What else can you find in your milk?

Most people enjoy drinking a glass of milk (diary, soy, almond or coconut). Some people even use them as the liquid in their shakes or smoothies. Are you aware of what else you could find in your milk?

Carrageenan is an ingredient in a lot of milks which has been lined to colon inflammation and colon cancer. Everyone should be aware this fact.

Cornucopia Institute writes:

Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed and is used as in ingredient in foods such as dairy, dairy alternatives (such as soy-based beverages and desserts), and deli meats as thickening agent, stabilizer, and emulsifier.

Charlotte Vallaeys, director of Farm and Food Policy for non-profit food policy research group Cornucopia, believes the evaluation conducted by the FDA was “sloppy and incomplete.” “Natural does not mean safe,” says Vallaeys. “Poison ivy is natural, but you wouldn't put it in skin lotion…carrageenan side effects appear to do to your gut what poison ivy does to your skin.”

Carrageenan can be found in 2 forms. One is classified as a low molecular weight, "degraded" carrageenan. Another is classified as high molecular weight, or "undergraded" carrageenan. Degraded carrageenan is recognized as a carcinogen in lab animals and is therefore considered as a "possible human carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Degraded carrageenan also causes inflammation in the colon in rodents, which resembles ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. This inflammatory property of degraded carrageenan is not in dispute, especially since the medical research community has used degraded carrageenan for decades to induce acute inflammation in experimental trial conducted with lab animals to test anti-inflammation drugs.

Studies show that food-grade carrageenan is also linked to colon inflammation and colon cancer in animals. The food industry tested its food-grade carrageenan for the presence of degraded carrageenan, result showed that every sample had at least some degraded carrageenan, with some test results of food-grade carrageenan showing as much as 25% degraded carrageenan."

WebMD shows other potential harmful effects of carrageenan.

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with carrageenan. Carrageenan seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking carrageenan along medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with carrageenan. Carrageenan is a thick gel. Carrageenan can stick to medications in the stomach and intestines. Taking carrageenan at the same time as oral medications can decreases the absorption land effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction, take carrageenan at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with carrageenan. Carrageenan might slow blood clotting. Taking carrageenan along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

What are you to do?

Check the label of all of your milks (dairy, soy, coconut, etc.) to make sure carrageenan is not it in. If it is, look for a substitute. Typically, organic milks and unsweetened Almond and Coconut milks do not have carrageenan in it.

For information on 1-on-1 Personal Training or Nutrition Coaching, feel free to contact me at szahn@lifetimefitness.com.


Steven Zahn
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Pre and Post Partum Certified
Dragondoor Publications: HKC Russian Kettlebell Certified
Szahn@lifetimefitness.com