Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments.

  title={Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments.},
  author={Joanne K. Tobacman},
  journal={Environmental Health Perspectives},
  pages={983 - 994}
  • J. Tobacman
  • Published 1 October 2001
  • Medicine
  • Environmental Health Perspectives
In this article I review the association between exposure to carrageenan and the occurrence of colonic ulcerations and gastrointestinal neoplasms in animal models. Although the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1982 identified sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of degraded carrageenan in animals to regard it as posing a carcinogenic risk to humans, carrageenan is still used widely as a thickener, stabilizer, and texturizer in a variety of processed foods prevalent in the… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Food-grade carrageenans and their implications in health and disease.

This review argues for personalized guidance on carrageenan intake based on individuals' health status to be conducive to the improved safety profile of Carrageenans in processed food products.

A Critical Review of the Toxicological Effects of Carrageenan and Processed Eucheuma Seaweed on the Gastrointestinal Tract

The lack of carcinogenic, genotoxic, or tumor-promoting activity with carrageenan strongly supports continuing such an ADI, and JECFA, during its most recent review in 2001, continued this recommendation.

Damage and regeneration of small intestinal enterocytes under the influence of carrageenan induces chronic enteritis

This study examines morphological features of small intestine and evaluates apoptotic biochemical indices in homogenate ofsmall intestine of rats after prolonged oral administration of carrageenan.

The Role of Carrageenan and Carboxymethylcellulose in the Development of Intestinal Inflammation

Further research is warranted to elucidate the role of carrageenan and CMC in intestinal inflammation, which may help identify novel nutritional strategies that hinder the development of the disease or prevent disease relapse post-EEN treatment.

Food additive carrageenan: Part II: A critical review of carrageenan in vivo safety studies

  • M. Weiner
  • Biology
    Critical reviews in toxicology
  • 2014
Based on the many animal subchronic and chronic toxicity studies, CGN has not been found to affect the immune system, as judged by lack of effects on organ histopathology, clinical chemistry, hematology, normal health, and the lack of target organ toxicities.

Food additive carrageenan: Part I: A critical review of carrageenan in vitro studies, potential pitfalls, and implications for human health and safety

  • J. Mckim
  • Biology
    Critical reviews in toxicology
  • 2014
There has not been a comprehensive review of the CGN in vitro literature, which has reported a wide range of biochemical effects related to this compound, so an extensive effort has been made to evaluate as much of this literature as possible.

Gastrointestinal Tract Digestion and Carrageenan: How Misconceptions have influenced the Understanding of Carrageenan Safety

Carrageenan (CGN) is a naturally occurring fiber isolated from various species of red seaweeds (class Rhodophyceae). It has been safely consumed for hundreds of years and today is approved for use in

Native κ-carrageenan induced-colitis is related to host intestinal microecology.

Synergistic effect of κ-carrageenan on oxazolone-induced inflammation in BALB/c mice

κ-Carrageenan aggravated oxazolone-induced intestinal inflammation in BALB/c mice and is associated with an activation of the TLR4-NF-κB pathway, a decreased ratio of Tregs, and the induction of Th2-dependent immune responses.



Harmful effects of carrageenan fed to animals.

Its harmful effects in animals are almost certainly associated with its degradation during passage through the gastrointestinal tract, and there is a need for extreme caution in the use of carrageenan or carragean-like products as food additives in the authors' diet, and particularly in slimming recipes.

Degradation of carrageenan for the experimental production of ulcers in the colon

A simple method for degrading carrageenan is described which can be quickly, conveniently and economically carried out in any gastrointestinal research laboratory and causes experimental colonic ulceration within a short time.

Intestinal uptake and immunological effects of carrageenan--current concepts.

There is no evidence to suggest that the limited uptake that may occur in man in any way interferes with normal immune competence, but further studies under such conditions now seem warranted in order to elucidate the possible immunological consequences which may be associated with enhanced uptake of carrageenans in vulnerable groups.

The effects of carrageenan on drug-metabolizing enzyme system activities in the guinea-pig.

  • S. PintauroS. Gilbert
  • Biology
    Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
  • 1990

The pre-ulcerative phase of carrageenan-induced colonic ulceration in the guinea-pig.

The results indicate that colonic epithelium in the guinea-pig is capable of macromolecular absorption, a new pathophysiological concept which may have implications in man, particularly in the pathology of large bowel disease.

Enhancing effect of carrageenan on the induction of rat colonic tumors by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine and its relation to beta-glucuronidase activities in feces and other tissues.

Since it has been demonstrated that a high level of fat is a dietary factor in the etiology of colon cancer, the effect of carrageenan on colonic tumors in rats fed a semipurified control diet containing an ordinary level offat was studied.

Effect of orally administered food-grade carrageenans on antibody-mediated and cell-mediated immunity in the inbred rat.

  • S. NicklinK. Miller
  • Biology, Medicine
    Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
  • 1984