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I dont have time to format but here is an excellent recent reference for the sections needing refs.

Title: Carrageenans: Biological properties, chemical modifications and structural analysis - A review Author(s): Campo VL (Campo, Vanessa Leiria)1, Kawano DF (Kawano, Daniel Fabio)1, da Silva DB (da Silva, Dilson Braz, Jr.)1, Carvalho I (Carvalho, Ivone)1 Source: CARBOHYDRATE POLYMERS Volume: 77 Issue: 2 Pages: 167-180 Published: JUN 10 2009 Times Cited: 1 References: 145 Abstract: Carrageenans are sulphated linear polysaccharicles Of D-galactose and 3,6-anhydro-D-galactose extracted from certain red seaweeds of the Rhodophyceae class. They have been extensively used in the food industry as thickening, gelling and protein-suspending agents, and more recently by the pharmaceutical industry as excipient in pills and tablets. Besides the well-known biological activities related to inflammatory and immune responses, carrageenans are potent inhibitors of herpes and HPV viruses and there are indications that these polysaccharicles may offer some protection against HIV infection. Thus, this review describes important aspects of carrageenans related to their industrial/therapeutic applications, physicochemical properties and structural analysis. Moreover, chemical modifications of carrageenans that can lead to prototypes with potential application for the treatment of several diseases, such as herpes, HPV and AIDS, will be outlined. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Document Type: Review —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Health Concerns[edit]

The article cited was not accurately described. The committee found no evidence that commercial grade carrageenan contains any low-molecular weight components. As these compounds are the only danger in consuming this substance, it has been deemed safe for consumption. OngoingCivilUnrest 05:46, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Also found as an ingrdient in soy milk, i find this addition important for those on vegan diets and to people who are lactose intolerant, or simply enjoy soy milk more, could you please add this information to the list?

Irrelevant link[edit]

The link to MSG was relevant only insofar as both are controversial food additives. Since there are hundreds of registered food additives, and most of them are controversial, it is infeasible to cross-link all of them (not that it made any sense, anyway). I thus removed the MSG link and added a link to the List of food additives instead. Aragorn2 13:44, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, carrageenan is an [excitotoxin] as [MSG] is, even calling it another of industries names for MSG. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:08, 18 February 2010 (UTC)


does anyone know any research that has been done on "thickeners" such as carrageenan, xanthan gum, or even corn starch and how it may have an affect on the viscosity of blood, i.e. thickening of blood in our circulatory system? we all know that doctors are recommending an aspirin a day to thin the blood, some are even on anticoagulants such as cumadin. do these thinkeners have an effect on the viscosity of blood and is it recommended that these thickening agents be avoided by those who have compromised circulatory conditions or heart conditions? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

IANAD, but eating something is very different from injecting it into your blood. The thickening agents are digested and transformed into different chemicals before they make it anywhere near your bloodstream. —Keenan Pepper 03:11, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
According to this study, carrageenan doesn't even get absorbed by our body.[1]OngoingCivilUnrest 03:21, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
With regard to the above question, it is interesting to note the superficial resemblance between the repeating units of the carageenans (q.v.) and of heparin (q.v.), the latter being a commonly used in-vitro anticoagulant. This is not to imply any similarity of action of these disparate agents on or in the body. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Freemab (talkcontribs) 11:00, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

The mechanism is via immunological stimulation of IL-8 "These results show, for the first time, that exposure of human intestinal epithelial cells to carrageenan triggers a distinct inflammatory pathway via activation of Bcl10 with NF-kappa B activation and upregulation of IL-8 secretion." (Borthakur 2007 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-GASTROINTESTINAL AND LIVER PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 292 Issue: 3 Pages: G829-G838 Published: MAR 2007) And... Deleted in malignant brain tumors 1 (DMBT1) is a secreted glycoprotein displaying a broad bacterial-binding spectrum. Recent functional and genetic studies linked DMBT1 to the suppression of LPS-induced TLR4-mediated NF-kappa B activation and to the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease. Here, we aimed at unraveling the molecular basis of its function in mucosal protection and of its broad pathogen-binding specificity. We report that DMBT1 directly interacts with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) and carrageenan, a structurally similar sulfated polysaccharide, which is used as a texturizer and thickener in human dietary products. However, binding of DMBT1 does not reduce the cytotoxic effects of these agents to intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. DSS and carrageenan compete for DMBT1-mediated bacterial aggregation via interaction with its bacterial-recognition motif. Competition and ELISA studies identify poly-sulfated and poly-phosphorylated structures as ligands for this recognition motif, such as heparansulfate, LPS, and lipoteichoic acid. Dose-response studies in Dmbt1 (/) and Dmbt1(+/+) mice utilizing the DSS-induced colitis model demonstrate a differential response only to low but not to high DSS doses. We propose that DMBT1 functions as pattern-recognition molecule for poly-sulfated and poly-phosphorylated ligands providing a molecular basis for its broad bacterial-binding specificity and its inhibitory effects on LPS-induced TLR4-mediated NF-kappa B activation. (End etal EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Volume: 39 Issue: 3 Pages: 833-842 Published: MAR 2009) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Addition to skim milk[edit]

Sensory testing studies (conducted at the University of Minnesota) showed the general public clearly preferred their skim milk with added carageenan. However, due to strict dairy labeling regulations in the United States, milk thickened with carageenan may not be sold as "milk." Therefore, the product never reached the market, as focus group studies showed that the public would not buy "milk product," even though they prefer its sensory qualities. -from user

In regards to the changes made to the trivia section by the user, if you are going to make such claims, you need to cite a source. As a resident of the state of Texas, I have personally, on several occasions, bought one-gallon clear plastic bottles of the skim milk/carageenan mixture (which is indeed a truly foul concoction) which were clearly labelled "milk", not "milk product". As such, I can state with certainty that unless both Albertsons and the Kroger Corporation are acting with such impunity as to disregard federal trade and agriculture regulations on the sale of dairy products, milk laced with carageenan has not only "reached the market", but is also able to be legally known as "milk". And until I see a reliable reference citing the source of this so-called 'sensory testing study', I simply cannot believe that even a significant minority of consumers, let alone a 'clear' majority, actually PREFER their skim milk with added carageenan. -Grammaticus Repairo 20:10, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


plz add this to the article —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:28, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

It is in Ovaltine!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:01, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Removal of Alien saliva (movie effects)[edit]

The Alien (film) article gives supporting evidence to the fact that K-Y lubricant was used for the special effect of Alien's saliva, not carrageenan. The components of the lubricant do not include carrageenan so I removed the info (Full list: Water (Purified), Glycerin, Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Benzoic Acid, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide ). Rdavout (talk) 07:28, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Did K-Y lubricant contain Carageenan in the 80s? It probably did, only sure way is to look for its contents back then.. (talk) 04:53, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Introductory paragraph[edit]

As of this writing, the opening paragraph states: "Carrageenan has undergone long-term dietary studies under defined regulatory conditions en route to its current global regulatory status, and the majority of these indicate carrageenan safely passes through animal or human GI tracts without adverse effect when it is a dietary ingredient.[1] Recently, some scientists have raised concerns about carrageenan safety if it is administered through other routes of exposure..." However, the reference currently provided to support this statement is a single animal dietary study authored by a researcher affiliated with a carrageenan manufacturer (FMC Corporation), and the text of the article does not make any claims about the majority of human or animal dietary studies. Furthermore, several animal dietary studies have found adverse gastrointestinal effects (see [2] for a review). Given that there is significant disagreement in the literature on the risks associated with consumption of carageenan (see [3] for a brief description of the debate), I'm rephrasing the sentence accordingly, per WP:RS/AC.

[3] also clarifies that, rather than "concerns about carrageenan safety if it is administered through other routes of exposure", the debate in the literature "revolves around degraded carrageenan (or poligeenan, as it has been named)... One camp argues that the presence of carrageenan in food may lead to health problems due to the presence of poligeenan. The other camp argues that the amount of poligeenan in food-grade carrageenan and the consumption levels of carrageenan in the diet are such as to present no risk to human health." I have revised the corresponding sentence to reflect this. Gzabers (talk) 16:50, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Weiner ML, Nuber D, Blakemore WR et al., (2007) A 90-day dietary study of kappa carrageenan with emphasis on the gastrointestinal tract. Fd Chem Toxicol 45:98-106
  2. ^ Tobacman JK (2001) Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments.Environ Health Perspect 109(10):983-984.
  3. ^ a b Spichtig, V., & Austin, S. (2008). Determination of the low molecular weight fraction of food-grade carrageenans. Journal of Chromatography B, 861(1), 81-87.
I have no problem with the alterations made, but I do think the introduction needs a lot more work. At the moment it is far too technical, and is likely to put off the average reader from delving into the article. The more technical aspects should be left for the individual sections, while the introduction should try to summarise these in laymen's language. There should be practically no need for citations in the introduction, as these should be covered in the detail later in the article. Skinsmoke (talk) 13:43, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Health concerns section[edit]

I recently made some changes to the health concerns paragraph to make it a bit more NPOV; made multiple edits, so thought I'd put my rationale here rather than trying to squeeze it into the edit summary.

"Decades of carrageenan use as an approved food ingredient based on human experience and feeding studies with large groups of animals performed in compliance with regulatory guidelines are now being challenged by recent studies using isolated cells and tissue culture models.": citation for this? My own review of the literature suggests that this is quite misleading--studies on humans seem to be essentially nonexistent, and there has been a long history of controversy in the academic literature about carrageenan from the 70s to the present[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]. As of 2011, Kanneganti et al. note that "the role of both CGN [carrageenan] and dCGN [degraded carrageenan] as carcinogens still remains controversial" [8], some of which have been animal feeding studies and some of which is based on isolated cells and tissue culture models.

Also added a ref indicating changes observed in rhesus monkey colon w/administration of undegraded carrageenan in liquid (the ref also considers changes with respect to degraded carrageenan solution, but this point is less relevant to the current paragraph and so I don't mention it here). Because the results reported by the studies that are mentioned in the article thus far for primates and rodents mirror each other (no histopathological changes when administered in solid food, but changes observed when administered in liquid), I slightly reordered things to highlight this parallel.

"No evidence of tumor promotion or colon cancer has been found due to carrageenan in animal dietary feeding studies in vivo (Cohen & Ito)" - again, researchers disagree strongly about this. The Cohen & Ito review that is currently beind used to back up the "no evidence of tumor promotion" claim notes that there have been several peer-reviewed studies whose authors present their findings as evidence of tumor promotion by carrageenan; Cohen & Ito discuss methodological problems with four of these studies and conclude that there is not sufficient evidence that carrageenan contributed to tumor promotion or colon cancer. Tobacman's review strongly disagrees, reviewing several studies that look at the effect of undegraded carageenan administered in food or liquid on markers of neoplasia (as well as at studies that use degraded carrageenan) to come to a very different conclusion. I have edited the relevant paragraph to include both perspectives.

Some additional sources have also been restored from a previous version of this page from which several reliable sources had been deleted and replaced with (primarily industry-funded) research asserting the safety of carrageenan. I have not deleted any of these industry-funded refs, but I have restored some of the refs to publicly-funded studies that had been previously deleted (there are many more that probably should also be restored, but I didn't have time to check them all out). Gzabers (talk) 23:19, 16 May 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Arakawa, S, Okumura, M, Yamada, S, Ito, M, and Tejima, S. Enhancing effect of carrageenan on the induction of rat colonic tumors by 1,2–dimethylhydrazine and its relation to ß -glucuronidase activities in feces and other tissues. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol, 32:481–485, 1986
  2. ^ Borthakur A, Bhattacharyya S, Dudeja PK, Tobacman JK (2007) Carrageenan induces interleukin 8 production through distinct Bcl10 pathway in normal human colonic epithelial cells. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 292(3):G829
  3. ^ Corpet, DE, Taché, S, and Préclaire, M. Carrageenan given as a jelly, does not initiate, but promotes the growth of aberrant crypt foci in the rat colon. Cancer Lett 114:53–55, 1997b
  4. ^ Marcus AJ, Watt J (1969) Ulcerative colitis in the guinea pig caused by seaweed extract. Journal of Pharmaceutical Pharmacology 21:187
  5. ^ Shah ZC, Huffman FG (2003) Current Availability and Consumption of Carrageenan Containing Foods. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 42(6):357-371
  6. ^ Tobacman JK (2001) Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES 109:983–994
  7. ^ Watanabe, K, Reddy, BS, Wong, CQ, and Weisburger, JH. Effect of dietary undegraded carrageenan on colon carcinogenesis in F344 rats treated with azoxymethane or methylnitrosourea. Cancer Res 38:4427–4430, 1978.
  8. ^ Kanneganti, M., Mino-Kenudson, M., & Mizoguchi, E. (2011). Animal models of colitis-associated carcinogenesis. BioMed Research International, 2011.


Are there any taste differences between e.g. iota and kappa? I just know that iota smells awful...has kappa a better taste? -- (talk) 12:59, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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There is no mention of Bursitis being linked to this substance. Scientific research exist with evidence strongly suggesting a correlation. I y like to see an addition to article. --Wikipietime ([[User talk:Wikipietime has interesting details for article. Wikipietime (talk) 01:49, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

That's a very preliminary lab animal study. We need stronger references for diseases such as bursitis. This is not one of them. See WP:MEDRS. --Zefr (talk) 02:06, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
Maybe I will state; "some studies have reported....evidence is not widely accepted in the academic community" but this reeks of pov; so, maybe " studies exist "? by the way, do you work in the industry?--Wikipietime (talk) 22:28, 19 August 2017 (UTC)::Also, bursitis is a condition; not a disease. Albeit, it is associated associated with various other chronic systemic diseases. I think.--Wikipietime (talk) 00:31, 20 August 2017 (UTC):: Also, I might add; it is well known that most references articles that woul deal with this topic are behind medical reference firewalls and would not be allowed citation. For example; one of many,

Effect of carrageenan on the histology of the bursa of fabricius and the humoral immune response to SalmonellaO antigen

Provider: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd Content:text/plain; charset="UTF-8"

TY - JOUR AU - Olah, Imré AU - Glick, Bruce TI - Effect of carrageenan on the histology of the bursa of fabricius and the humoral immune response to SalmonellaO antigen JO - The Anatomical Record JA - Anat. Rec. VL - 214 IS - 4 PB - Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company SN - 1097-0185 UR - DO - 10.1002/ar.1092140410 SP - 398 EP - 404 PY - 1986

Now, I realize that wikipedia is not a medical reference; But, I as a layperson find myself here after personal experience of experiencing severe shoulder pain and almost instant relief upon ceasing consumption of carragenan containing foods, specifically almond milk. I advocate reference to the studies that may allow a user of wikipedia to further their research endeavors. --Wikipietime (talk) 10:51, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

Utilization as a Filler/Extender[edit]

Coming up empty with utilization in this sector in the article. Numerous sources citing;

typically reading as this;

"The binding substance carrageenan (page 71) can provide significant volume increase as it is highly water absorbent. Its positive role is mainly in the manufacture of coarse products such as burgers or coarse skinless sausage products and in cooked hams. It may also be of use for improved cohesiveness in the case of high extender utilization in raw-cooked products." from

Of course, bulk of material in food science sector behind academia firewalls.

--Wikipietime (talk) 11:18, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

Carrageen recipe[edit]

At present, the "Production" section of this article contains the following:

"Carrageen gelatin can be prepared at home using the traditional recipe found in Diderot's Encyclopédie and used for centuries. 5oz rinsed Irish moss is cooked with 8 quarts of water for 10 minutes, stirred as it boils. Hard water should be mixed with 1/2 oz of borax. Two quarts of cold water are rapidly added to the hot brew, and after the mixture has cooled it is strained through a cloth. It is then cooled for 24 hours and becomes gelatinous."

This was added by User Name "TotalFailure" on 2012 June 18:

(cur | prev) 18:20, 18 June 2012‎ TotalFailure (talk | contribs)‎ . . (23,291 bytes) (+472)‎


(1) It states that the "traditional" recipe for carrageen gelatin appears in "Diderot's Encyclopédie" ; however, it doesn't say where it appears in Diderot's Encyclopédie. A search of the Encyclopédie revealed that "carrageen" appears … nowhere in the Encyclopédie. Because the word "carrageen" was coined in 1829 —

whereas Diderot's Encyclopédie was published between 1751 and 1772 —édie

There is only one source that claims that "carrageen" appeared in Diderot's Encyclopédie

Original text: "Pour leur part, les européens préparaient leur mucilage à partir du carragaheen, algue du littoral de la Mer du Nord et de l’Atlantique."

Translation: For their part, the Europeans prepared their mucilage from carrageen, an algae from the coasts of the North Sea and the Atlantic.

This supposedly comes from volume 10, page 73 of Diderot's Encyclopédie. That page is about the marbling of paper (i.e., printing colored swirls on paper). That page is found here —

The word "carragaheen" appears nowhere in that text. In the section "De la préparation des eaux" (On the preparation of the solutions), there's a brief mention of gomme adragant, which is a glue made from legumes, not seaweed —

Therefore I have deleted "using the traditional recipe found in Diderot's Encyclopédie".

(2) The passage in question also states: "Hard water should be mixed with 1/2 oz of borax."

First, carrageenan is used primarily as a food additive; however, borax is banned as a food additive in the U.S. —

Second, borax is not part of the traditional recipe for making carrageenan. Its use in preparing carrageenan was discovered only in the 1880s. In 1885, the bookbinder Josef Halfer published, in Budapest, his book Die Fortschritte der Marmorirkunst. Ein praktisches Handbuch für Buchbinder und Buntpapierfabrikanten (Progress in the art of marbling paper. A practical handbook for book binders and makers of colored papers). On p. 31 of the 1893 English translation of his book he mentions the use of carrageen moss —;view=1up;seq=37

On p. 32, Halfer states that carrageen is useful for sizing paper – better than gum tragacanth (gomme adragant). On page 35, Halfer states that when he had to use hard water to marble paper, he found – "after many experiments" – that adding borax countered the harmful effects of hard water. So the use of borax to deal with hard water was discovered only in the 1880s ; it was not part of the traditional recipe.

In more modern times, borax is added to carrageen solutions in order to cause cross-linking of the carrageen molecules, which causes the molecules to clump together and then to precipitate from solution, simplifying the isolation of carrageen. See, for example, —

So adding borax to a solution of carrageen doesn't cause the carrageen to form a gel; instead, adding borax causes the carrageen to precipitate.

Therefore I have deleted "Hard water should be mixed with 1/2 oz of borax."

The remainder of the recipe for preparing carrageenan is consistent with recipes dating to the early 19th century.

VexorAbVikipædia (talk) 08:55, 28 February 2018 (UTC)