Carageenan is a “natural” polysaccharide substance that is pulled from red seaweed. Just like MSG is pulled from brown rice! According the FDA, it is safe to put in foods like soy milk, ice cream, beer, hot dogs, milk, lotions, toothpaste, etc, etc because the particles are too big for our guts to absorb. Well according to many authors, these food particles are not to large for us to absorb, as well as interact with our bacteria in our gut in an inflammatory manner. Carageenan will create inflammation in the gut, thus allowing large and small food particles to slip through the intestine, causing an immune system reaction which can lead to mucous build up (secondary to a histamine reaction) in the throat, nose, gut and more. Once the inflammatory cycle is initiated, you will get a release of adrenal, cortisol, prolactin and estrogen which all not only “fight” to reduce inflammation, but also “fight” to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. But at the same time they will perpetuate the inflammatory cycle putting your body into a catabolic state.
Once food particles begin to slip through the intestine, you will also begin to overload the liver through the portal vein. With this inflammation, there is reduced blood flow, which once again just perpetuates the inflammatory cycle within the intestine. As the liver becomes overloaded, it is unable to detoxify estrogen, other toxins, etc and becomes burdened. This will lead to thyroid issues (as most of the conversion of T4 to T4 happens in the liver and is selenium and glucose dependent), skin issues, hormonal issues, mood issues and more.
a. down regulates macrophages within the immune system
b. down regulates cytochrome P450 in the liver which helps to detox medications, supplements, foods, etc
c. interacts with the bacteria in our gut to produce premenstrual symptoms and auto-immune disease such as lupus
d. will interact with estrogen and unsaturated fats to increase liver toxicity
e. will interact with endotoxin to increase NO, inflammatory prostaglandins and toxic free radicals
There are many ways to eliminate it. We have gotten great success with clients who have had severe GI issues (IBS, IBD, UC, etc), thyroid and hormonal issues using our nutritional philosophy, as well as eliminating Carageenan. The first step is to read labels, as it is in many products that we eat and put on our skin: soy, dairy, coconut milk, ice cream, beer, hot dogs, toothpaste, sexual lubricants, etc….if you put it on your skin…you are eating it!
Here are some links where you can learn more about Carageenan, what it does and how to eliminate it: