What is Carrageenan and Does it Have Any Health Risks?

What makes Irish Sea moss a powerhouse of nutrients is a jelly-like substance known as Carrageenan. The latter has also been used as a vegan substitute for gelatin, and also as an emulsifier in ice creams, infant formulas, baked goods, and more.

While sea moss and carrageenan are often hailed to improve the body’s overall functioning due to their health benefits and nutrient-rich profile, it’s important to know whether the two might have any side-effects on your health.

So here’s a brief guide on what you need to be aware of before adding sea moss to your diet.

Sea Moss and Carrageenan: Are There Any Health Risks?

Now the main problem with seaweed causing problems is the notorious poligeenan.

Under certain conditions, carrageenan can convert into degraded carrageenan, also known as poligeenan. The latter is toxic and can cause various health problems in the digestive tract.

And some seaweed can also contain poligeenan naturally.

Here are some of the health problems this toxic compound can cause.

·      Intestinal Inflammation

Consuming poligeenan may cause inflammation of the intestines.

This is a major cause of problems with adequate nutrition absorption, bloating, and overall intestinal discomfort.

Also, it can lead to developing more dangerous conditions such as colitis and symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

·      Stomach Ulcers and Lesions

If consumed in large amounts, poligeenan might lead to developing stomach lesions and ulcers.

·      Stomach and Bowel Cancer

And finally, consuming poligeenan has also been associated with developing polyps that could become cancerous by disrupting cell growth.

But There’s Good News!

Before you start having second thoughts, remember that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)has established that carrageenan has none of the effects listed above. Moreover, carrageenan is also safe to use as a food additive.

And most importantly, the human body does not produce conditions where carrageenan can be converted into poligeenan.

Bottom Line

The key to safely and healthily consume sea moss is to simply follow the guidelines established in terms of its quantity, and avoid the superfood if you’re suffering from thyroid-related problems.

Do that, and you’re good to go!

Check out our list of amazing sea moss products here.


 

Reference:

https://www.webmd.com/diet/irish-moss-health-benefits