In a recent teleconference, Dr. Stoll gave suggestions of non-dairy milk alternatives, yet recommended avoiding carrageenan. What is Carrageenan? Carrageenan is a common food additive that is extracted from a seaweed popularly known as Irish moss. Carrageenan, has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk, almond milk, and other processed foods, many of which are considered “health food”. Carrageenan has been shown to create inflammation[1], and numerous studies have shown a strong correlation between inflammation and cancer[2]. Consider only using milk alternatives for creating a sauce or creamy dressing, but not for drinking by the glassful, and reading ingredients on all processed foods in order to purchase products that are carrageenan-free.

[1] Reddy, A. C. P., & Lokesh, B. R. (1994). Studies on Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Spice Principles and Dietary n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Carrageenan-lnduced Inflammation in Rats. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 38(6), 349-358.

Tobacman, J. K. (2001). Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments. Environ Health Perspect, 109(10), 983-994.   

[2] Coussens, L. M., & Werb, Z. (2002). Inflammation and cancer. Nature, 420(6917), 860-867. doi: 10.1038/nature01322