CARRAGEENAN – Usage, Efficacy, Side Effects and Drug Interactions

Carrageenan Featured in “The GNC Gourmet: The Fun of Multipurpose Ingredients
The 4 Hour Chef – “The Scientist”

 

Consumer Information and Education
Provided by
www.4hourlife.com
Based on
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
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CARRAGEENAN

What is it?
Carrageenan is made from parts of various red algae or seaweeds and is used for medicine.Carrageenan is used for coughs, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and intestinal problems. The French use a form that has been changed by adding acid and high temperatures. This form is used to treat peptic ulcers, and as a bulk laxative.Some people apply carrageenan directly to the skin for discomfort around the anus.

In manufacturing, carrageenan is used as a binder, thickening agent, and as a stabilizer in medications, foods, and toothpaste. Carrageenan is also an ingredient in weight loss products.

Is it Effective?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.The effectiveness ratings for CARRAGEENAN are as follows:

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for…

  • Cough.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Weight loss.
  • Constipation.
  • Peptic ulcers.
  • Intestinal problems.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of carrageenan for these uses.

How does it work?
Carrageenan contains chemicals that may decrease stomach and intestinal secretions. Large amounts of carrageenan seem to pull water into the intestine, and this may explain why it is tried as a laxative. Carrageenan also might decrease pain and swelling (inflammation).
Are there safety concerns?
Carrageenan is safe for most people in food amounts. There is a chemically altered form of carrageenan that is available in France to treat peptic ulcers. This form might be UNSAFEbecause there’s some evidence that it might cause cancer.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Carrageenan is safe in amounts found in food, but there’s not enough information to know if it’s safe in the larger amounts that are used as medicine. It’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid use in medicinal amounts.

Are there any interactions with medications?

Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Carrageenan seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking carrageenan along with 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)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Carrageenan is a thick gel. Carrageenan can stick to medications in the stomach and intestines. Taking carrageenan at the same time as medications that you take by mouth can decrease how much medication your body absorbs, and decrease the 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)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

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.

Are there any interactions with Herbs and Supplements?

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood pressure

Carrageenan seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking carrageenan along with other natural products that have this same effect might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Some of these products include andrographis, casein peptides, cat’s claw, coenzyme Q-10, fish oil, L-arginine, lycium, stinging nettle, theanine, and others.

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting

Carrageenan might slow blood clotting. Taking carrageenan along with other natural products that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Some of these products include angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, and others.

Are there interactions with Foods?
There are no known interactions with foods.
What dose is used?
The appropriate dose of carrageenan depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for carrageenan. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
What other names is the product known by?
Algas, Algue Rouge Marine, Carrageen, Carrageenin, Carragenano, Carragenina, Carragheenan, Carraghénane, Carraghénine, Chondrus crispus, Chondrus Extract, Euchema species, Extrait de Mousse d’Irlande, Galgarine, Gigartina chamissoi, Gigartina mamillosa, Gigartina skottsbergii, Irish Moss Algae, Irish Moss Extract, Mousse d’Irlande, Red Marine Algae.
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Resources

Carrageenan

(from red seaweed)

 CARRAGEENAN   Usage, Efficacy, Side Effects and Drug Interactions

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