problem with industrialized food. Additives that may contain MSG or Excitotoxins: Carrageenan, Enzymes, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, and Protein Concentrate. Protease enzymes of various sources can release excitotoxin amino acids from food proteins.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:44 PM

i know about msg, i'm not yet convinced carrageenan is a culprit.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:40 PM

@ tartare The carrageenan that is contained in most processed food is highly processed and regardless of it coming from natural source it's still toxic. Most MSG is made from natural sources like corn, soy, meat. Doesn't mean it's good or healthy, too much amino acids are bad for the brain. MSG is nonessential, there's no reason for ADDED glutamates. WE get all the glutamates we need from meat, nuts ect.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:38 PM

MSG is purposely being put in food to make the food more appealing, addicting even though the ingredients and actual taste are terrible. It makes people eat more food in a sitting as well as seek out food particularly high in MSG subconsciously. Many people in power are covering up this from the public's eye, they don't want to lose all the loads of money being made at the expense of peoples health. Especially younger children and babies, the most affected by MSG. THere's even MSG in BABY FOOD.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:31 PM

carrageenan is also known as agar agar and is used in a lot of "molecular gastronomy" type restaurants/recipes. It's derived from red seaweed.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:27 PM

blerg! msg eh? hm.

3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:13 PM

Uh oh....I take in Carrageenan EVERYDAY...I really hope nothing too bad...or this would screw up my paleo approach...

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6 Answers

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:20 PM

carrageenan is not only used as a thickener but also as a taste enhancer like MSG. It contains tons of free glutamic acid in unnatural amounts after factory processing. It is found in MANY packaged foods.

"The most common problem for MSG-sensitive people in dairy products appears to be the use of a food ingredient identified on food labels as "carrageenan." Carrageenan may interact with the milk protein in dairy products or may act independently, resulting in some processed free glutamic acid (MSG). Carrageenan is found in most whipping cream, chocolate milk, buttermilk, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, and ice cream."

Source: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/Milk%20and%20MSG.html

Listing all the "hidden names" for MSG: http://www.msgmyth.com/hidename.htm

Video about MSG, aspartame and "excitotoxins": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQQGkMhjWig

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:40 PM

@ tartare The carrageenan that is contained in most processed food is highly processed and regardless of it coming from natural source it's still toxic. Most MSG is made from natural sources like corn, soy, meat. Doesn't mean it's good or healthy, too much amino acids are bad for the brain. MSG is nonessential, there's no reason for ADDED glutamates. WE get all the glutamates we need from meat, nuts ect.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:57 PM

this is so nefarious!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:55 PM

From Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills: Additives that may contain MSG or Excitotoxins: Carrageenan, Enzymes, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, and Protein Concentrate. Protease enzymes of various sources can release excitotoxin amino acids from food proteins.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:27 PM

blerg! msg eh? hm.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:39 PM

@Carey I am referring to excessive amounts of factory created L-glutamate found in processed foods, artificial sweeteners. It is toxic because it overexcites neurons to the point of death, hence the term "excitotoxin". The glutamate and amino acids we get from meat and foods naturally are good for us, but the stuff that is added to packaged foods is nonessential and can be toxic especially to developing young brains and elderly people.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:31 PM

carrageenan is also known as agar agar and is used in a lot of "molecular gastronomy" type restaurants/recipes. It's derived from red seaweed.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:06 PM

i DO appreciate you thoughts @justanotherhunt, not trying to be confontational. :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:37 PM

@Carey I am talking about L-glutamate that is unbound during factory processing, that's the toxic one because in excess is causes excitotoxic effects to the brain

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:44 PM

still not convinced carrageenan = msg. even the pundits don't say it definitively does. "may comtain"? i absolutely avoid msg, but sometimes i think the anti-msg info is a bit sensationalistic. anyhoo, i will continue to avoid the carrageenan for other potential badnesses (see wiki etc). thanks for the input!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 11:22 PM

@tartare, you might have posted your very welcome info as an answer rather than a comment. thank you for contributing - i had no idea agar-agar and carrageenan are the same thing. useful fun-fact!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Excitoxins is a complex subject. Some MSG additives contain more "free Glutamic acid" than others. For instance..Yeast Extract, Vegetable Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Autolyzed Yeast,and Gelatin contain around 78% factory created free glutamic acid. MSG itself contains around 90%.... These are neurotoxic to the brain because the amounts are excessive. The additives that contain less MSG like Maltodextrin, dextrose, carrageenan ect. can still be toxic if there are more than 1 of these in a product and typically that is the case. Some products even have 6-8 DIFFERENT "MSG ingredients".

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Haha, it's cool. I always have this tone when talking about MSG, I must preach hard against this demon! ;) Enzymes, carrageenan, corn starch are examples of additives that typically contain free glutamic acid but there can be times when they don't contain much that poses a problem. Now the question you want to ask yourself is how much are you going to risk, and how many times are you going to eat products that contain these factory created things? It's your call, MSG can be bad even at levels where acute reactions aren't observed.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:04 PM

"may contain". what, are you avoiding enzymes too?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:53 PM

justanotherhunt - i was just pointing out one of it's other names, not at all implying it might be good for you just because it comes from seaweed - that was just a random fun fact thingy..

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:25 PM

I can understand questioning a single additive like this, it is probably going to be okay. The problem begins when people are consuming products that contain 2 or more "Hidden MSG additives". In other words most of us at paleohacks.com don't need to worry about MSG damage as long as we aren't cheating on packaged food too much. It's VERY difficult to find even organic processed food that doesn't contain MSG in some form. I have trouble finding Coconut Milk that doesn't have Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, ect. I would be afraid to constantly be using a product with these sketchy additives.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:38 PM

MSG is purposely being put in food to make the food more appealing, addicting even though the ingredients and actual taste are terrible. It makes people eat more food in a sitting as well as seek out food particularly high in MSG subconsciously. Many people in power are covering up this from the public's eye, they don't want to lose all the loads of money being made at the expense of peoples health. Especially younger children and babies, the most affected by MSG. THere's even MSG in BABY FOOD.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:26 PM

Haha, it's cool. I always have this tone when talking about MSG, I must preach hard against this demon! ;)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:44 PM

i know about msg, i'm not yet convinced carrageenan is a culprit.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:54 PM

According to the expert on MSG, carrageenan may or may not contain dangerous amounts. Anything that is factory processed can has naturally high amounts of glutamates can turn toxic, this is the problem with industrialized food. Additives that may contain MSG or Excitotoxins: Carrageenan, Enzymes, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, and Protein Concentrate. Protease enzymes of various sources can release excitotoxin amino acids from food proteins.

2c3a4e438d71775f45e98d1334b4e8d4

(495)

on April 16, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Dude, justanotherhunt, did you really just say "too much amino acids are bad for the brain."? Is that what you meant to type? Sorry, hon, but I'm very confused.

1
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on April 16, 2011
at 08:55 PM

From Wikipedia:

Health concerns

The Joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives states that, "based on the information available, it is inadvisable to use carrageenan or processed eucheuma seaweed in infant formulas".[14] There is evidence from studies performed on rats, guinea pigs, and monkeys that indicates that degraded carrageenan (poligeenan) may cause ulcerations in the gastro-intestinal tract and gastro-intestinal cancer.[15] Poligeenan is produced from carrageenan subjected to high temperatures and acidity. The average carrageenan molecule weighs over 100,000 Da while poligeenans have a molecular weight of less than 50,000 Da. A scientific committee working on behalf of the European Commission has recommended that the amount of degraded carrageenan be limited to a maximum of 5% (which is the limit of detection) of total carrageenan mass. Upon testing samples of foods containing high molecular weight carrageens, researchers found no poligeenan.[16]

A recent publication[17] indicates that carrageenan induces inflammation in human intestinal epithelial cells in tissue culture through a BCL10-mediated pathway that leads to activation of NFkappaB and IL-8. Carrageenan may be immunogenic due to its unusual alpha-1,3-galactosidic link that is part of its disaccharide unit structure. Consumption of carrageenan may have a role in intestinal inflammation and possibly inflammatory bowel disease, since BCL10 resembles NOD2, mutations of which are associated with genetic proclivity to Crohn's Disease.

Carrageenan is reported to interfere with macrophage activity.[18][19][20]

I'm going to avoid it.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 16, 2011
at 09:08 PM

i do need my macrophages!

0
65029be2ab849b50e894fa5820a190c9

on April 25, 2013
at 10:47 AM

Aroy-D brand coconut milk doesn't contain carageenan, guar gum or any other additives. Many people following the Paleo lifestyle like this brand. It's a Thai brand, and is usually available in Asian supermarkets (I used to buy mine in Chinatown in Toronto). It's available canned or in tetrapacks. The tetrapacks are ultimately the best for you, since the cans are still lined with BPA-containing plastic.

Now, I personally don't like the flavour of Aroy-D coconut milk. After wasting 2-3 cans of the stuff, I started making my own coconut milk. It's really easy, and it's cheaper than most of the canned/boxed options out there.

Here's how you do it:

Start out with a cup of shredded (unsweetened) coconut. Boil one cup of water

After the water is boiling, dump both the coconut and boiling water into a blender and blend for 5 minutes. Strain the milk (in cheesecloth, nut milk bag, unbleached coffee filter, etc). and voila! You have homemade, gut-irritant-free coconut milk.

Notes: make sure you boil the water first. It helps melt the fat in the coconut, and it makes the milk creamier.

I store mine in a jar in the fridge and enjoy it in my coffee in the morning. You can always add more/less water depending on how thick you like it.

0
582e89904fef55ad5c7dac673653ef8c

(281)

on April 25, 2013
at 07:38 AM

The fact of the matter is, manufacturers do not have to add extra ingredients to a label if it is under a certain percentage of the product in many foods. Real coconut milk separates when cooled just like coconut oil goes from liquid to solid when cooled. If you want cheap and true coconut milk, make it yourself.

Carageenan does not sit well in my stomach. My stomach makes a lot of noise after eating something that has it. Now I just try to avoid it.

-1
Bed0b77b736e6004dad8a32264d9ab89

on April 25, 2013
at 06:23 AM

Based upon my recent research, carrageenan (the chemically processed form, NOT the actual natural component found in red seaweed) has been linked to colon cancer. In some studies of carrageenan with small rodents, colon cancer was the result 100% of the time.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 27, 2013
at 04:13 AM

are you spamming this ancient question? zzzzzzzzzz. flagged.

-1
96b219f60423022d4a9de7442ac85b9c

on May 09, 2011
at 03:20 AM

West soy original unsweetened soy milk does not have carrageenan in it. Yeah !! I want to have a coconut milk that does to have it in it. Anyone know of one Drinking coconut milk not cooking.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 09, 2011
at 07:31 AM

^^Go Tan or Aroy D (UHT though) carton. No additives, just milk. Go Tan tastes awesome (18% of fat).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 09, 2011
at 11:40 PM

Thanks Icko. I've been trying to track down the Aroy-D gor a couple months, to no avail. I even ordered a bunch from a retailer who turned out to be out of stock :/. I'll get my search on for the GoTan now too.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 09, 2011
at 04:27 AM

Well, I'm off the soy nowadays, of course. Pretty sure most of the folks around here are drinking 'cooking' coconut milk. Guar gum is usually the weirdo stabilizing ingredient in there rather than carrageenan. I'm still hunting for a high-quality brand without additives.

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