In general we have avoided processed gluten, dairy and corn free foods that contain additives. That said like most people we have ended up consuming a few things that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (non toxic white paint), a lot of natural flavors (which is its own blog post) and then the controversial carrageenan. I wasn’t too worried about carrageenan…until now.
See as it turns out, just like when they want obese rats they feed the rats MSG and bingo, morbidly obese rats. So I no longer eat MSG because if I am going to get morbidly obese, I plan to use chocolate. Well just like MSG is the standard for making rats fat, when they need to test an anti-inflammatory agent, they induce inflammation in the rats with carrageenan.
No seriously, the following study is not all that relevant, but read the part where when they wanted the rat paw to swell up they just used carrageenan.
Here they inflamed his little prostate
As a matter of fact when you put carrageenan into the PubMed database as a search term, you get a bunch of hits for drugs that reduce inflammation which were all tested and shown to reduce inflammation in mice and rats which were treated with or fed carrageenan.
Now what follows is a full paper but just read the introduction. When they feed rats carrageenan they give the rats colitis. Wow. The paper isn’t even on that topic. Its on a different one but it just casually discusses how even low doses cause impaired insulin resistance and spike diabetes risk.
He doesn’t mention cancer, but really why bother since we have known it gives the rats cancer for a while
like since 1981
And I am not being selective here. Do your own searches on carrageenan on PubMed. Its really disturbing. Sometimes I ignore what I see as poor or incomplete studies, but no, there is no need because all the studies show inflammation all the time. It’s so predictable that this is what they feed the rats when they need them to be sick. Its like arsenic, in that no one is researching whether or not arsenic is a problem because the work is done. Arsenic is bad for you, always, all the time, even in tiny doses, no matter what. Carrageenan appears to be in a similar category.
So exactly why would I want to eat something that they feed to rats when they need them all diabetic, inflamed, cancer laden and to get colitis. Oh right, I wouldn’t.
It gets even weirder. As it turns out they are working on a gel that when applied to sensitive areas can prevent the transmission of STDs because its a potent microbicide. Guess what the active ingredient in this microbicide is.
Yup, its carrageenan. Wow, anyone else think that something this toxic to germs might not be the best thing to feed gut flora?
So anyway I am now boycotting any products that use the stuff and avoiding any companies that use it. We have known its a problem since 1981 and guar gum and xanthan gum, while not perfect, are not the gold standard for causing inflammation either. As a matter of fact xanthan gum safety pulls up practically no results in PubMed. Any company that purposely puts arsenic in the food (chicken farmers I am talking to you) does not deserve my trust, and neither does a company that uses carrageenan.
So if you want to read more on the topic, poke around PubMed. If this is enough for you, look very closely at your non-dairy milks, ice creams, breads and other desserts.
And get some xanthan gum.