Most people do not bother checking the ingredients of the food products that they purchase; therefore, most of them get affected without knowing the source of their health complications. This, however, does not mean that all the processed food products are harmful, what matters is the food additives used in the organic food.
There are chances of consuming chemicals hiding in your natural food without your knowledge yet they do not have nutritional value. Carrageenan is a common food additive that is used in the food processing industry.
What Carrageenan is?
Some may ask what is carrageenan? It is an extract from the edible seaweed that is used as an additive in the food processing industry. This substance is considered to have a good thickening and stabilizing properties, especially for the dairy and meat products. However, researchers and nutritionists have conducted studies to suggest that carrageenan has no nutritional value to the body whatsoever.
The research and facts concerning the effectiveness of the carrageenan are still pending although there are tests that can offer information on the effect on the human body after a lab experiment. Consumers are not sure yet whether the carrageenan is good or potentially harmful to the body. The food industries have not had any concerns about the evaluations of the products. Hence, they are still recommended to reconsider it in organic food products.
Is Carrageenan Dangerous?
This is a question that has been being discussed for very fifty years now and yet results are not clear despite the numerous research and studies that are still going on. Although with the confusion on the dangers and health benefits of the carrageenan, some nutritionists and researchers have come up with experiments that reveal some effects food carrageenan.
The tests prove that carrageenan can be causing digestion complications and inflammation in the human body. The researchers further explain that despite the extraction from edible seaweeds, carrageenan is degraded in the process of processing the organic foods and they become harmful to the body particularly the digestive system and immune response.
Use of Carrageenan in Food Industries
Different manufacturers in the food industry are still using the carrageenan as an additive especially in the dairy products because the states recommend them. The Drugs and Food Administrations in different states approves the consumption of carrageenan despite the proof provided by other nutritional boards and researchers about the effects it has on the human body.
This does not mean that the concern about food-grade carrageenan is new, research and investigation has been done for many years with experiments that show negative results to the lab animals. The food industry, however, does not take the concern seriously because the results are not revealed clearly.
Are there Possible Health Benefits?
Historically, the seaweeds and its extracts are considered to cure different infections such as ulcers and digestive system when it is boiled in water or milk. It is generally considered a laxative. Consuming the carrageenan from the red algae can be beneficial to the overall health as some lab studies show it has anticoagulant and cholesterol-lowering effects.