A substance extracted from red and purple seaweeds, consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides is known as carrageenan. It is used as thickening or emulsifying agent in food products and it is used widely in the food industry because of their gelling, thickening and also for its stabilizing properties. It is also used to cure problems like coughs, bronchitis and tuberculosis. The French uses some types of form that has been changed by adding acid and high temperature and it is used to treat problems like peptic ulcers, and as a bulk laxative. In manufacturing its application involves binder, thickening agent, and as a stabilizer in medications, foods and also in toothpaste. It is also an ingredient in weight loss products. It contains some chemicals that may decrease stomach and intestinal secretions. Carrageenan seems to pull water into the intestine when it took in large amount, and it explains why it is used as laxative. It also might decrease pain and also swelling. Medications for high blood pressure interact with it because it seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking it along with medications might cause the high blood pressure to go low. It is a thick gel and hence it can stick to medications in the stomach and intestines. Taking it at the same time as medications, one can take it by mouth can decrease how much medication the body absorbs, and decreases the effectiveness of the medication. To prevent this interaction, one may take it at least one hour after medications that they take by mouth.
Properties and commercial classes of carrageenan:
Follow your heart is committed to the quality and the safety of their ingredients. This product contains the carrageenan and it is proved to be very safe to eat. They are large, highly flexible molecules and it is used to curl forming helical structures and it gives the ability to form a variety of different gels. There are three main commercial classes which includes kappa, lota and lambda. In the presence of potassium ions kappa always forms very strong, rigid gels and hence it reacts with dairy proteins. It gets sourced from kappaphycus alvarezil and the lota forms soft gels. It is produced mainly from Eucheuma denticulatum and the Lambda does not gel, and this helps to thicken dairy products. The primary differences between this is that it influence the properties of kappa, iota and lambda and the number and position of the ester sulfate lower the solubility temperature of it and produces lower strength gels, or contributes to gel inhibition. The appropriate dose of carrageenan depends on factors like user’s age, health and also for several other conditions. At this time the scientific information is not enough to determine appropriate range of doses for it. One should keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and hence the dosages can be important. They should be sure to follow the relevant directions on product labels and they should consult their pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using it.